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Showing posts from May, 2015

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 6

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Psalm 6 is our prayer after a sleepless, tear filled night.  It is the petition from our pain that seeks an answer from God of why life is so unfair and how long He will allow it to go on.   Join me each morning for Back Porch Psalms live on Periscope .       Subscribe in a reader

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 6

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Psalm 6 is our prayer after a sleepless, tear filled night.  It is the petition from our pain that seeks an answer from God of why life is so unfair and how long He will allow it to go on.   Join me each morning for Back Porch Psalms live on Periscope .    

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 5

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Prayer is to be honest, but not careless; spontaneous but not thoughtless.  A day well prepared in prayer helps one to remain in the presence of God even in times of deep distress.  Join me each morning on Periscope for Back Porch Psalms.    Subscribe in a reader

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 5

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Prayer is to be honest, but not careless; spontaneous but not thoughtless.  A day well prepared in prayer helps one to remain in the presence of God even in times of deep distress.  Join me each morning on Periscope for Back Porch Psalms. 

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 4

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How do we pray in times of distress?  Our prayers in distress are important, but so are our actions.  How do we respond in times of distress?  Learn how as we take some time to meditate and pray through Psalm 4. If you want to be notified when Back Porch Psalms go live, follow me on Periscope .   Subscribe in a reader

Back Porch Psalms - Psalm 4

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How do we pray in times of distress?  Our prayers in distress are important, but so are our actions.  How do we respond in times of distress?  Learn how as we take some time to meditate and pray through Psalm 4. If you want to be notified when Back Porch Psalms go live, follow me on Periscope .

God's Ungrateful Guest

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See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.   (1 John 3:1 ESV) How often do I respond to God’s grace as if I am an ungrateful guest rather than His son? The language of the gospel offers the invitation for me to abide in Him, enjoy communion with Him, to be guided and guarded by Him, to be loved.  God says I am His child. Yet I only want to leave.  I do not want a place to dwell, I only want a place to stay.  In His grace He opens to me His home, yet I use it like a cheap hotel room.  I have no intent to connect with Him, I just need the password to the wifi.  I have no intent to commune.  I am staying here because I can get a free breakfast.  And then I’ll be on my way. The gospel calls me to be a citizen of Heaven.  I go through the day more like someone staying at Hampton Inn. Hey God, when I need you, I’ll call you.  I’ll make a reservation along the way - what’s the rate?  It’s all on my terms, in my time

Happy Birthday to My Bride

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We fell in love in college.  You were finishing your freshman year.  I was finishing my college career.  We dated for two months before we spent the next 22 hardly ever within five hours of one another.  I was in seminary, then an interim youth pastor, then a pastor.  The snippets of time we salvaged together were usually late on a Friday night or a shortened Saturday afternoon.  Why?  I have always been crazy about you.  I would drive every hour of the distance to spend what seemed like just five minutes with you, but you always understood why I had to end every date early - Sunday’s coming. You never saw it as a chore.  You were always proud that this was us.   Youth lock-in. Valentine banquet. Visitation. Worship service that morning, a meeting that afternoon, worship again that night. Some people had steak, we had casserole.  Who needs to go out to eat so much when you have potluck?  Even though it should have been your night, you sat there with me at a napkin-paper

How To Make Millions

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From God’s Word I am going to show you not only how to plug the drain, but to turn on the faucet.  We need to stop the drain, but we also need to make some gain. If you could, would you not only be willing to stop the drain, but would you be willing to make millions?  What I am about to say may shock you, but if you follow Jesus you should not want less, but more - millions! How to Make Millions from Brian Branam on Vimeo . Are you making an investment with God's resources or simply holding on and just trying to plug the drain. Learn how to not only stop the drain in your finances, but how to turn on the faucet to true wealth. Brian Branam is the Lead Pastor of  Liberty Baptist Church in Dalton, GA  and the author of  #TheWalk , now on Kindle for just $3.49.

Jesus Just Stops (An Excerpt from #TheWalk)

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God is the prime mover, but He is not a fast mover.  As prime mover, God set all things in motion.  As a general mover, God is frustratingly slow.  Two stories serve to demonstrate. The pace of Luke 8 seems fast and furious.  Jesus is healing.  He is teaching.  His family is looking for Him.  He is caught in a turbulent storm that He calms while crossing the sea.  He casts demons out of a maniac man who lives in a graveyard.  There is a lot happening.  The more He does, the more attention He draws and the crowd grows. When it seems like the stories have reached fever pitch, Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue falls at Jesus‘ feet and asks Jesus to accompany him to his house.  His twelve-year-old daughter is sick and dying.  Jairus is desperate for Jesus to heal her.  Jairus thinks he needs Jesus to move fast.  Jesus is more interested in helping Jairus go far.  As much as Jesus has going on, He complies and begins the walk toward Jairus‘ home.  The next part of the verse sets the s

How to Help When Mother's Day Hurts (Part 2)

