Comic Belief: Rise and Shine

A man lived on the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. He had assumed that he lived in Minnesota, but a new survey showed that he actually lived in Wisconsin. “Thank goodness,” he exclaimed, “I never could bear those cold Minnesota winters.” Thank goodness it is possible to rise and shine. There is always a group […]

Outside the Walls: You’ve Got One Job

“You’ve got one job.” That’s what my wife, Leisa, tells me every time she sends me to the grocery store. Notoriously, she will send me at the most inopportune times, like when I’m trying to watch college football. This should be a part of all pastors’ premarital counseling. I would share a few rules with […]

Wholly Healthy: ‘Pawed’ Friend May Affect Health

By way of full confession, my family has five dogs. All of them are mixed breed critters who have already outlived their warranties, but they keep living happy dog lives. We also have two large cats who are vocal and social at mealtime, but otherwise generally prefer not to be touched. The point being: We […]

Mary Beth’s Kitchen: Woodshed Chicken Salad Sandwiches

When I was teaching third grade at Central Elementary School, I would read a book to my class every day after recess. Some of my favorite books were the “Boxcar Children” series. So when I had my own children, I read the “Boxcar Children” books to them. Then in 1991, a teacher named Diane Blain […]

Find Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

October traditionally is set aside as Pastor Appreciation Month in Southern Baptist life, when conscientious church members demonstrate in tangible ways their gratefulness for God’s servants. In August, the Babylon Bee, a satirical Christian website that takes a light-hearted (and sometimes irreverent) look at religious and political news, posted an article listing “10 easy things […]

Guest Perspective: In Vitro Fertilization — What Every Christian Should Know

In the following dialogue, Mary and Charles represent a composite of my patients who have struggled with infertility. Many couples never have money or consistent insurance coverage to pursue an infertility evaluation. However, after years of saving, they finally sit down to conduct research on in vitro fertilization on the internet. Then, they come to […]

Do Southern Baptists Really Tithe?

Do Southern Baptists tithe (give 10 percent of their income to the local church and other ministries)? The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 does not specifically refer to a tithe or 10 percent. It does say, “Christians should contribute by their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause […]

Editor’s Word: Don’t Overlook Pastor Appreciation

The pastorate can often be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a discouraging valley. Far too many pastors suffer from depression, and most of them go untreated. When I first came to The Courier, I wrote a three -part series on pastoral burnout, suicide, and forced termination. South Carolina was the leader in […]

Outside the Walls: Questioning Your Faith

“Why are you here?” It is probably one of the most powerful evangelism questions that anyone can ask. There have been other questions that have been asked through the years. “If you were to die tonight, where would you spend eternity?” “If you were to face Jesus today, and He asked you why He should […]