Topic | Church

Posts Categorized: Church

Don’t Be “That Guy” at Church

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Sure this is a blog post and not a “Dude Perfect” YouTube video, but in the spirit of that goofy group of friends who poke fun at “that guy” stereotypes everywhere from the basketball court to the movie theater, here’s a list of caricatures of characters that can be found wandering into churches and inflicting their clueless ideas and suggestions on unsuspecting saints. As you read this field guide to these rare (or not-so-rare) birds, you should start by laughing at the over-the-top descriptions, but then you should make sure that these stereotypes don’t describe you deep down. The Lineup. . .
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Staying Put: Sticking it Out When the Going Gets Tough

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The average American moves every five years. That’s a number that has stayed fairly stable for awhile. It includes everyone from the elderly who are not as prone to moving to the 18–24 year olds who are moving every year for college or first jobs or exploring. My experience in witnessing families around me is that this is fairly accurate. Whole families, all the pets and kids and stuff, out of here and on to there. New job, new church, new friends. Wipe your feet and move on down the road. The moves are financial, personal, going to something, going. . .
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Simplified Catechism for Toddlers

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When my first two children were two and three years old and just learning to speak, I unintentionally began asking them repeat things in stories, or from the Bible to help them stay engaged with the reading and to help remember what we were reading. I would ask them a question and have them repeat what I said in 3-4 beats/syllables. They seemed to like this and I noticed they were catching on, because they would say and mention these things in their evening prayers. To help them further, I decided to write down some of the things we had. . .
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For the Love of Food

By in Highlands Blog on

Human beings share a common love: food. I’m not referring to our common need of food, but of our common love for food. We relate certain foods to events, traditions, and people. When I think of Destin, Florida, I think of fish tacos. When I think of Crowder, Mississippi, I think of chicken and dressing. When I recall a trip to Zimbabwe, I think of grilled wart hog, a trip to Peru with cow heart and french fries, New York City with homemade mozzarella sticks, and Yemen with grilled lamb and flat bread. When I think of Tate County, (the. . .
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No One Wins at Whack-a-Sin

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Lessons from Whack-a-Mole Those clever little electronic moles! Just when you prepare to whack the one in front, he disappears and the rascal in the back pops up. You prepare to smite him and now he’s gone too. Look, over there! That’s the mole you should focus on now! Wait, no, that one! Mostly you just pound empty holes. The moles try to survive by alternating and distracting you, blurring your vision and confusing your aim. As a carnival game, it’s great fun. But when a sinful world adopts the same strategy and convinces you to play along, no one. . .
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Serving the Church & Community as a Family

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Mother and daughter serving by cleaning the floor together.

Are you too self-centered in your focus on your own family at the expense of the church community? How do we pursue serving within the church in balance with caring for our families? Does your rigid schedule keep you from flexing to meet the needs that your neighborhood and community have? Your children are an integral part of the church. How can you involve them in serving the community and teach them that the world doesn’t revolve around them? This episode we welcome special guests Mark and Andrea Robinette to join our conversation!

Keeping Kids in Worship

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Keeping your children in worship with you comes with challenges. How do you teach your children to pay attention and participate? What can you do to minimize the stress and disarray of getting ready Sunday morning to have your family prepared physically and mentally to join in worship on Sunday morning?

Evangelism & No Judgment Zones

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Unwelcome Evangelism The world desires safe spaces be maintained; spaces free of judgment, free of guilt, free of fear and shame. They love sin, and do not want their daily routine jarred by the Word of the Lord. Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish”—He preached a jarring message. When we take God’s Word to the streets we see how disturbing it is to feelings of safety in secular spaces. Worldlings chafe under the proclamation of the only existing remedy for their guilt and shame, and as their consciences are rubbed raw they scorn the ones who. . .
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Contention: Poison in the Field of Righteousness

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Growing Righteousness Where does righteousness grow? This is an important question for everyone who wants to reap a harvest of righteousness like James 3:18 talks about. But a harvest is an outcome and not every field contains the right kind of soil to produce that outcome. Many Christians sow seeds of righteousness only to find that the expected harvest never comes. James addresses this frustrating state of affairs by reminding us that soil matters just as much as seed, that righteous convictions must be combined with peaceful wisdom in order to produce fruit. Christians who share the same high opinion. . .
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Basement Tape #174: Speaking into Each Other’s Lives

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Audio: Speaking into Each Other's Lives (Basement Tapes 174)

“But exhort one another daily,”

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers,”

“Warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.”

Join us as we have a conversation about the biblical imperative to speak into each other’s lives.

