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Showing posts from January, 2013

Wise Marriage

Wise Marriage from Brian Branam on Vimeo . George Barna released a survey that found that born again Christians are more likely to get divorced than any other faith groups, including atheists and agnostics. Let me tell you why that is the case. The only message the church has had from the pulpit is “Don't have sex outside of marriage.” The problem is that message is only part of the biblical message. We are not preaching all of the Bible when we do not teach couples how to also behave within marriage. The church is sexually inept, inexperienced, and in trouble. Everybody listens to somebody. Those somebodies are your influences, your sources of information, the influences that shape and mold your behavior. In Proverbs there are two: the voice of wisdom or the voice of folly; which will influence your marriage?

J.I. Packer on Grace

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From p. 129 of J.I. Packer's Knowing God "To be sure, there have always been some who have found the thought of grace so overwhelmingly wonderful that they could never get over it." Throughout the history of the church there have always been those who would fight for grace. Many have suffered for grace. Grace has inspired some of our finest and most deeply felt songs. "With Paul, their testimony is, 'By the grace of God I am what I am' (1 Cor. 15:10), and their rule of life is, 'I do not frustrate the grace of God (Gal. 2:21).'" "But many church people are not like this.  They may pay lip service to the idea of grace, but there they stop.  Their conception of grace is not so much debased as nonexistent.  The thought means nothing to them; it does not touch their experience at all.  Talk to them about the church's heating, or last year's accounts, and they are with you at once; but speak to them about the realities to whic

Sin and the Law

Sin and the Law from Brian Branam on Vimeo . The law ultimately reminds us of impending condemnation through the necessity of constant sacrifice. It also shows us the willingness of God to provide a substitute so that we may not be condemned for our sin. However, the law failed to change the human heart and eventually man lost passion for the law. One man, Adam, has ruined our lives by introducing sin. Yet, one man, Jesus, has saved our lives from the penalty of sin.

The Land

The Land from Brian Branam on Vimeo . In this first message of a new series, we look at the theme of land in the Bible. This may seem like an odd place to start, but it is one of the Bible's paramount themes. If you don't understand the importance of land in the Bible you will not only fail to fully understand the story of the Bible but you will also fail to understand much of what you see happening in the news today.

Mission My Town, From Rodney Calfee of the Upstream Collective

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In writing a series of posts on how mission trips help us think missionaly in our hometown, I asked my friend Rodney Calfee to contribute.  Rodney is an amazing worship leader and one of the most progressive thinkers on connecting local churches to missions that I know.  Rodney works with an, the Upstream Collective , an organization committed to doing the very thing this series of posts is about - taking people on cross-cultural mission trips to help them be more missional at home.  I asked Rodney to share a few things he had learned along the way: _____________________ It was a short-term trip to Taipei, Taiwan that changed things for me. Those 10 days exposed me to truths about mission I had never considered. They also exposed me to truths about myself I had never considered. That particular trip literally helped me understand my own identity, which changed the way I think about why I am here (both literally “here” in Birmingham, AL and ethereally “here” - alive and walking

Mission My Town, Thinking Culturally

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continued from part 1, Mission My Town How do mission trips help me become a better missionary in my town? Mission Trips Help Me Think Culturally I can’t remember where I read it, but the author defined culture as, “The water in which we swim.”  As you may guess, his metaphor was that of a fish. The fish becomes so accustomed to water he is oblivious to the fact that it is there.  We do the same thing with air.  We also become oblivious to our own culture - until we are exposed to a different one! The first mission trip I ever took was to Russia.  I lost six pounds because I don’t eat cow tongue.  It was the first time in my life I needed a translator just to help me do simple things.  It was also the first time in my life I realized that common mannerisms and gestures I use everyday may be highly offensive, sexually provocative, or explicitly crude in another culture (that is a story for another day).  At the time, going to Russia helped me to realize that not everyone g

Mission My Town

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I have been on numerous mission trips.  I have never been on one in which I was not profoundly changed.  Each of them have left markers in my spiritual walk that have shaped me toward Christ-likeness.  That said, I do not want my following comments to be a condemnation of the “mission trip.”  But I must be honest, currently, I am doing nothing in any of the cities to which I have been whether it be in the way of missions support, partnership, or ongoing work.  Not that I haven’t tried.  In every place I have been I had a passion to support and to return, but I am currently batting .000.  I have yet to return.  I have no ongoing relationship with any of the missionaries, planters, or pastors in those locations.    It is no one’s fault.  Others have made ongoing, fruitful connections, but I have yet to do so.  This does not mean I am not appreciative of what they have added to my life, nor does it mean I fail to pray for them.  It just means, people are busy.  Pastors, missionaries,

Wise Marriage

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A few years ago I developed a series of sermons entitled Wise Marriage.  I originally shared them on Sunday mornings while serving as pastor of Ridgecrest Baptist in Birmingham, AL .  God used this series in a great way to save some marriages, strengthen others, and to give wisdom to a few couples who were preparing for marriage.  There are strong leaders at Ridgecrest now that began attending the church through this series whose lives are far different now than they were just a few years ago.  I praise the Lord for this fruit and count it one of the great joys of my years in ministry. I will be sharing this series again, with the addition of two new messages and some revision all along the way, that is not only pertinent to a new year, but also to a new audience at Liberty Baptist Church.  Also, each Sunday night my wife will join me for a short time of Q and A from the audience.  Because there may be some sensitive information shared, we will provide a great children's activi

FeelMyFaith Goes Racing

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The FeelMyFaith.com logo is now on Randall Hill's # 17 driven by Jeff Smith.  They will be racing this weekend at the Ice Bowl at the Talladega Short Track.  Jeff is the defending champion from last year's event.  Jeff's goal is to not only win this year's race, but to make sure no one hits the FeelMyFaith logo :)!  Thanks guys.

For the Girls, For the New Year, For All of Us

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Here is a great article via The Gospel Coalition Blog by Jen Wilkin on cultural expectation and the gospel in light of the pressures of the new year.  The primary audience is women, but there is a good message here for all of us. ____________________________ A new year is upon us, and unless this one is much different from others, our conversations will be laden with talk of fitness goals and holiday diet missteps. The new year is traditionally a time for resurrecting our self-control, so this is no surprise. But this new year I have a different form of self-discipline in view---one with potentially longer-lasting effect than dropping a dress size. Last year about this time I came across an  article  showing ads from the 1930s and 40s selling products to help people gain weight. The ads made claims that sounded completely comical to our modern ears:  "Add 5 lb of solid flesh in a week!" "Since I gained 10 lb . . . I have all the dates I want!"  I sho