Posts by Chuck Webster

Posts by Chuck Webster

Top view of the hands of a programmer on his laptop

The Preacher and Porn

Not long ago I read an all-too-familiar story: another preacher got caught. He was looking at pornography on his computer, then switching to his Bible software program to work on his upcoming sermon, then back to porn . . . all in the span of a few hours. Are you shocked? Unfortunately, you’ve probably seen too many headlines to be too surprised. I don’t know this preacher, and I don’t know any of his circumstances, but I think I can…

Shouldn’t have said that

I’ve rarely regretted keeping my mouth shut, but fairly often I kick myself for saying something I shouldn’t have (and wouldn’t have if I’d stopped to think). You might be the same way. Your child irritates you, and you spit out something that bites. You get in an argument with your spouse, and before you know it you’ve thrown a dart that hurts. (In marriage, we know where all of the tender spots are . . .) Or maybe it…
Beautiful Himalayas mountains in Pakistan

God is Good

My, how things change. Have you looked at any of your old high school pictures lately? One of the unfortunate consequences of our Facebook world is the ease with which others can post constant reminders of how we used to look. Time changes things, and mostly not for the good. We get older, grayer, and sometimes, well, bigger. There’s often a corresponding decrease in efficiency as well. In other words, some things just don’t work as well as they used…
Punching a red punch bag

When we struggle

The more I read the Bible, the more I’m struck by how often it talks about endurance. The longer I live, the more I realize how badly we need it. Life is hard. If it isn’t right now, it will be soon enough. I don’t think that’s overly pessimistic; it’s confirmed almost every day as I hear about things people are facing. A friend finds out he has cancer. A Christian discovers her husband is cheating. Another faces debilitating depression,…

On Level Ground

Things aren’t always fair down here, but they ought to be. The poor don’t get the same treatment as the rich, and minorities are often pushed to the margins. We love a good David-and-Goliath story. We like to see Cinderella make it to the big dance. We love the Rudys of the world, the underdogs, the outmanned, outmatched, and overpowered. Occasionally, we like to see the little guy winning and the big guy begging for mercy. We like to see…
Bible and praying hands

Believe that he’ll answer

Ever prayed a prayer you didn’t really think God would answer? Why do we do that? Maybe it’s because we’ve focused so much on what God doesn’t do that we forget about what he does. Well, we might think, I know God created the world and parted the Red Sea and raised Jesus from the grave, but now . . . I’m not suggesting God is still resurrecting people, but I wonder if perhaps we ought to focus more on…
Buddha's hand

Idols

It’s easy enough to see idols in other people’s lives. I’ve occasionally scoffed at how someone seemed obsessed with something that is obviously (to me) unworthy of much time, attention, or money. The problem with that is that idols trouble us all, and focusing on how other people’s priorities are misaligned obscures my own struggle with them. Jesus couldn’t have been more in-your-face than he was here: Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,…
One pawn standing against set of black chess

Ouch

Most of us in church work worry when attendance numbers go down; Jesus seemed to worry when they went up. He had what we might call “Thin ‘em out” sermons—messages he preached, it seems, to push people away. That wasn’t his intent, of course, but his message certainly didn’t fit well within any church growth book I’ve read. We often try to make the gospel more palatable; Jesus gave it to the crowds straight and unmixed. Sometimes, when he finished…
Woman praying

Have you talked to God about it?

I wonder how much we miss out on just because we don’t ask God? Or because we don’t really ask him. I’ve had times in my life where I was thinking about something for several days, and I suddenly realize that I haven’t talked to the Lord about it. Oh, I’ve worried about it. Lost sleep over it. Fretted and wrung my hands and contemplated all sorts of bad scenarios. But haven’t taken it to the Lord. I think that’s what…
New Growth

God likes new

There’s just something neat about new. The smell of a new car, the look and feel of a new gadget, the cuteness of a new puppy. For lots of folks in our area, a new school year started this past week. There’s optimism in the air, isn’t there? Yep, I messed up last year, but this year’s gonna be different. It’s a beautiful new slate, clean start, a fresh beginning. A brand new me for this new academic year. God…
Poppy flowers retro peaceful summer background

Grace

Many people tell me that time passes more quickly as you get older. I don’t know if it’s true for everyone, but from where I sit I think they’re right. Can you believe that it’s the year 2019? Do you remember when everyone was stressing over Y2K? That’s been nearly two decades. What’s happened in your life in the last few years? Did you send a child to kindergarten for the first time? Send one to college? Get a new…
Toy smartphone and robot assistant.

But I need it

Most of us probably use the verb need a little too loosely. Man, my phone is ancient—I’ve had it almost two years—I really need a new one. These clothes are so last year . . . I need some new ones. We really need to redecorate the house . . . It’s getting kinda dated, you know? The automaker convinces us that a four-year-old car that’s missing most of the latest bells and whistles is beneath us . . . We need something better, and…