Does Your Local School Expect More than Your Local Church?

Walk into a classroom at your local school and you will find at least one decoration on the wall: a poster entitled “Classroom Expectations.” These expectations (or rules, but expectations sounds much less threatening, right?) are posted for everyone to see. And they serve a good purpose: they let the students know what is expected of them and they remind the teacher to enforce the expectations. When a student messes up, the teacher reminds the student of the expectation, and when the teacher messes up and doesn’t hold everyone to the expectation, the class can point to the poster on the wall and call out the teacher. Continue reading “Does Your Local School Expect More than Your Local Church?”

Advertisements

Deep Dive: Them Locusts (Joel 1)

pabloDeep Dive is a weekly series in which I look at an aspect of the text that was important, interesting or just weird but that I was not able to touch on in the sermon.

When I was a kid, one of our pastimes during the summer would be running through the vacant lot next to our house and capturing grasshoppers in glass jars. We would look through the class and see the different colors and variations of the grasshoppers. Joel must have had a similar fascination. In Joel 1:4, he describes the locust hordes that descended upon Israel and Judah. Continue reading “Deep Dive: Them Locusts (Joel 1)”

The Challenge of Bivocational Ministry

This week my “day” job started by up again. My day job is teaching English Language Arts and Reading to 7th graders. People usually feel that I am a glutton for punishment; I pastor a church AND teach rambunctious junior high students about all the grammar they want to forget.  But this is because the Lord has seen fit to bless me with a unique challenge: bivocational ministry. Continue reading “The Challenge of Bivocational Ministry”

Psalms on Saturday: Psalm 55:22

“Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you
He will never permit
the righteous to be moved.”

Psalm 55:22

What burdens do you have? What is heavy upon your heart and soul? One burden we carry is guilt. It is astounding how much guilt we carry with us. We look on Instagram, see that someone has worked out and think, “Why didn’t I work out today?” We wanted to, we know we should have and in that moment we put a little guilt on our backs. We yell at our children, apologize to them and hug them, but we still feel badly because we know that so-and-so would never yell at their children; we grab a little more guilt and put it on our backs with the rest. And so we live our lives until our souls are hunched over, groaning for relief, too weary to go on. If you know the feeling, this psalm is for you. Continue reading “Psalms on Saturday: Psalm 55:22”

Book Review: Pray About Everything

With his book Pray About Everything, Paul Tautges has done something unique: he reminds us that prayer is not a solitary activity. This book is helpful call for pastors, churches and laypersons to remember the importance of the church not only praying for each other, but with each other. Tautges divides this helpful book into three sections: the first is a reminder and theology of God dependency; the second is a series of meditations for prayer meetings on a variety of subjects related to God dependency; the third is a series of appendices with helps to push a congregation towards a spirit and practice of God dependency.

Prayer meetings, in my experience, are usually quite underwhelming. We read in Acts how the Spirit moves powerfully and forcefully as the people of God pray. Yet, when most congregations gather to pray today, the prayers are usually man-centered, particularly on the physical health of the congregation. If you have been underwhelmed and feel like this is not what the Spirit wants our prayers meetings to be like, this is a book which will help you.