Secular tip that has a spiritual use – be friendly, but clear

Here’s tip #1, #2 and #3.

In this 4th, and final, tip there is the idea of balance when it comes to the delivery of God’s word by the preacher (or anyone teaching).

Tip #4 is simply: Be friendly, but be clear Continue reading

Secular tip that has a spiritual use – end goal, not entertainment

To understand where I’m coming from with this tip, if you haven’t read the first post, you’ll need to check this out first.

Tip #3 is as useful as it is straightforward. Continue reading

#preaching-point, #spiritual-application, #spiritual-goals, #spiritual-illustrations

Secular tip that has a spiritual use – remember your audience

As I mentioned in my last post about problem solving, getting to sit in on a work-related class gave me to do something I enjoy doing – finding spiritual uses in secular tips. The willingness to hone this skill allows preachers to pass along spiritual knowledge by giving illustrations that use the knowledge people already have about various secular things in life. Such is the reason why Jesus’ parables still stick to this day! Remember how to talk to your audience, and they may be better able to remember what we say.

With that being said, tip #2 is: Continue reading

#audience, #preaching-point, #spiritual-application, #spiritual-illustrations

Secular tip that has a spiritual use – problem solving

I spent the last couple of days in Knoxville on a work-related trip. The trip was useful. I got to listen to several good speakers talking about things that can, could or do affect my day-job.

One speaker discussed the topic, “Best Practice for User Experience.” The topic revolved around tips to keep in mind when creating something that will be used by others. Some of the tips had a great correlating spiritual point that can and should be used by preachers – although a couple of the points aren’t as promising. Not saying the point isn’t true (because it is)…just saying the point needs to be kept in mind due to its poor, but honest, reflection of many listener’s mindsets. Over the next the few days I’m going to share the tips I believe are worth noting.

Tip #1: Continue reading

#preaching-point, #sin, #spiritual-applications, #spiritual-illustrations

Serving others by standing-up for them

When it comes to displaying godly behavior, the ways of doing so are numerous. In the latest issue of Gospel Minutes the following point was made after noting Joseph’s willingness to stand-up for his brother Benjamin during his incognito interaction with the rest of his brothers:

This is one of our principle duties as Christians. We are not here to just go through the motions of worship and religious activities. We are here to protect the weak. We must act when we see children abused. We must act when we see domestic abuse. We must act when we see people at risk or in danger of maltreatment and do all we can to protect them. In the process, we may (like Joseph) discover what it is in the hearts of others. In the meantime, we will be rescuing a helpless victim. (Taking Responsibility by David Thurman – Gospel Minutes – Volume 66, No. 16)

The social justice movement abuses the essence of the gospel, but the essence of the gospel comes with the responsibility of societal justice. In other words, we have a responsibility to love our neighbor, and that includes not only doing right ourselves but also helping others when they are wronged. This responsibility can be seen in the lessons of the Good Samaritan, the woman taken in adultery and even in the interaction between Jesus and Simon the Pharisee (not to mention Jesus’ crucifixion and everything that surrounded his injustice).

As Christians, we cannot “fix” the world but we can help others by being a light that reveals the difference between right and wrong.

But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:13 NKJV)

#christianity, #help-others, #joseph, #quote

What is it?

I’m not a horticulturist or even a nurseryman, but I have spent a whole lot of time in the woods. During that time I’ve seen a lot of neat things and a lot of weird things. Today I saw a new thing that made me say, “What is that?”

So I ask you, “What is it?” Continue reading

#pictures, #plants, #question

Russia is cracking down on religious freedom

The Russian court has banned the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and ordered the organization to handover its property to the government. Not good!

I don’t have sympathy with the “Kingdom Hall’s” doctrine, but I do worry about this move by the Russian government because this move is being made under the guise of the Jehovah’s Witnesses being an “extremist” organization. According to the linked-story:

“Russian authorities have put several of the group’s publications on a list of banned extremist literature and prosecutors have long cast it as an organization that destroys families, fosters hatred and threatens lives.”

I can honestly say several things about the way I feel when it comes to the people who do a lot of door-knocking, but one thing I can’t say when it comes to Jehovah Witnesses’ (unless Russian Jehovah Witnesses’ are extremely different from their American counter-parts) is that they make me think of “extremism” in relation to national security. I believe their position on certain things such as blood-fusions are unwise, but to describe them as a group who threatens lives because of such a position is as unwise as the original point-of-view. And those pamphlets don’t self-destruct when you remove them from your door!

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses can be “outlawed” in any sense of the word then I am afraid such a mentality could easily be targeted at anyone who teaches differently from the Eastern Orthodox Church or the current nationalistic mindset … including individuals who seek to be viewed only as a Christian and member of the church which predates the Eastern Orthodoxy.

#jehovahs-witnesses, #religion-and-politics, #religious-persecution