Speaking the Truth in Love

Church Blog

Focus on One Thing

Nick Saban, the head coach at Alabama since 2007, has won six national championships in his college coaching career. For that reason, he is paid handsomely — $8.6 million a year. And people listen when he talks football. In an interview with Fox Sports Radio some years ago, he said that “we are trying to…

Feelings Follow Thoughts

Feelings don’t readily submit to marching orders. A familiar hymn says, “Sing and be happy.” I’ve always liked that song — its pep and positive message. Everyone doesn’t see it in the same way, though. We certainly can choose to sing, but deciding to be happy is a real challenge, especially for people struggling with…

In One Heartbeat

Little Jaren was playing in the family’s swimming pool. His inflated raft flipped over. He kicked free – and then sank. My friend Clint, Jaren’s father, is a big guy, but he can move quickly if necessary. He raced to the pool and jumped in, rescuing the child before any harm was done. This rescue…

Quick to Forgive

On our 25th wedding anniversary, Carolyn and I spent the weekend in a quaint Indiana town near Bloomington. On Sunday morning, we visited a friendly church there. The brother presenting the Lord’s Supper comment said an insightful thing: We tend to be quick to condemn, but God is quick to forgive.” Being quick to condemn…

Growing in Prayer

Are you interested in having a more stimulating private prayer life? If so the five biblical suggestions described below should help: Pray in Unusual Places. Jesus went up into the hills to pray (Matt. 14:23), and Paul knelt in prayer on the beach (Acts 21:5). Praying in an unusual place is spiritually invigorating, and the…

Is It Wrong to Be Righteous?

One Saturday I tuned the radio station to ESPN, hoping to hear some talk about a game to be played later in the day. That morning the host of the program was irate over an email from a listener offended by the show’s affiliation with a liquor company. “Don’t write us again,” the host snarled.…

Sunshine and Shadow

Daily life in the church reminds us that suffering touches one family after another. Some families are struggling with serious health problems – cancer, injuries, chronic pain, age-related disabilities. Others feel overwhelmed by emotional pain. They have lost a spouse or child. They are broken by a divorce. Or they grieve over a defiant child’s…

Are You Dressed for the Wedding?

Carolyn and I ate dinner at Cracker Barrel one winter night some years ago. One of the other diners, a 10-year-old boy, was unusually dressed. He was wearing pajamas, a bathrobe, and a heavy coat. Imagining the conversation before the family left home for dinner was entertaining: “Charlie, put on some pants. We’re going to…

How to Build and Maintain a Dysfunctional Group

By Jerrie Barber Do you know a toxic elder, preacher, deacon, or Bible teacher (male or female)? Toxic leaders exhibit attitudes and behaviors such as these: They know everything, refuse to listen, gossip, betray confidences, criticize constantly, label everyone who disagrees with them a false prophet, attend church activities irregularly, act independently even though they…

Languages of Love

In 1992, Gary Chapman published his popular book “The Five Love Languages.” He wanted couples to understand that people express and interpret love in different ways. One woman feels cherished when her husband buys roses, but another wife prefers help with the dishes. One husband feels most loved when his wife pays him compliments, but…