Community

Community

Be Nice

We Christians ought to be nice, you know? Kind, gentle, warm, friendly. Perhaps that’s not anything new to you, but it seems to me that occasionally we overemphasize some things and forget about others. For example, we’ve really stressed what the Bible teaches about baptism, the church, sexuality, what women can and cannot do, and so on. And we don’t need to ignore “doctrinal” matters. People need to hear what God said about issues like those, so we shouldn’t shy…

Getting along

Have you ever (secretly) wished that everybody in the church would be more like you? Most of us probably wouldn’t admit it, but maybe we’ve looked down our noses at some church folks and wondered why they’ve got the issues they do. Truth is, if everybody in the church was like you and me, we’d still have problems. It’s just the way it is. Last week I wrote about how much I appreciate the sweet fellowship of God’s people, and…

God’s family

I’m sure there’s enjoyable fellowship outside of God’s family, but I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like not to have the church. These are my people. Oh, they’ve got their problems, of course (don’t we all?), but people within the household of faith are my support group. I grieve and rejoice with them, I depend on them, I need them. Where does everyone else find this? At a local bar? With their bowling club? I’m thinking it’s a…

Cut flowers

Note: I wrote this article before the governor of New York signed a bill on Tuesday that legalized abortion up until birth in some cases. He also directed the One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit in pink to celebrate the passage of the “Reproductive Health Act.” How exactly the law will be interpreted and applied remains to be seen, but it seems like another step in the deeply discouraging direction of becoming a nation that delights…

Inviting

I’ve heard of people who have led thousands to Christ in their lives—through preaching to huge audiences or writing books or tracts that reach thousands. That’ll never happen for most of us. Paul established dozens of churches, and Peter preached to enormous crowds. Both of them wrote letters about Jesus that have been read by hundreds of millions. My circle of influence is considerably smaller than that. Once we’ve realized that, we’ve got two options. We can resent our situation,…

Brothers

I was heading toward the checkout at Walmart the other day and a man in his early thirties approached me holding a loaf of bread, some bologna, and some potato chips.  I could tell he was going to ask for help because I guess we all have a personal radar that pings in those situations. He said that he didn’t want money, he just needed the food to eat because he’d been sleeping in his car for the past week…

Who in the world is Epaphroditus?

You’ve got big names in Bible history, and then you’ve got Epaphroditus. We know a lot about Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul. They’re the movers and shakers on the human side of God’s story. But Epaphroditus? He gets six verses. But as one of my old Bible teachers used to say, they’re chock-full of meaning. Try not to hurry through them. I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and…

Genuinely concerned

Like Timothy, Christians are “genuinely concerned” for one another’s welfare. They feel pain when someone else hurts, and they smile when a fellow Christian rejoices. I think that’s what’ll make our evangelistic efforts work. People don’t know—and don’t care—what we believe about various doctrines, but they’ll notice the compassion.

Becoming a part of the Hoover family

People become a part of a church for a multitude of reasons. In the past, it was fairly common in Churches of Christ for those who wanted to “place membership” with a church to walk forward during the invitation song after the sermon and express this. Most people find this experience to be uncomfortable and often do not want to do it. Today, most will simply let the ministers or one of the elders know that it is their desire…

Welcome!

Some of you are visiting our church family today after having brought your kids to our Vacation Bible School over the past few days. And others might be visiting because you’re new to the Hoover area and are looking for a church home. Regardless, we’re so glad you’re here! During VBS we’ve been learning about the awesome story of God as revealed in the Bible. He created an incredible world that was perfect in every way, and He put Adam…

Citizens

There’s a lot of talk about politics right now . . . Well, it seems like there’s always a lot of talk about politics in America. Nearly everyone has a (strongly held and loudly vocalized) opinion. So perhaps this is a good time to think about this: Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing…

Cup of cold water

Have you checked today’s headlines yet? Several college students got drunk and started a fight, two of everyone’s favorite celebrities filed for divorce, and the coach is “very excited” about the next game. “We hope to be competitive,” he said. There was a murder downtown, a meth lab exploded, and police are looking for a suspect in a string of convenience store robberies. A professional athlete feels disrespected and unappreciated by his $8 million-per-year offer, so he’ll probably ask to…