Showing posts from August, 2012

The Christ Centered Family

The Christ Centered Family from Brian Branam on Vimeo .

Proper Ex and Eis in Ruth

It has been several weeks since I posted in this series, but in the last piece I wrote about the importance of discovering the context of a passage in Bible study, especially for the purpose of teaching.  Context is the story behind the story.  It is the surrounding, perhaps unmentioned details that help give the story meaning.  When a passage is taken out of context we commit a hermeneutical no-no in that we are then free to make the passage mean what we want it to mean.  Yet, as we have discussed before, a passage never means what it never meant (Fee and Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth , loc 574 Kindle Ed.).  Context is important.  Allow me to demonstrate. As a pastor I feel sometimes like a wedding groupie.  If there is a wedding within 50 miles I’m probably going, either by invite or as the officiant.  Over and over again I have heard Christian couples include a powerful Bible verse in their vows: “Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. 

6 Words for Men (Talking Points for Sunday A.M. 8/26/12)

6 words from Ephesians 5:25-33 a man must take seriously if he is to be the head of his home: 1)  Responsibility 2)  Self-sacrifice 3)  Communication 4)  Nourishment 5)  Union 6)  Love

Crushing on Isaac

I posted earlier this week that I am beginning a new endeavor in my life, that of a barely part-time 9th grade Old Testament teacher.  I also shared that one of my classes is all girls.  That was never more apparent than it was today as I brought them the story of Abraham’s almost-sacrifice of his son Isaac. I had a masterful lesson plan, one which I imagined would result in a great epiphany in the minds of the masses about the meaning of sacrifice.  The problem was that I was not teaching the masses, my assignment in first hour was 9th grade girls.  So, as the class began I read Genesis 22 with the authority of a professor and the passion of a preacher.  I called attention to a few important caveats to the story and then I asked a question that was well rehearsed in my mind.  A question that was destined to peak the curiosity of even the most distant soul.  “If Isaac is to survive, what does he need?”  One young lady responded, “A replacement.”  Yes!  Being fully satisfied that

Back to School

I started school in 1978.  Apparently the educational institution is my siren song.  I cannot escape her allure.  Numerous times since ’79 school has deemed me done, but I keep going back.  Last December I graduated from seminary.  Done!  Yet, you guessed it, I’m back in school.  The Siren has called my name again. This time I am back in school in a way I have never done school.  For the first time in my life, I am a teacher.  It is true that after I graduated from college I did some sub work for the elementary school I attended.  It was going well until I subbed for my 4th grade teacher.  A word to the wise.  Your 4th grade teacher doesn’t want to see you after you graduate college.  It makes them feel old.  I was proud of the moment.  I think it ticked her off.  She was sick the next day as well.  That was the last time they called me to sub. So this time I’m not a sub, I’m real.  My assignment is 9th grade Old Testament in a local Christian High School.  Its only two hou

I'm Right Here

I know I have been post-lite over the past two weeks, but I am still alive.  Winding down the summer we took a last minute beach trip.  Last Wednesday we woke up in Panama City Beach, FL at 4:30 a.m., that afternoon we were at "meet the teacher" in Dalton, GA.  Both Mo and Kiley are adjusting well to new schools. Shannon and I are adjusting to new schedules.  Shannon has not only picked up responsibilities as our interim choir director but she also began working as my ministry assistant this week.  For those of you who are fans of Shannon's Jam, which I like to call BadMammaJamma, it will exist, but there may be less of it for awhile.  Added to my schedule is two early morning Old Testament classes with the 9th grade students at Christian Heritage School here in Dalton.  I have always wanted to teach, so far, so good.  I love it just as much as I always thought I would.  We will see how all parties involved feel about one another by spring break!  I have a great post to

The Changing Face of the American Family

They say that art imitates life.  If this is true a simple pictorial chronology of the portrayal of the typical American family on television is telling.  On Sunday I will begin a new series of sermons entitled, "The Christ Centered Family" from Eph. 5.  How does Eph. 5 relate to the evolution of family life we have seen exemplified on television over the last 60 years?  Scroll through the images below.  Spend some time this weekend considering the Book of Ephesians, particularly chapter 5.  I hope to see you at Liberty on Sunday 8:45 and 11 a.m. as we consider the Christ Centered Family.   1954 - 1960 1961-1966 1969 - 1974 1970-1979 1982-1989 1987-1997 2004-2012 2009 - current

Fun With Water Spouts at PCB

3 water spouts that appeared in front of our condo, yesterday at Panama City Beach, FL near Pier Park.

Who Ruined Your Fairytale?

Gay or Straight, You Better Pay Attention to Chick-fil-A

Last week in my post “Gay Will Not Stop with Chic-fil-A” I made the following statement concerning the news coverage to the Gay vs. Chic-fil-A boycott this week: "Yet, in the gay vs. Chick-Fil-A mania there is an underlying story here that is being categorically ignored.  What about intellectual honesty?  What about religious liberty?  What about the right to choose to openly express one’s lifestyle preferences?  What about bullying?" In case anyone was having difficulty making the connection between this issue and religious liberty, Chicago Mayor and former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in stating that Chic-fil-A did not reflect the values of their respective cities.  Chicago Alderman Alco “Joe” Moreno announced that he will “ block Chick-fil-A’s effort to build its second Chicago store ” in his district on the Northwest Side of the city. There is plenty of flap about these comments from conservatives and