Remembering Internet Monk

Screenshot 2015-04-08 at 7.40.37 PMThe Internet Monk website is alive and well thanks to the efforts of Mike Mercer and some other talented individuals. This week marks 5 years since the passing of the original Internet Monk Michael Spencer. Whether your in the fan club camp or have no idea who I’m talking about, check out this collection of Michael Spencer quotes from the iMonk archives. If you still want some more, check out Internet Monk every Sunday for a series of “Sundays with Michael Spencer.”

True story – I came to the back door of the faculty dining hall at Oneida Baptist Institute. It was my first year teaching and I wouldn’t have a key to that door for another year. I knocked on the door, banged on the glass, waved my hands over my head. I could have sworn a couple of people looked right at me and continued eating. After walking around the building I relayed my story in a very animated fashion. Michael Spencer stopped eating just long enough to say “If you want a friend in Oneida, get a dog.”

Michael and I went on to become great friends; but we also got a dog because we were new and I didn’t know if that advice was sarcasm or not.

Link List Turns 250

Screenshot 2015-04-08 at 10.26.27 AMI don’t mention the Wednesday Link List on here every week for several reasons. For one thing, many of my readers are probably reading or following Canadian blogger Paul Wilkinson already. Linking a list of blog links also has a certain redundancy to it, especially if the list includes a link back here. I do post a link every week on the Facebook page, but that page has fewer followers than this blog and of course not everyone is on Facebook, so I do like to mention it from time to time.

Today marks a milestone as the Wednesday version of the Link List hits 250 posts!  It also contains a couple of posts I really enjoyed, like 10 Secrets of the Senior Pastor and the Religious Affections article on How Our Children Learn to Worship. So if you haven’t seen today’s Wednesday Link List pop in for a short visit. It’s also better to click through and leave comments at the sources and not just on the Link List page.

Please Do Not Feed the People

Screenshot 2015-03-09 at 2.28.28 PMIt made news last November when a 90 year old man was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, FL for feeding the homeless. 33 cities have either banned or are considering a ban on giving food to homeless people. It is not illegal to be homeless and the thinking, which is flawed, is that by cutting off support homeless people will go away. I used to wonder as a child why starving children shown on television didn’t just go somewhere else, where there was food and water. The world is a little more complicated than that, but city leaders are apparently susceptible to that line of thinking.

Loving people, providing for the needy, feeding the hungry, giving to anyone that asks – just one more thing Jesus would be arrested for today.  Continue reading

Seven Years: Time Flies When You’re Blogging Fun

7 candle I’m better at writing copy than coming up with clever headlines. At any rate, it has been seven years to the day since the first blog post. Here’s an excerpt from 3/4/2008:

I’m looking to seriously devote some time and energy to sharing my ideas on apologetics, theology, the Bible and the Gospel message…  There is a lot of junk out there, particularly on the internet, and if I can add some truth, share a word of hope, spread the gospel online to places I will never visit in person, then this becomes another opportunity to be a witness.

That was post #1. For the record this is post #927. Back then we still had dial-up internet at our house; anything as big as a jpeg file I had to upload from the campus ministry office. I left MySpace to join Facebook and latter Twitter. While I often fail in my attempt to post new material at least 2 or 3 times per week hopefully the the goals listed above have been achieved. Our daughter Johannah was born in 2009 and we “came home” to Georgia in 2012. In 2014 I published my first book and answered the call to pastor a small SBC church. I often say that whatever we are doing right now is preparation for what God will call us to next. Most things change but there are a few things that never do. And hopefully for many years to come The Master’s Table will go on being God honoring and Christ centered.

 

The Master’s Table Tutorial

Screenshot 2015-02-19 at 11.39.36 AMIf you are well acquainted with The Master’s Table then you probably don’t need the tutorial. I’m not trying to insult anyone’s intelligence but new subscribers still trickle in from time to time and search engines bring visitors daily. After blogging these many years I decided a tutorial for first time visitors might be a good place to start. Continue reading

The Read and Share File: Ronnie Floyd on the SBC

SBC I read a lot of stuff. Each week I check out most of the links on Paul Wilkinson’s Wednesday Link List and Daniel Jepsen’s Saturday Ramblings. I visit Church Leaders .com several times frequently as well as subscribe to several WordPress blogs via their built-in reader. Baptist Press is the newsletter of the Southern Baptist Convention and it comes to my email inbox daily. I share relatively few of the many news articles and blog posts I read each day. Most of what I publish is my own stuff, the Master’s Table is more than an aggregator. My readers know how to find the Internet, duh. But every now and then I find something particular enjoyable, very informative or rather important and pass those things along in a bit I like to call The Read & Share File.

Ronnie Floyd has been the president of the Southern Baptist Convention for less than one year but has observed a few things. He also has a few concerns:

Lesson #1: Change is in the air

While many imagine that our convention never changes, this is just not the case. Churches, associations, state conventions and Southern Baptist entities are changing. Are they all changing? Probably not, but I would say many are changing because they know they must change to stay or become relevant. Some are changing rapidly, but most change is incremental.

Whatever level or pace, there is definitely a spirit of change in our convention. This is tremendous and highly commendable. Just a couple of years ago, resistance to change was probably more embraced than friendliness to change.

Let’s pray for one another to be so open to God’s leadership that we will change as He wills and directs.

Read the full article via Baptist Press. Floyd’s concern for the growth of healthy churches and the priority of evangelism are not unique to Southern Baptists.

 

Book Review: A Christian Survival Guide

A Christian Survival GuideThere’s an old saying that goes something like this: People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. The goal of A Christian Survival Guide: A Lifeline to Faith and Growth by Ed Cyzewski is to help Christian believers make a plan.

Cyzewski points out in the introduction that former Christians that have left the faith are often most aware of the serious issues Christianity presents. The last book I reviewed by Mike Hamel asks serious questions that the author doesn’t have good answers for; while he hasn’t left the faith he is no longer as certain as he used to be about the tenets of the Christian faith. A Christian Survival Guide wants readers to anticipates issues that will arise and be prepared ahead of time. From the introduction: This book aims to help the saints persevere, and so we’ll focus on answering that last question—what will help you survive as a follower of Jesus? Surviving as a Christian depends on having the right beliefs, putting them into practice in community with other Christians, and most importantly, meeting with God regularly. If we fail to address basic survival matters such as understanding God’s story from Scripture, defeating sin, or living in step with the Holy Spirit, we run the risk of missing out on the abundant life Jesus promised us, if not losing our intimacy with Jesus and leaving the faith altogether. Continue reading