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A review of Disruptive Witness by Alan Noble

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Every month the men of our church gather for a men's breakfast. It's the typical thing that you would expect, lots of gravy, bacon, biscuits, another conversation thrown in. The conversation revolves around the things that you might expect to happen at a men's breakfast in a rural community.  There's always talk of hunting, or fishing, or maybe working on cars or other manly type activities. Occasionally and gets in the politics, although we try to limit that. And the conversation is always followed up by a devotion, a reflection on scripture from one of the men and usually a time of prayer. It's something that I have come to look forward to as a pastor, both for the fellowship, the conversation, and the devotions. Last month the conversation turned to a new topic, the impact of technology and social media in society and how we as a church can help speak to some of those things. They were all types of opinions represented, some by people who don't have social …

As Sanctified as I want to be

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In a recent conversation with my wife about something at church, I expressed my disagreement with the way something was being done. It's just not the way I would do it. I found myself blurting out to my wife, "I don't care if they do it as long as they do it my way."
Pastors and anyone who is a leader can be guilty of this thought. But we all are guilty of thinking this way when it comes to our sanctification in Christ.  
The Bible is clear that justification, the event by which we are made to be in right standing before God, is a one time event. Jesus accomplished this on the cross, once for all becoming our stand in.  We can only be justified once, and that comes when we accept our need for Christ and admit our belief in the life, death, and resurrection as Christ.
While justification is instantaneous, sanctification takes a lifetime to complete. Sanctification is the process by which we are made more holy, bringing out character and habits in line with Christ.…

The Southern Baptist Convention is a symphony not a melting pot.

In 1915 America was in crisis.  The large wave of immigrants had threatened what people deemed the “American way of life.” In other words, people didn't like that others were different from them. It was in this culture that Jewish scholar and writer Horace Kallen wrote his 1915 essay “Democracy versus the Melting Pot.”  Kallen challenged the popular notion of America as a melting pot.  To Kallen the very idea of a melting pot contradicts part of what it means to be American, of a country of people founded on freedom and equality.  He challenged that America was not a melting pot, but a symphony.  In a symphony, the different instruments work together, creating a distinct sound that cannot be made of a group of instruments that are all the same.  

Kallen believed that America should not seek to be homogenous, singing in unison.  Instead they should be “a multiplicity in a unity, an orchestration of mankind.” The beauty of a symphony is not that all the instruments are the same, but…

How to Thrive as a Type-B Pastor

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The man’s desk was impressive. It was big, shiny, and obviously very expensive. But what was more impressive to me was how clean it was.  No stacks of paper, no post it notes, nothing except a computer and a legal pad. I had come to visit a local business man to talk about some issues that he could offer advice on.  He gave good advice, but when I left I kept that thinking about that clean desk.
I did pass several assistants on the way in, to be sure. But I could have the same number of assistants and my desk would still be filled with post it notes, books half read, and lots of piles of paper.  It’s just the way my mind works.  I still manage to get everything done, but I’m as Type B as they come.No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be one of those Type A pastors who finish their to do list every day.  It’s not for lack of trying.  I have read all about ‘Getting Things Done” and I have tried most of the best to-do apps out there. It helps a little bit, but at the end I’m just a sligh…

Waiting 3 More Days By the River

For forty years the Israelites had wandered in the desert. The leader of Israel had passed away, though “his eye was not dim nor his step abated.”A whole generation had passed away, who didn’t have the faith that God could lead them into the land flowing with milk and honey.
But all that was in the past now. Joshua was the leader now.Trained under Moses, he was the one who was going to lead this new generation across the Jordan.In the book of Joshua chapter three it’s recorded that Israel finally makes it across the river, into the land that God promised to Abraham hundreds of years before.Finally they could be where they were supposed to be. The focus of the chapter is on Israel crossing, the Ark of the Covenant before them, into the land that they had been waiting for.The waters of the river stop, and the nation passes across on dry ground.
But before they do, the book of Joshua records a curious fact.
Joshua 3:1-2 Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israe…

Where Are the Answers?

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My family kept them on the top shelf in the dining room.It was also an office, at times a nursery, and where the piano was. I don’t know where we got them from, but I remember them seeing them as a child sitting up on the top shelf, all neatly arranged.Sometimes I would get them down just to flip through and see what I could learn.The encyclopedias were source of knowledge, wisdom, and entertainment for an introverted kid like me.I don’t know if they were a particularly good set, but they were ours.My siblings and I used them for homework sometimes, or just as heavy books to press leaves in.If there was a question that we didn’t know the answer to, we could find it in there.
It’s helpful to know where the answers are.As a child we believe our parents have most of the answers.As we grow up we learn they don’t, and so we begin to look elsewhere.Somewhere along the way my family traded our encyclopedias for a computer.More likely we traded them for an encyclopedia on the computer, (Encar…

A Resolution Concerning Allegiance to the Gospel over Political Party

I submitted this resolution for consideration to the 2018 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Dallas.  In this age of divisiveness and clamor it's my desire that the Convention make public that Southern Baptists are not beholden to vote for something just because it has Democrat or Republican attached to it. The SBC needs to pledge it's allegiance to the gospel over political party.


WHEREAS, Scripture declares, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul.” (I Peter 2:10-11); and WHEREAS, The Baptist Faith and Message says, “All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society.”; and, WHEREAS, Christians live in a world that is not our ultimate home; and WHEREAS, The political system in America has become increasingly divisive…