Fresh Ideas: Keep the Christmas Spirit!

It feels so wonderful how the spirit of Christmas adds oomph to life. We live in anticipation, and we’re even nice to strangers. We become quite intentional about giving to others. But after the big day, as we turn the calendar page to Dec. 26, does that Christmas spirit fade? As you pack up those […]

Guest Viewpoint: A Puddle of Tears

As I write this, we have just finished an amazing three days of revival as two churches joined together to seek a fresh move of God. As John Avant with Life Actions Ministries concluded the final service, I approached the stage for some final remarks. That’s when I noticed something on the platform that I […]

500 Years: 5 Biblical Charges for Our Day

When Martin Luther banged his mallet into the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg 500 years ago, he corrected the church and its leaders. Today, as we lament the downturn in baptisms and ministry effectiveness in many of our churches, it seems a good time to correct ourselves. Luther’s 95 Theses were built under the […]

Guest Viewpoint: Connected to the Family

When I met Dan Coleman a few years ago, he was a church planter with a vision for reaching the state of Maine for Jesus but he didn’t have a lot of resources. Maine can be a lonely place for a church planter. There are only a handful of Southern Baptist churches, encompassing fewer than […]

Guest Viewpoint: 500 Years — The Reformation and Baptist Life

The Lord blessed me with the wonderful privilege of growing up in a Christian home — a faithful, Baptist home. Sundays included Sunday School, church services, afternoon choir practice as well as Bible Drill, Discipleship Training and Sunday evening after-church fellowship. It was generally a very busy day. Wednesdays included church suppers, prayer meetings, mission […]

Guest Viewpoint: Can God love me if I hate myself?

You’ve likely heard the platitude: “You have to love yourself before someone else can love you.” It doesn’t happen every day, but when life seems to become too complicated or my depression takes hold, it’s like an emotional and mental levee breaks. I begin to see my shortcomings as failures, my comforts as complacencies and […]

Guest Viewpoint: Responding to Criticism

In life, there are two things we can’t avoid: death and taxes. Let’s add criticism as another unavoidable part of life. Criticism can come from our all sorts of people — our spouse, our boss, a friend or enemy, a church member or a complete stranger. When someone tells us of our perceived faults or […]

Guest Viewpoint: A boring testimony? No such thing

“I have a boring testimony,” one student said when we shared our testimonies in a Sunday School class I co-lead for a group of high school guys. What he meant is that he made a profession of faith at a young age in response to his parents’ Gospel presentation. He was, therefore, not saved out […]

Singleness: ‘Magnetic pull’ of missions prevails

When I first felt called to the mission field, I didn’t give much thought to whether I’d serve as a single or as a wife. I was only 11, after all. I just knew Jesus offered salvation, people needed to hear about it, and I wanted to go tell them. With laser focus, I prepared […]

Guest Viewpoint: There Will Be More Tears

“I don’t know.” That was the only answer I could muster, choking back tears as I sat in the newly vacant office down the hall from mine. The Tolberts had just finished packing. Luke’s office was empty, and he had turned in his keys. Luke Tolbert was our student and discipleship pastor for seven years. […]