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I have a great mother who is involved in my life.  I have been married to the same wonderful woman since Feb. 1, 1997 and she is the mother of both of my daughters.   Mother’s Day is a joyous, easy fit holiday for our family.   Sometimes life is not made for holidays.  Hallmark has yet to create a card that explains every situation.  Under certain circumstances, the perceptions of Mother’s Day may range from an annual reminder of loss to an empty celebration of a relationship someone never had.  Yet, in our perfection and dysfunction, we all sit together in church.  In comes Mother’s Day, once a year, with a glossary of stereotypes, categorical assumptions, and ignorance of the caveats of life that may make celebrating motherhood at bit uneasy. What do we do when Mother’s Day hurts? How do we avoid, amongst the people of God, emotional separation in a day of celebration? How can we do Mother’s Day in a way that is not insensitive but at the same time remains sincere?   In

How to Help When Mother's Day Hurts (Part 1)

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I have a great mother who is involved in my life.  I have been married to the same wonderful woman since Feb. 1, 1997 and she is the mother of both of my daughters.  Mother’s Day is a joyous, easy fit holiday for our family.  Sometimes life is not made for holidays.  Hallmark has yet to create a card that explains every situation.  Under certain circumstances, the perceptions of Mother’s Day may range from an annual reminder of loss to an empty celebration of a relationship someone never had.  Yet, in our perfection and dysfunction, we all sit together in church.  In comes Mother’s Day, once a year, with a glossary of stereotypes, categorical assumptions, and ignorance of the caveats of life that may make celebrating motherhood at bit uneasy. What do we do when Mother’s Day hurts? How do we avoid, amongst the people of God, emotional separation in a day of celebration? How can we do Mother’s Day in a way that is not insensitive but at the same time remains sincere?   Every

Your Biggest Money Mistake

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Spending is a character choice, not a dollar amount. Your Biggest Money Mistake from Brian Branam on Vimeo . Spending is a character choice, not a dollar amount.

Where is God?

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- On 2 Kings 2:1-14 - Ten years prior, the prophet Elijah came by to interrupt the life of a young man plowing a field.  From behind a plow God called a prophet.  Elisha responded by inviting everyone to feast on his team of oxen.  No matter what happened with the prophet gig, there was no going back.    For the next decade and the next 4 chapters of Scripture Elisha’s name isn’t mentioned.  His story is absorbed into Elijah’s.  Elijah’s story has become Elisha’s life. And now the prophet Elijah is gone; whisked away suddenly by a chariot of fire in a whirlwind.  “And when Elisha saw it, he cried, ‘My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen (2 Kings 2:12)!’”   Elisha mourned the prophet’s departure as if it were the loss of his father.  In a sense, the loss of a father is exactly what it was.  Some give us natural birth.  Some show us the way to new birth. But what does Elisha mean as he mourns for the horsemen?  The phrase, “The chariots of Israel and its horsemen”

Where is God?

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- On 2 Kings 2:1-14 - Ten years prior, the prophet Elijah came by to interrupt the life of a young man plowing a field.  From behind a plow God called a prophet.  Elisha responded by inviting everyone to feast on his team of oxen.  No matter what happened with the prophet gig, there was no going back.    For the next decade and the next 4 chapters of Scripture Elisha’s name isn’t mentioned.  His story is absorbed into Elijah’s.  Elijah’s story has become Elisha’s life. And now the prophet Elijah is gone; whisked away suddenly by a chariot of fire in a whirlwind.  “And when Elisha saw it, he cried, ‘My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen (2 Kings 2:12)!’”   Elisha mourned the prophet’s departure as if it were the loss of his father.  In a sense, the loss of a father is exactly what it was.  Some give us natural birth.  Some show us the way to new birth. But what does Elisha mean as he mourns for the horsemen?  The phrase, “The chariots

Just the Quotes from Exponential East 2015

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Jim Tomberlin “If they can do this in Mississippi, it will work at your church.” “Growing churches have collaborative leadership teams.” “God breathed into us the desire to be fruitful and productive.  God mastered multiplication (Gen. 1:28).” Ying Kai “We’ve been asking people to come when we should be telling people to go.” “People don’t share the gospel because they don’t know where to start and they don’t know what to say.” “Don’t ask for permission to share the gospel.  We don’t need permission to share Jesus’ love.” Steve Murrell “Jesus’ job, build the church.  Our job, make disciples.” “In the western church ‘discipleship’ is a class to help members become better members.” Joby Martin On Matthew 16:19, “Are you building key rings, or handing out keys?” Steve Stroope “Acts 1:8 is not sequential, it is simultaneous.” “Leadership is anticipation.” Dave Ferguson “The words we use reinforce the values of our culture.” J.D. Greear “

Best and Worst from Exponential East 2015

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Last week I spent four days at Exponential East hosted by Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, FL.  Exponential is a movement of reproducing churches envisioned by Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community in Chicago .  This was my first time participating in the conference and I plan to return in 2016.  I left the place with a notebook full of takeaways.  Here is my list of the BEST and WORST from Exponential East 2015.  WORST - Realizing how un-cool I really am.  Maybe it is the shape of my head or the shape of my face, but there is nothing about me that can pull off the whole “I’m wearing a toboggan in Florida in late April” thing and make it look awesome.  Scanning the crowd I realized that I was one of only a handful of people who did not have facial hair or a forearm full of tattoos.  As a matter of fact, I think I saw the other ten clean shaven, tat-less preachers at the Jacksonville pastor’s conference in January.  Hey fellas, next year let’s sit together and exchang