Final Thought: Bears

202cd7a761f4f7844346806649dbe28fAnytime one prepares a presentation, much like a written report, article, blog post or thesis paper, there are several iterations that could become the final product. Some ideas don’t go anywhere, better ideas take their place, maybe some good talking points came from brainstorming that ended up not being developed. You may even produce more than one version and have to make a decision but in any case there are always things researched or outlined that are left out of the final product. If lines or scenes are cut from a film you might find out about them in the director’s cut or by playing the DVD commentary. Since my goal is to post new material to my blog once or twice a week, I have a creative outlet for unused sermon material. Continue reading

Satur-deja Vu

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Family selfie with the Wienermobile. I mentioned last Saturday we were on our way to see this piece of Americana. They were giving out coupons, stickers and of course winnie whistles. I’ll include some more pics at the end of the post if anyone should care to view them. Continue reading

A Bible Story, pt. 2

20200124_081306When I showed my mother the new Bible I got for Christmas (part 1 if you haven’t read it) she mentioned needed a new Bible. Mom still carries the same Bible that Dad gave her back in the late 1980’s. She keeps it in a cover which may have been replaced a time or two. The Bible inside is over 30 years old and has pictures, newspaper clippings and notes from grandkids stuck in between the pages here and there. She wanted to know if my new Bible was a “real Bible” or something else. I knew exactly what she meant. That comes from spending a lifetime with a KJV only husband/preacher. Continue reading

A Bible Story, pt. 1

I was ordained as a minister at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Silver Creek, GA back in March of 2004. My pastor at the time, Mike Jones, had already asked me what version of the Bible I would like to receive at the ordination service. We were new to full time ministry, serving as state missionaries in Kentucky, and I had recently been introduced to the English Standard Version (ESV) by Michael Spencer. Mike Jones presented me with a thinline ESV, bound in black, which I carried on a regular basis for the next nine years in Kentucky. I preached from it in chapel, led BCM, taught Sunday and preached as pulpit supply as well as reading through it from cover to cover a few times. We “came home” in 2012 and visited a few churches before joining Trinity in Calhoun, where I was soon active in Sunday School, helping with church youth, preaching on a regular basis and eventually leading men’s ministry (still referred to as Brotherhood in some areas). After 15 years of regular use my trusty Thinline was looking worse for wear, the spine held together with some very distinguished looking black duct tape if I say so myself. Continue reading

Paperless Hymnal

This is a follow up to Dumping the Screen is Not the Answer. If you have not read that post please click here (before or after reading this post).

Screenshot 2020-01-22 at 4.49.30 PMWhen I wrote about how screens are not the problem with worship I used an image from The Paperless Hymnal. I’m going to share a link to their website with the understanding that 1) I have not purchased or used their products and 2) this is not a paid endorsement. I like the idea of having the words and music projected onto the screen for all those people that miss being able to read the music and follow along during worship.

A big screen is merely a vehicle to deliver information. If the information is creating a problem with your worship service, you need to project something else. If your old hymnal was a theology textbook, and your millennial praise and worship leader keeps giving you mind numbing repetitive choruses, the problem is not that projection ruined your worship experience. Screens and neither good nor bad, neither is a hymn book good or bad. If you want to sing congregational hymns steeped in good theology it shouldn’t be a problem, with or without physical hymnals. You may have a problem getting it past your church leadership but that’s another issue entirely.

Dumping the Screen is Not the Answer

I see memes on Facebook that say things like “Throw the screen in the trash.” My friends share links to competing articles promoting the virtues of digital projection and also what we lost when we stop using hymnals. I don’t think we have correctly identified the problem. Continue reading

Satur-deja Vu

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Seeing is no longer believing. I know that used to be true. Today anyone can make a fake sign and even real news articles sometimes have misleading headlines when you see them on social media. Sometimes satire websites, such as Empire News or the Christian site Babylon Bee, publish articles that are confused for real news and then get shared without the disclaimers. Take everything with a grain of salt unless you can verify through multiple sources. “If knowledge is power, then the internet is filled with completely useless power.” -Abraham Lincoln Continue reading