Tradition can be a double-edged sword.  It can be both comforting and reassuring to have something firm in an unstable world, but it can also be an anchor which weighs us down in the past.


Jesus took the Pharisees to task for that very reason.  They were following their traditions to the exclusion of following God.   “And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”” Mark 7:6-8 ESV


The problem was that they let their traditions take the place of God’s word.  They were so focused on keeping traditions that they no longer worried about what God had said.  They taught as doctrines the commandments of men.  They kept the traditions, and that made them feel good, but they were disobeying God.


We can easily fall into the same pattern.  We can get so focused on doing what we have always done that we grow complacent.  We can think all is good when in truth we are no longer obeying God.   How sad if it can be said of us that we honor God with our lips, but our heart is far from Him.   Let us obey Him with our whole heart and not just give him lip service.




Did you know that a boiling water in the microwave can be dangerous?  When boiled in the microwave, especially in a new cup, the water can become superheated.  It heats up faster than the bubbles of water vapor can form.  What is so bad about that?  When you take it out through either jarring it or putting something in it,  the water is disturbed and allows it suddenly turn to steam.  There have been several people scalded by this.

That reminds me of several people today.  Many are walking around with their temper “superheated”.  The slightest provocation will turn into an eruption of scalding anger.  We see it on the streets, in classrooms, online, and even in halls of government.

God gave us wonderful words of wisdom in James 1:19 which will help us avoid the superheated temper.

James 1:19 “19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 “

First, be quick to hear.  Listen to others.  So often, we hear words and sort them to find a reason to get angry.  We are always on guard to defend ourselves and make assumptions about what someone means instead of listening. We have lost the ability to really converse with each other and discuss differences because we no longer listen.

We should also be slow to speak.  Instead of jumping in and arguing against what we think someone meant, let us slow down and think about our answer.  Really consider what they have said instead of leaping to conclusions which we feel we must swiftly correct.

Finally, we are told to be slow to anger. Keep a calm head!   Intentionally fight off emotional responses from your temper.  Listen, choose your words carefully, and control your temper.

If we would apply these nuggets of wisdom, the scalding fits of anger won’t continue to hurt those around us and our world will be a calmer place.


Growing up a PK, preacher’s kid missionaries were always my heroes.  They would come to our church from foreign fields and talk about the unfamiliar cultures, show us slides of the people and area they served, and shared what God was doing.  I always looked at them as supermen for God. If we were lucky, they brought with them MK’s, missionary kids and we got to hang out for a while.

Later, I was blessed to be involved in a church planting effort in Baton Rouge, LA.  I learned  some valuable lessons.  First, missions work is HARD.  I had it easy with a core group already in place, and we still faced obstacles existing churches didn’t.  Land alone was going to cost over a million dollars in a decent location.  I also learned missions doesn’t have to be around the world.  Baton Rouge was similar to home.   I didn’t have to learn a new language and had shared experiences with the people there.  I did have to get used to coffee strong enough to walk the dog on its own, but I learned to love it.   One of most important lessons learned was that we are all missionaries.  Our mission field is wherever we are.  Every member of the core group had to be on mission for God.  That is the same as at every church.

That is at the heart of what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 ““All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ESV

Our commission is make disciples wherever we go.  We give offerings to send missionaries to other towns, states, and nations.  That is good and should be encouraged.  However, we must also do our part to share the gospel here.  Wherever you find yourself, that is your mission field.  As we give to support worldwide missions, let us never forget to serve as missionaries right here at home.

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt


Have you ever gone looking for treasure?  When I think about treasure hunting, I think about the movie National Treasure.  Ben Gates begins with a cryptic clue and it leads him on a chase which goes from the Arctic Circle to Washington DC and at every turn, he is met by a another clue which points somewhere else.  That treasure was well hidden and even frustrating.


The treasure of wisdom spoken of in Prov. 2 isn’t hidden at all.  Notice was Solomon records in Prov. 2:3-5.


3 yes, if you call out for insight

and raise your voice for understanding,

if you seek it like silver

and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God.


Vs 6 goes on to promise that the Lord gives wisdom.  God doesn’t hide wisdom and understanding and send us on on a difficult uest to find it.  He freely gives it to us in His word and by His Spirit.


Do you long for wisdom and understanding?  Do you desire it like you would some treasure worth billions?  It is far more valuable than any treasure we could find.  Notice the benefits of having wisdom in vs 9-12


Then you will understand righteousness and justice

and equity, every good path;

10  for wisdom will come into your heart,

and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

11  discretion will watch over you,

understanding will guard you,

12  delivering you from the way of evil,

from men of perverted speech,


Seek wisdom from God’s word today!




Once again we find ourselves in November.  Social media is being filled with various posts of gratitude, and that is a great thing.  I too am very grateful today for God’s blessings.

Thanksgiving falls immediately after October, which is traditionally pastor appreciation month.  My church, Craft Baptist Church, is an expert at showing appreciation.  I am so grateful for their support and encouragement throughout the year.  There are very few weeks that go by without someone expressing their love to us.  During October, they reached a fever pitch of cards, hugs, kind words, and gifts.  I am overwhelmed by the love and appreciation they show us.   I am grateful to have the privilege of being their pastor.

As children of God, we should always be grateful, not just during November.  Let us use this month to start showing gratitude and then simply not stop.  Why don’t we have a thanksgiving post every week?

Remember 1 Chronicles 16:34:

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever!” ESV

Talent and Timing (Ecclesiastes 9:11-12)

A good one from my brother.

Life Meets Theology

“Plan Hard, Work Harder, and Rest Easy”

I don’t know where I picked this up from but it resides on a list I call “Personal Axioms and Plum Lines”.  The idea is to plan your work, work the plan, and then rest in the providence of God.

Perhaps the more “theologically astute” of my readers might have heard another, similar expression: “Work like an Armenian; sleep like a Calvinist”.  Granted, that expression is equally offensive to both Armenians and Calvinists alike (sorry!), but the idea works.

As Christians, we know we have an obligation to use the gray matter between our ears and the bodies we’ve been given and not resign ourselves to fatalism.

But is it possible we can take on a concept of “functional atheism”?  In other words, we profess God but write off things to “chance”, “timing”, and “circumstances” instead of providence.  Is it possible we as…

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