But On the Other Hand…

Jeremy Myers of Redeeming God asks Christians to please quit using these clichés. On the one hand, I get it. Clichés are statements that are overused to the point they have lost their original value. They are easy go-to statements, perhaps knee jerk reactions, that require little thought. Christians need to be careful about creating our own Christianese language, words and phrases we often use in-house that may have little meaning to non-Christians, the people with whom we need to communicate the Gospel. Like I say, on the one hand I get it.

But on the other hand… Overused is highly subjective; if a word of phrase is truly overused there may be a good reason we were saying it so much in the first place. We don’t want our worship to become a collection of tired old repetitions, but what about liturgy? What about biblical truths that are unchanging? Some of the things on Myers’ list I never say but there’s a couple on there I would like to put back on the table. We’re not talking about revising the dictionary here, at the end of the day Myers and I are both bloggers. He does have a tongue in cheek sense of humor that I can appreciate. But these are my submissions for consideration: Continue reading

Blogoversary 8

I have to admit that it caught me off guard. If WordPress hadn’t congratulated me I might have missed my own blogoversry (blog + anniversary).

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In 2014 I published Six Years at the Table. That post does a good job telling the backstory and sharing some interesting facts. At that time, we were shy of one million views. As of 3/3/2016 the two blogs together (The Master’s Table and My Other Blog) have seen 1,066,005 views and the total number of posts is 1857.

Today I blog less and have diverted some time and energy into other things. I pastor a small SBC church and my sermons are posted on their website. I write once a week for our local paper and do not duplicate that same content here. Blogging has changed since our launch in 2008; there are more personal and collaborative blogs today than ever before and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, have brought more voices into the conversation.

The Master’s Table gives me a larger audience than I could reach otherwise. My blog friends in Canada, Israel and Australia know what I’m talking about. I enjoy writing on several different platforms. I also enjoy the seminary classes I take with other local ministers, church staff and lay church members; I enjoy teaching Sunday School and leading prayer meetings in addition to preaching sermons. Ministry happens simultaneously at the local, regional, state, national and international level. The church has been tasked to carry the Gospel to all people and nations. The internet offers tools and resources that make the world a smaller place. But we can’t reach around the world and neglect our neighbor across the street.

The goal has not changed; to be God honoring and Christ centered. Those words are posted prominently on the masthead as much for my benefit as yours. Here’s to another eight years, and the changes they will bring. Long live the blog.

Bible Gateway Plus

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Everything that has been available for free at Bible Gateway will stay that way, and they promise it always will. But after “many months of planning, coding, and beta testing” Bible Gateway Plus is now live.

This blog post explains everything the new service makes available, and the list is pretty extensive. You can try the new premium service free for 30 days by clicking here to register. After the free trial the ad-free service is only $3.99 per month.

 

Two Sermons and an Editorial

Screenshot 2016-02-11 at 9.39.22 AMFor those of you looking at the website, you know that lots of stuff hangs out in the sidebars. Some of that content is updated daily. I don’t post as often to the blog as I used to because much of what I write is on my church website. The Unity Baptist RSS feed shows links to recent posts at the top of the left-hand sidebar. You see those links if you visit The Master’s Table. I also realize many followers subscribe using feed readers or through email. Those folks will never see any content that is not posted.

So this is kind of like a Read & Share File for my own stuff. These links are to the two most recent Sunday sermons and a newspaper editorial from about a week and a half ago. If you have read them already or follow both blogs, great. If not, just FYI.

The Heart of Man, Feb. 7th sermon 

The Heart of God, Feb. 14th sermon

God’s Great Love, newspaper article, Feb. 6th 

Random Bits

Screenshot 2015-12-07 at 2.22.41 PMWriters tend to work through things by writing about them. There hasn’t been a new post at My Other Blog in quite a while but this one lists some things I’ve done over the past 40 years. Big birthday coming up, this is more productive than buying a small sports car. Continue reading

The Read and Share File

Not as many links for this post as I’d like but think these are certainly worth sharing. Click any image to read the related article at its source.

The first is a list of reasons Thom Rainer thinks we should reconsider keeping the old fashion church bulletin. It’s all about making guests feel welcome which may bring them back.

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  1. Worship times. Many bulletins are retained for future use. It is thus imperative for the worship times to be prominent in them.
  2. Physical address of church. You want to encourage the guest to return, so include the physical address of the church for their GPS.
  3. Website and social media links. This is a primary means of communication for our culture. Your church must be speaking that language, and guests need to know where to find you online.

Continue reading