FIRST-PERSON: Great wonders through unlikely people
Many unexpected treasures are embedded in the Christmas story. One of these treasures is the simple but life-changing truth that God often works through the unlikeliest of people to accomplish the greatest of wonders. There are 3 operative human characters in Luke 1:39-45. Each of them is an unlikely character in the first noel.
FIRST-PERSON: The harmony and humanity in our cooperation
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) – As a tuba player, Berlioz was one of my favorite composers. He composed dissonance in the deepest ranges of the orchestral score and extend that tension until resolution was as anxiously welcomed as it was intricately composed.
FIRST-PERSON: Gather to evangelize
“I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world. I didn’t know how to connect with the people there. I was afraid, for all of my life, right up until I knew it was ending.” James Halliday, creator and kingpin of the OASIS in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, shaped an entire universe in the digital realm where players could be whoever they wanted to be and do whatever they wanted to do.
FIRST-PERSON: Helping your congregation process and pray about the SBC SATF report
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) – Last Sunday afternoon and evening, as I read every word of the SBC Sexual Abuse Task Force report slowly and prayerfully, my heart was swollen with pain, anger, frustration and grief. It cannot be denied that our Southern Baptist family has, in many ways and for many years, let down some of our most vulnerable neighbors.
FIRST-PERSON: On abortion, illegal is huge; unnecessary, unthinkable are bigger win
In November 2021 I sat in a private convening of interdenominational church leaders from across the states, brought together by the ERLC’s Elizabeth Graham, among others, for the sole purpose of coming together to end abortion in America in our lifetime.
FIRST-PERSON: 9 barriers to conflict resolution
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) – Because we are all real people with real problems, living in a world that is deeply and desperately scarred by sin, conflict is a normal part of the human experience.
FIRST-PERSON: Southern Baptists have been here before
More times than I can count over the past several weeks, I’ve heard talk of frustration and disappointment from my SBC brothers and sisters. Pastors, lay leaders, church members, denominational employees. “In all my years, I have never seen it as bad as this,” one seasoned pastor lamented.
FIRST-PERSON: Get the most out of your Bible reading
GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) -- Daily Bible reading is life-giving. When you are in a healthy rhythm of communing with God through Bible reading and prayer, there is a prevailing grace that accompanies daily motions. But if you’re like me, honestly, sometimes regular Bible reading can feel more like a daily habit than a daily grace.
FIRST-PERSON: Evaluating Kingdom partnerships
Tony Wolfe notes that churches, in partnering with other organizations, should ask "What do they believe about the Bible?" and "How does this partnership extend and enlarge our Great Commission footprint?"
FIRST-PERSON: I’m in. Are you?
Tony Wolfe envisions something like the day of Pentecost: "I get the feeling that right now in Southern Baptist life we are gathered together in an upstairs room in prayerful expectation that any day God could breathe on us and unleash us on the world anew."