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Showing posts from January, 2018

Tongues on the Football Field (continued)

Tongues on the Football Field (continued)
This column is a continuation from last week. It is about tongues and prophecy.  When I was in my early twenties, I read a quote from a Christian philosopherwho said that for Christianslife is not just a problem to be solved; life is also a mystery. The tendency of many Christians, like me, is sometimes to approach the Christian life (and even God Himself) as a series of problems to be solved with our minds. We think that if we apply reason to the Bible, we can solve almost anything! (We forget that we cannot understand anything truly important about God without the Holy Spirit.)  The Christian philosopher I mentioned, Gabriel Marcel, reminds us that much about God and life is mysterious. In the letter of I Corinthians (2:9-10), Paul says that the Spirit searches the depths of God. He says that eye has not seen, ear has not heard, and the heart has not conceived what God has prepared for us, but God has revealed it to us through His Holy Spirit. …

Tongues on the Football Field

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Tongues on the Football Field  Recently Alabama came from behind to beat Georgia in the college national championships. In the second half of the game, with Alabama down 13-0, coach Nick Saban put into the game a freshman quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. People were amazed that Alabama came back from a deficit to win the game in overtime.  Yahoo sports wrote an interesting article on this, from which I will now quote at some length. “How, in the name of Bear Bryant, did a freshman bench jockey rise to this ridiculously pressurized occasion and become an instant hero? ‘I was praying,’ Tagovailoa said. ‘I was speaking in tongues. It kept me calm.’” “He prayed before possessions. He prayed after possessions. He prayed and passed and scrambled his way into Alabama lore. ‘I would say my poise comes from my faith,’ Tagovailoa said. ‘I just pray for peace.’” https://sports.yahoo.com/savior-alabama-never-knew-needed-tua-tagovailoa-084441084.html Another website, seccountry.com, had this headline: “…

“The Lukewarm Church, continued….”

“The Lukewarm Church, continued….”
Last week I wrote about Jesus‘s words to the church at Laodicea in Asia minor. These words are contained in Revelation, chapter 3, verses 14 through 22. In these verses Jesus tells the Laodicean church that they are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, and that he is about to spit them out of his mouth. Usually whenever I read this passage I am concerned because I think it is a fairly accurate description of much of the Christian Church in America, and that it is also sometimes a just description of me as an American church pastor and leader (albeit retired.)

I ended what I wrote last week by asking people to pray for me to be more committed to the Lord, and also to pray for themselves if they felt that the passage also addressed them. I remember I felt a little uneasy with that ending and so I ended the article with a sentence saying that I would continue talking about it again this week. As I revisit this passage, I want to stress that it is not so …

A New Year’s Prayer

Recently my wife and I were reading the scripture which quotes Jesus as saying to the church in Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20-22, New King James Version) This verse is often used in evangelistic situations—in other words to invite someone to invite Jesus Christ into their life. And the truth is that Jesus DOES want us to invite Him into our lives. However, if you look at Revelation 3 where this verse occurs, you will see that Jesus is apparently talking to people who were already Christians at the Church in Laodicea in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) in the first century, AD.  
Jesus is telling those church members that because they are “luke-warm,” (neither hot nor cold) he is about to spit them out of his mouth. He says: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—…