Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Wide Cracks for April 1

At the same time a wide crack appeared in the altar, and the ashes poured out, just as the man of God had predicted in his message from the Lord. 1 Kings 13:5 NLT

One of my best friends from high school used to tell us a funny childhood story. When she was a little girl, she thought her body was incorrectly fashioned. She was afraid she was the only person in the world that had a crack in her bottom! How relieved she was one day to discover that her father, too, shared the same physical quality. She was not alone!

Wide cracks can appear anywhere. In our last house, one slowly grew as the foundation continued settling. Skin can crack when it gets too dry, sidewalks crack when weeds push their way through, and if you crack a peanut, you get a tasty treat. But whatever you do, don’t smoke crack!

In today’s text, God punished the king with a wide crack appearing in the altar. And it was like, snap, crackle, and pop! The Lord had enough. If Jeroboam, who misused the altar, was not going to do things the right way, God would back up His message by splitting the altar and having its ashes pour on the ground.  And the Lord’s prophet spoke a strong word, and it was crack-a-lacking good! So, like my friend, we don’t have to be afraid of cracks, unless of course, the altar splits. You can split your pants, just don’t live in a way so God splits the altar.

Father, I’d like to go to Cracker Barrel soon.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Parents: Redeem the Time During COVID-19

Suddenly, due to COVID-19, all parents have become homeschool parents!   
Our family has experienced many types of schooling through the years – homeschooling for more than a decade as well as years in private and public schools. Regardless of what method of education you've experienced, God wants you heavily involved in the training of your children.

The Bible says time is one of our most valuable commodities. And suddenly, our children have a lot more time on their hands. Let’s view this as an opportunity.

My wife and I are thinking, in addition to the assignments from their school, how can we maximize this at-home time, guiding them to use it wisely? Too much boredom can lead to innovation – but it can also include temptations into trouble.

Why not look for some specific areas you want your family to explore and learn together in the weeks ahead? I am beginning to put together a list of books and resources my entire family can read and experience – together – in the days ahead. 

Here's my short list I'm considering:

How Now Shall We Live? by Charles Colson

The American Heritage Series by Barton / Wallbuilders

Extra time at home also offers opportunity for face-to-face interaction that is sometimes difficult to maintain during a busy school year. Now's the time to play board games, engage in meaningful conversations, make music, and have fun. Last night our family sat in the den together and sang a varied repertoire, from "Hey, Good Lookin' " to "The Gambler!"

Remember, the apostle Paul challenged us to make [redeem] “the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16 NASB).

That’s good advice for parents during COVID-19.

Love. Lead. And read.

Classical Conversations currently offers a guide to help families promote learning at home during these days.

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Christianity

I usually appreciate Richard Blackaby's perspective, and today is no different . . .

"So, how should we respond to the coronavirus?

First, watch for God’s activity. God is always at work around us! But He often does His best work in crises. When facing a deadly pandemic, people may be more open to talking about life and death. Our mortality, generally a taboo subject, suddenly becomes front and center in people’s minds. People who were fiercely independent may suddenly have needs you can meet. People with whom you might never have been able to talk with about God may suddenly be open to spiritual discussions. Keep your spiritual senses attuned to such opportunities.

Second, make the best of changed routines. Last Sunday, our church services were cancelled due to health concerns. So, I drove to my parents’ house and watched the live stream service from our church while eating breakfast with them. My parents normally attend the 8:00 service on Sunday mornings, so I rarely see them. But yesterday was different. I typically have a frenetic travel schedule. As a result, I am constantly out of shape and needing more exercise. Last week, 12 of my spring speaking engagements were cancelled or rescheduled. I now have two months at home. I have thus commenced a rigorous exercise routine and a healthier diet. I am also using the free time to study and write. There are some Christian classics I have had on my “to read” list for a while now. A pandemic may finally afford me the time I need to read them! Rather than bemoaning what I’ve lost, I’m excited about what I’ve gained."

Posts for Churches about Coronavirus

Should Churches Submit to Government Demands to Shut Down Services? by Bruce Ashford

COVID-19 and Church Leadership by Baptist Press staff

Churches Worshiped Online, Onsight by Diana Chandler

Picture used by permission from Pixabay.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Trusting God with Coronavirus

Click here to hear my message from last Sunday entitled "Trusting God with Coronavirus" from Spring Hill Baptist Church.

Quote of the Day

“We’re not acting out of fear, we are acting because we are responsible. Have confidence in the Lord. Most of the time we talk about going to church, but God is giving us an opportunity to be the church. I’m here for you, you’re here for me, and we’re here for one another. This is God’s day. This is God’s time. Trust.”  – Dr. Don Wilton