Topic | Community

Posts Categorized: Community

Does Commuting Kill Community? (pt. 2)

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Life is simpler when you live where you worship and work where you live. Geographically separating these three strands of life introduces all sorts of complications that take a great deal of common sense and godly wisdom to untangle. Instead of arbitrarily settling on work or home or church to be the center of your life, or choosing on the basis of convenience or high-minded principles, Proverbs 27:23 encourages us to “know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.” The people in your household matter most. If they are flourishing even in the wild ride. . .
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Freedom & Tyranny in Your Small Town

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The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. As Christians we know what true freedom consists of—freedom from the effects and consequences of our sin. Earthly freedom is of far less importance. A godly man can enjoy a free spirit though imprisoned, as our brother Paul aptly demonstrated. But of course, freedom of speech, of movement, of assembly, are a great blessing and one which we should desire for ourselves and our neighbors. And that is where involvement in the political systems of our towns comes to bear. Someone will be given the authority to make laws, to retract laws, to. . .
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Why Community Fails

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Community Pool People have funny ideas about what “community” is. Some think that it’s formed by a list of rules like the sign you first see at a pool that states clearly: No Running, No Diving, No Alcohol. Just keep the rules and you can stay. Break the rules and you just might lose your pool privileges. Others think of community as being in the pool together; this is what they have in common. They are all in the water and they are all wet. Some pools have memberships and the members have the entrance codes to the gate and. . .
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Does Commuting Kill Community?

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“The church has never really come to terms with the invention of the internal combustion engine.” Carl Trueman You can choose where you live. You can choose where you work. You can choose where you worship. Sometimes those choices converge, but usually balancing those poles of a life means commuting. Either you live close to your job and commute to church, or you live close to your church and commute to your job. Sometimes both. The time spent commuting can easily be redeemed, but it is much more difficult to counteract the de-stabilizing impact of a commute on a lifestyle. . .
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Know Who Your Friends & Your Enemies Are {A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life}

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Waging War Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?—James 4:1 Life together is difficult. I doubt many people will argue with that. We mount wars against each other when we should be blessed peacemakers. If we stop for a moment we can probably all think of an example of this in our own experience. The odd thing is that we keep looking for a serene existence all the while being led by our own desires to trample the perfect commands of God and grind. . .
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Skinflint Stewardship

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Controlling Grip Maybe you’ve seen something like this: someone holds out a twenty dollar bill, but when the other person starts to pull it away, the first person holds on to it with a death grip. They only let go after an imposing glare or a final meaningful remark. The point of such an act is about control. Even when the money finally leaves their hand, the hovering presence of the giver still follows the money around, breathing down the neck of the receiver. This cash comes with strings attached. Scripture tells us plainly that the borrower is the slave. . .
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Basement Tape #179: The State of Things

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The State of Things (Basement Tapes #179)

Highlands Ministries is twenty years old. We have been and still are teaching simple obedience to the Word of God, day by day, staying true to what is biblical even if it looks strange to the prevailing Christian culture. That’s no more and no less that what God demands.

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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For the Love of Food

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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!

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.

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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Showing Hospitality to Strangers

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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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Ministry isn’t Just Your Pastor’s Job

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Imagine a lazy man who never gets anything done. He’s full of good ideas and noble intentions but his arms and legs stay pretty much right where they are. When you point this out to him, he responds that he has a fully functioning nervous system, thank you very much. Isn’t listening to the signals passed on from the brain enough? Or, if the brain really wanted things done, wouldn’t it do them itself? Hopefully that doesn’t describe any real people you know, but unfortunately, it is the attitude of some real churches. In Ephesians 4, Paul fires up his. . .
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More Than Facebook Friendship

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We Need Friendship The deep need of many in our world is the need for friendship. Our society is bent towards making and growing friendships because we are made in the image of the Trinitarian God, a God of friendship. While many, myself included, decry what Facebook has done to the nature of friendships and community, Facebook is trying to be at the center of humanity’s deep desire for friendship. We can’t escape our need of friends because the One who created us is a Friend. “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He makes known. . .
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American Traveler, International Christian

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Having recently returned from a trip to Iceland and France with my two teenage daughters, I shared with the men of my church some of the benefits that I believe such an adventure can accomplish in the hearts and minds of those who travel. One of those benefits is the possibility of becoming more cosmopolitan than American and therefore more Christian. Now behind that statement there is no intent to denigrate my homeland; I only mean that the exposure to other places and people-groups helps to get the perspective that you and yours are not the center of the universe.. . .
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