Topic | Church

Posts Categorized: Church

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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The Spirit of the Age is Alive & Well in the Bible Belt

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I have lived in Tate County, Mississippi nearly all of my life. Tate County is made up of small Southern towns and rural communities, totaling just fewer than 30,000 residents. In terms of belief system, Tate County is predominately Southern Baptist. Politically, it is overwhelmingly made up of Reagan Conservatives and “blue dog” Democrats. Nearly every student attends public schools. Tate County is a typical Bible Belt county, which is a sign of strength and weakness. It is certainly more like Mayberry than Babylon. Nonetheless, it and communities like it are not free from the spirit of the age rooted. . .
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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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Why Christians Hate Each Other

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Firing Shots at Fellow Christians I remember this time when this friend of mine had a disagreement that turned into a fierce argument. We both shot at each other with bursts of sarcasm attempting to win what had moved from discussion into a contest. Problem was, this sad and disturbing display was semi-public, it was at the place where we worked and all around us were people who we had been witnessing to for some time. One of them addressed us in shock, “The two of you are fighting?!” That gave both of us pause, we stopped the verbal and. . .
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Balancing Home & Church

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How do you balance the constant pulls for time from church activities with a healthy family life? How do you build routines that work for your family and don’t neglect the fellowship and ministry of the church? Does being at home with your kids mean that you are not doing “ministry”? Remember that during different seasons in your family life your involvement in ministry activities may look very different.

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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This is the Culture the Church Has Created

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In the early chapters of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick, Ishmael visits a worship service before joining a ship’s crew and heading out on his whaling expedition. The architecture of the church building he enters has a nautical theme and the pulpit is fashioned to resemble the bow of a ship. Ishmael comments on the propriety of this design: For the pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the. . .
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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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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

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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!

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.

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