Race In America: Our Time To Speak

If you’re interested in a Christian response to the recent surge of racial tension and division in American, you probably want to tune into the livestream of this panel discussion featuring leading American pastors, authors, and leaders. It’s on Tuesday, December 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. CST and you can register at live.kainos.is. Find out more here.



Monday-Transforming Love

God has blessed many of us with happy marriages, marriages in which we often think, “How can I love my husband or wife better?”

We love loving them, but we want to love them better, far better.

We want them to feel loved, and to feel more and more loved.

We enjoy thinking up ways to communicate our love with words, affections, and actions. We plan events, we buy gifts, we praise, we hug, we kiss, we laugh, we play, we study, we worship. And we still keep asking, “How can I love him/her better?”

But no matter how much time we devote to such pleasant plans, we still have to work, we still have to sleep, we have other responsibilities.

Much though we’d like to, we cannot spend every minute of every day thinking up ways to demonstrate our love to our wife or husband, no matter how much we might enjoy it.

Many days we can only spend a few minutes. Other days, no minutes at all. Sometimes weeks, or even months, might pass without once asking, “How can I love her/him better?”

Such is even the very best human love. 

But imagine if there was somebody who would love you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? Every year.

Someone who constantly dedicated himself to thinking up ways to commend, demonstrate, and communicate his love.

Someone who kept on asking, “How can I make her feel more of my love and enjoy more of my love?”

There is such a someone. It’s the God of everlasting love, the God who has been thinking up ways to love you before you were even born, before even time began (Jer. 31:3).

Imagine, Christian believer, the God of the universe has dedicated Himself to loving you, to making you feel loved, to helping you enjoy His love, to enter deeper into His love.

That’s what He’s doing even today. That’s what He’ll be doing tonight and tomorrow too. And the next day, and the next year. Non-stop. Forever.

As though you’re the only person He loves in the whole universe.

It’s His greatest joy and pleasure.

You’re His greatest love and pleasure.

That unchangeable love changes our Mondays, doesn’t it?

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Thank sermonaudio.com

sermonaudio-new-combo2-1400Friday morning I’m heading to Greenville, South Carolina, to speak at sermonaudio.com’s annual dinner.

I’d like to share some testimonies with the sermonaudio.com staff about how their website has been such a blessing in so many lives. So can you help me by writing in the comments about what sermonaudio.com means to you and I’ll share it with the team there tomorrow. Or join the lively discussion over at my Facebook page.

Perhaps you heard a special sermon at a special time. Or maybe it helped you when you couldn’t get out to church. Whatever it is, this is your opportunity to encourage a wonderful group of dedicated Christians, and express appreciation for the way the Lord has used sermonaudio.com in your life.

Thank you!

The Greatest Need Of Young Mothers Is…

I am absolutely convinced that one of the greatest needs in the church these days is for older women to help young mothers get some time on their own without their kids.

I’m not talking about older women mentoring younger women. What most young mothers need is not more teaching and nagging to do better, but simply to be “delivered” from their homes and children for a couple of hours a couple of times a week.

By “delivered” I mean simply this:

  • Older Christian women arranges to come to young mother’s home once or twice a week.
  • Young mother leaves house and sits in Starbucks for an hour with a book or an iPad, or goes to the gym, or walks in the park, or meets an old friend, or whatever.
  • Young woman comes back to house two hours later to find a room or two cleaned, the washing basket emptied, etc.

It’s not much to ask, is it? And yet, it would totally revolutionize so many young mothers’ lives to look forward to that couple of hours every week when they can just escape the 24/7 non-stop demands and stresses of mothering crazy young kids and running a home.

“But in our day…”

“But what did they do in the past? How did we all manage then?”

In the past there was a lot more close family support and even next-door-neighbor support for young mothers. But most families are now so busy and neighbors are more difficult to trust. Young mothers have never been so isolated and lonely and stressed and depressed.

Older women without children, I really believe that the greatest single thing that many of you can do for Christ and for your sisters in the Lord, is to offer them even just 1-2 hours, just once or maybe even twice a week, where they can walk away from unceasing and increasing responsibilities and just get some peace, quiet, and personal time.

And in the course of enhancing their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, you will also bless their children and husbands as they get the benefit of a happier and healthier mother and husband.

It would also mean a lot less depressed women for pastors to counsel.

So why not pick out a young mother you know at church next Sunday, and say, “I’d like to help you get some much-needed time to yourself every week. How about I come round every Tuesday at 2pm to look after your kids and you do whatever you want for two hours.”

And bring a Kleenex with you, because you’ll see tears of joy.

Dear Evangelicals, You’re Being Well-Served

Last week I commented on a Daily Beast article entitled Dear Evangelicals, You’re Being Had.

On Monday, I received a note from a friend here in Michigan that I deeply respect, who, while agreeing with the problems of Evangelicals being too enamored with the political process and their naïvety about the ways politicians want to use them, also wanted to offer some gentle pushback.

While sympathetic to my main point about prioritizing heart-change more than law-change, he felt I painted with too broad a brush and had undervalued the good work that is being done by Christians in the political arena.

He didn’t ask that I publish his points, but I contacted him and he gave permission for a summary to be posted. Here it is below:

  • Although many Republicans don’t give a rip about evangelical Christianity, a great many sincerely do.
  • There are regular prayer meetings of Christian Republicans who serve in the State Capitol.
  • I can think of one elected Republican who though not a Christian himself, yet has many around him who are and are trying to make the best decisions for the state and for the glory of Christ.
  • In the last ten years numerous states have passed strong pro-life measures at the state level—invariably these have been passed in GOP-controlled legislatures.
  • In Michigan right now there is a fierce debate about religious freedom and its relationship to the LGBT issue. It’s almost certain that our state would have more onerous restrictions on religious freedom were it not for Republicans.
  • The State of Michigan requires abstinence-based sex education and each district’s sex education committee is required to have clergy participation.
  • The Attorney General is a Christian and a Republican who took a big hit in the polls for upholding our state’s marriage amendment.
  • The district court for this region (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee) is the only one to rule thus far that a state’s marriage amendment is not unconstitutional. Our Attorney General’s office defended the marriage amendment in court. This would not have happened under a different administration.

As I said in my original article, “I don’t believe that Christians should give up the political battlefield – there’s still an important role there for some Christians.”

But in the light of my friend’s comments, let me also express my deep gratitude for the Christians who do serve Christ in the political process and thank God for the successes in Michigan as outlined above. I’m sure this is duplicated in other States as well. May God continue to bless these worthy efforts for the good of many.