22 Tips to Help Your Toddler Worship

By in Highlands Blog on

More than Just Keeping Toddlers Quiet As Christian families progress in training and teaching their children to love and worship God, we must make preparations for our children to participate with us in corporate worship. For my family and many that we know, our children have been a part of the worship service with us from their birth. We have good friends that have waited until their children were toddlers to have them participate in the worship service. No matter the timing, it is important that we begin by asking ourselves an important question: What is the purpose of your. . .
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Where’s the Meaning in Senseless Tragedy?

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Where's the Meaning in Senseless Tragedy?

Disturbing News Nothing remains certain. Politics, economics, and even going to a parade all share the same level of insecurity these days in the minds of people around the globe. Many are left wondering why the world is experiencing such unrest. Why does it seem like the world is unraveling? The answer, in one aspect, is incredibly simple: Everyone is a sinner and we live in a fallen world. But does that mean that there is no hope for having peace of mind? Are the only options to simply wring our hands or distract ourselves through amusement while the lunacy. . .
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5 Ways to Use an Elder

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Why Do We Need Elders? Many Christians know that 1 Timothy 3 is the place to go to look for the moral qualifications for serving the church as an elder. But sometimes we overlook the full reason why these criteria are there. Elders need to live godly lives, not simply to qualify for office, but in order to carry out the office. It is shameful when a church leader fails to live up to the standard of life that God expects, but God’s main concern isn’t avoiding embarrassment. He wants more people living lives that reflect His glory and so. . .
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15 Things to Remember When You’re Shattered

By in Highlands Blog on

My congregation, Saint Peter Presbyterian Church, had a split ten years ago. It was a sad and ugly affair that hurt deeply and estranged friends from one another. Suspicion, doubt, and anger, permeated our days while sleep evaded our nights. Food had little taste and music did little to comfort. As the Psalmist well said, “weeping endured the night.” We were in a season of great distress and sadness and even when I, as an individual, might succeed in “encouraging yourself in the Lord” I still suffered for others who struggled on wondering just what had happened. Not only did. . .
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Don’t Confuse the Bread with the Plate it Comes On

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Disagreeable Compliments As Christians, when we think about our faith or our worship, we often sink into thoughts or discussions about secondary doctrines or modes of worship. While there is surely a time and place for those discussions, I have been a bit dismayed of late with the relative proportion that is spent on what I would consider tertiary topics, or points of debate that are less than central. I have heard it said far too often (and sadly said it myself) when referring to a pastor or teacher, the constant self-protective caveat of “You know, I don’t agree with. . .
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Pursuing a Shared Life

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Growing in More than Knowledge When we live in an education-centric society, we tend to see the world through the lens of growing in knowledge and will filter our needs through an educational process. We look at the things we want to grow in, or the parts of our lives that we have a deficiency in, and we begin to seek out how we can better educate ourselves on this particular deficiency. I remember when our oldest son was just a few months old, I wanted to learn about what it’s like to have family worship. For me, this meant. . .
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Constructing the Future

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In a recent Basement Tape called Desiring the Kingdom, the fellows talked about the relative recent decline in a belief in, or even knowledge of, the Kingdom of God. It used to be a guiding force in the church this idea that the territory that was subjugated to the will of God would, or should, increase outward. And so the church planted roots and staked out territory, and erected actual physical representations of those beliefs. Juxtaposed to the storefront worship centers of our day are the cathedrals of yesteryear. Having a hundred plus year building plan stands in stark contrast. . .
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Showing Hospitality to Strangers

By in Highlands Blog on

An Inhospitable Place I had a dream the other night. This isn’t a unique occurrence for me but my dreams usually tend to mirror my conscious fears—something disastrous happening to my children for example. This dream was different. I dreamed that I was in a strange city. I’ve traveled a lot around the country, so this would normally not mean much. However, this was a foreign city. More specifically, I am guessing that it was a city either in the middle east, north Africa, or the region known as Eurasia. It was predominantly Muslim, and non-English speaking. I knew nothing. . .
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What to Do When Sheep Act Like Wolves

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Are They Sheep or Wolves? It’s easy to distinguish in our minds between wolves and sheep: Wolves are the ones attacking and eating sheep, sheep are the ones eating grass and listening to the shepherd’s voice. It becomes complicated though when we have to reckon with the reality of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Having been whacked a time or two or twelve by the shepherd’s rod, a wolf covers himself for a time in behaviors and actions designed to help him blend in with the sheep so that he can devour them on the sly. Thankfully, shepherds know to watch. . .
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