Thoughtful Christianity

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January 17, 2017 • Biblical Thinking

‘Oh My God’ It’s just a word

Imagine you’re one of the teenagers running around the church at the tail end of a potluck. Your mom is picking up the last of your families contribution to the holy banquet and your dad is talking shop to some of the guys on the worship team. You look back over and your mom needs some help carrying the casserole to the car. You roll your eyes. Only a few more minutes to hang out with friends and now you have to clean up after the grown ups, great.

You take what you can, but you missed something. “Honey, can you grab the umbrella we brought in this morning too?” mom says in the distance. You keep walking; pretending not to hear. She speaks a little louder. You turn around, “Oh my God mom, give me a second.”

Suddenly, your moment of teen rebellion hits a high note. You’re getting stares from the old church ladies. They roll their own eyes and mumble something about using The Lord’s name in vain. Really? Is that really a big deal?

Big God – Small View

It’s truly amazing. Us humans Continue Reading

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January 15, 2017 • Thoughts on Personal Growth

The Weight of a Promise

Don’t treat the promises of people like the promises of God. They will disappoint. God will never.

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January 14, 2017 • Thoughts on Personal Growth

The Preacher’s Beatitudes

The Preacher’s Beatitudes was Originally Published by ‘The Ministry for World Evangelism‘ March 1954 Volume XXVII; Number 3 **Not a recommended publication in almost all situations


  1. Blessed is the preacher who knows how to preach.
  2. Blessed is the preacher who shortens his introductions.
  3. Blessed is the preacher who modulates his voice and seldom shouts.
  4. Blessed is the preacher who knows how and when to stop.
  5. Blessed is the preacher who preaches at himself.
  6. Blessed is the preacher who preaches on great themes.
  7. Blessed is the preacher whose sermons are articulated and progressive.
  8. Blessed is the preacher whose sermons are a unity, with a definite aim and every word cut out.
  9. Blessed is the preacher who sometimes allows the congregation to sing an entire song unexpurgated. (Why not get the time by cutting the sermon?)
  10. Blessed is the preacher who rarely uses the pronoun “I” (I shall read our passage).
  11. Blessed is the preacher who knows that the object is the end and the subject only the means to the end of the sermon.
  12. Blessed is the preacher who knows how much of the sermon he is responsible for, and how much he may and must leave to the Holy Spirit.
  13. Blessed is the preacher who is called of God, and called to preach.
  14. Blessed is the preacher who, having fully surrendered his life to God, is inspired of the Holy Spirit and anointed with power to reach souls for God and to educate them once they are saved.

Old yet Timely

How refreshing to get to read a short peace from a time so different than our own. These words were written in 1954 and yet they reach applicable to us today. The Preacher’s Beatitudes. May we as preachers know just what we ought to do. What is the next thing you are going to work on from here?

Source from andrews.edu – https://www.andrews.edu/library/car/cardigital/Periodicals/Ministry_Magazine/1954/1954_03.pdf

**Note that this publication is from a Seventh Day Adventist Publication and University. I would not encourage you to study from this site, however I found this particular piece useful for pastors. Again, I do not recommend their teaching for personal use or devotion.

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January 12, 2017 • Biblical Thinking

Sharing Your Faith: Where to start?

It’s a rare thing to ask someone in church if they would like to be better able to talk about their faith, and then hear them say, “No, I don’t.” The majority of church goers would at least humor the question asker and say that they would actually be really relieved if they knew a bit more on the subject. I think most of you really do want to know how to share your faith, it just comes down to the fact that you don’t reel prepared. Therefore, this resource is for you!

Where to Start?

The question often arises, “but where do I start?” A lot of churches are able to offer classes on such matters but are poorly attended. Many smaller churches aren’t even resourced enough to be able to offer them. Real Life is at that size where we would love to offer classes about such things, but it would be a big thing to ask one of our already volunteers to head one up. Not to mention it’s hard to get 10 people to all be able to commit to a single time during the week. Soon enough, but it’s tough!

I’m an avid googler and internet crawler, whatever that means, and I’ve come across an old gem that may just help. It’s a book that Billy Graham and his team produced back in the 1980’s. Old, sure. Useful, probably. Continue Reading

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I Don’t Read: The Excuse that Wont Die

How many times have we felt shamed by our insufficiencies about our reading ability? Many of us know full well how bad we are at reading. We know our own struggles with wading through thousands of words, just trying to find the intended meaning of a certain book. We’re left dizzy after not only seeing sentences that are hard enough, but when we have a hundred pages more to go.

Do our struggles with reading in general apply with our reading of the Bible? Is there a difference between reading Dickens and reading Paul? Hate me if you want, but I don’t think Continue Reading

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January 9, 2017 • Thoughts on Personal Growth

Next Good Thing

Sometimes we wonder what God’s will is. For those times when He seems not so direct: God’s will is the next good thing. No need to wait around for all the answers.

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January 7, 2017 • Thoughts on Personal Growth

Online On Purpose

It’s almost second nature to have some sort of an online presence. For some, that means keeping up with relatives and friends from a distance. For others, that could be that they are on it for a past time. Others use it for work or advertising. Truth is, most of us can easily fall into the trap of making social media more than it was ever supposed to be.

Social Media as Supplement for Real Life

For whatever reasons that we joined the online space, it probably started out small for us. Uploading a profile picture and a quick bio. Maybe we posted vacation pictures or started a blog to keep everyone up to date with their missions trip. But quickly, you may have noticed that you soon started putting more and more time and thought into what you were posting online.

Often times, as I have seen it constantly, social media use transforms into a consuming venture. At that, it becomes one with limited dividends. Which is where a lot of us find ourselves frustrated and not certain as to why.

Social Media – The Candle Stick that Became the Main Light Source

How many of us find ourselves scrolling to the bottom of the Facebook universe, searching for something insightful, entertaining, emotionally engaging and come up empty? I mean every day, if we aren’t careful, we fall into this cycle where we hope to find something that is revolutionary.

I believe that there is content out there that can be that, but we rely so much on chance when we look for it on Facebook or Insta. We become addicted to the hope of finding something that we can pass our time with. And it’s a hope that we can[t count on. All too often we scroll down and down, just to find the same video from yesterday.

Redeeming the Blackhole

The problem with social media Continue Reading

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