Who is Eric Liddell?


Eric LIddell


Olympian of “Chariots of Fire” fame


Click here to learn a little about him


Book review: “A Crime So Monstrous”

Passing along a book review from World Christian Magazine.

A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-face with Modern Day Slavery by E. Benjamin Skinner

Here is a summary paragraph from Skinner in this review:

“The end of slavery cannot wait for the end of poverty. That said, denying the role of poverty in slavery is like denying the role of gravity in rainfall, and targeted, market-based development programs are essential to combat bondage. Once slaves learn how the market works, and learn about their rights and opportunities within that market, once they are allowed to keep the products of their labor and build wealth, they very quickly realize their own freedom. The free market, if coupled with comprehensive legal reforms, is the world’s most effective device for eradicating bondage.”

Too strange for words…


OK – here’s the headline

Man becomes a dad, granddad and great-granddad in the span of 3 months


Spiritual gifts and spiritual fruit – Tim Keller

I’ve been pondering this. Please feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments.

“Gifts are abilities God gives us to meet the needs of others in Christ’s name: speaking, encouraging, serving, evangelizing, teaching, leading, administering, counseling, discipling, organizing. Graces, often called spiritual fruit, are beauties of character: love, joy, peace, humility, gentleness, self-control. . Unless you understand the greater importance of grace and gospel-character for ministry effectiveness, the discernment and use of spiritual gifts may actually become a liability in your ministry. The terrible danger is that we can look to our ministry activity as evidence that God is with us or as a way to earn God’s favor and prove ourselves.”

Copied from Tim Keller Quotes. Click to see the article.

“Be Still and know that I am God”

[Copied from Resurgence blog June 27, 2012]

Be Still

Psalm 46:10 is an often quoted verse. It says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” It’s on coffee mugs, posters, greeting cards. It is an invitation to experience God, to rest, slow down.

It is also an invitation that I and many others reject on a daily basis.

Our rejection of this invitation is interesting because of how tired most Americans are, how worn out we are, how run down we are from living life. You would think, the invitation from God for us to be still and know that He is God would be a welcome invitation.

We don’t stop because deep down, we want to be God.

But we reject it. Here are 3 reasons why.


First off, to be still and know that he is God means I need to admit that I am not God. I have to admit there are things outside of my control. Things I can’t do. Things I can’t handle. People and situations I cannot control. This is not a façade many of us are willing to give up anytime soon. We know we aren’t in control, but we are content to live with the illusion that we might be.


Second, for me to be still means I am going to have to stop. Which means, slowing down, stopping things, resting. The reason most Americans don’t Sabbath and rest isn’t because we don’t know how to or aren’t very good at it—we don’t rest and slow down because we don’t want to. As long as we are busy, we don’t have to think about what is broken in our lives. We don’t have to think about that situation from 10 years ago that we never dealt with and are trying to forget. Being still often means facing our sin. Being still gives God the opportunity to speak to us. But as long as we are moving, we are able to drown him out and not think about those broken places in our lives.


Third is the crucial word “know.” Most of the time, when we talk about faith in God or a lack of faith, it all has to do with our feelings. We talk about “not feeling in love” as a reason for divorce. We don’t feel God’s love, so it must not be real is a comment I’ve heard countless times. But, Psalm 46 tells us to know that he is God. Not feel that he is God—feelings are fleeting and easy to dismiss. Knowing means I must slow down to ask, “What do I know about God? Looking at the world around me, what does that say about God? How have I seen God be faithful to redeem other things in my life, why not this thing I won’t give up?”

By accepting God’s invitation, we find rest. We find life.

We don’t slow down, not because we can’t or don’t have time—we don’t stop because deep down, we want to be God. We don’t want God to speak to us about those broken places in our lives, and we’d like to keep being the victim in that situation instead of facing it and letting him redeem it.

But the invitation still stands, and by accepting it, we find rest. We find life. We find a place where we can let go of worries, hurt, frustrations and be with God. Exactly where we need to be.

Adapted from Josh’s post on his blog.

the purpose of pain?

“The greatest Christians in history seem to say that their sufferings ended up bringing them the closest to God – so this is the best thing that could happen, not the worst.” ~ Peter Kreeft


In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. ~ Jesus Christ

What Your Pastor Wants You To Know

from Lysa TerKeurst


I’m passionate about understanding how to love and support those who lead my church. But I have to admit, I’m not a heroine in this article. I’m still learning how to apply the Biblical principle of 1 Timothy 5:17-18.

“Elders who are leading well should be admired and valued. Double up on the honor shown them; care for them well—especially those constantly and consistently teaching the word and preaching. For the Scripture agrees, “Don’t muzzle the ox while it is treading out your grain,” and, “The worker deserves his wages.” ”

Paul knew that blessing the Pastor was remarkably important when he said these words to Timothy and now to us all.

A wise, incredibly humble Texan Pastor I interviewed yesterday said, “Some would think double honor sounds excessive, but the reality is no one fully understands the pressures on your Pastor at any given time as they carry with them the burdens of many in the congregation quietly and confidentially… This is not work that you can leave at the office, it weighs on you. I believe it is for this reason Paul calls us to double honor.”


1. Do the basics consistently.

The greatest way to bless your pastor is to be one of those faithful people who attends, serves and gives consistently. This gives such assurance to a Pastor and their staff.

One of the most well studied Pastors I know on church leadership said, “When people do the regular basics and never make a big deal about it, the other stuff you do for your Pastor is so much more meaningful. Some people try to bless their Pastor on their terms and they are loud about it. They don’t tithe… but hey Pastor-you can use our lakehouse with strings attached.”

Let’s bless our Pastor and his staff with the basics. Give gifts without strings. And don’t toot our horn about doing so.

2. Let go of the unrealistic expectations.

Almost every Pastor I talked to addressed the issue of inviting he and his family over for dinner. While it seems like something we’re doing for the Pastor, it usually isn’t the gift they need. More than spending time with my family, they need to spend time with theirs. Bless them with gift certificates. Or schedule to take them a meal and just drop it off- especially during those busy times of Easter and Christmas.

Of course, they will have friends who are close enough where a dinner with that family is completely comfortable and refreshing. But let the Pastor and his wife initiate this. Give them the freedom to have close friends and not feel guilty or exclusive in doing so. One Pastor’s wife said to me, “I think the thing that discourages me the most is people commenting on my friendships. Using the word clique to describe my friendships rather than just being happy I have a community is hurtful.”

Let’s bless our Pastor and his family with freedom. They need friends. And it’s okay if we’re not dinner buddies.

3. Love the Pastor’s wife.

One Pastor wrote and said, “Please give my wife face to face affirmation.” Another said, “When my wife hears negative things about the church or me-it crushes her.”

Another Pastor’s wife gave some interesting insight into how to greet her so she doesn’t feel like a heel for not remembering everyone personally. She said, “It’s hard when people say-Do you remember me? Instead just introduce yourself and remind me where we’ve met before.”

Let’s commit to our Pastor’s wife the gift of kind words. I know as a female leader, when someone commits to me that they will only say kind and affirming things about me, my ministry, and my family-it makes me feel so safe.

4. Don’t assume other people are encouraging your Pastor.

Send those notes of encouragement. Write the email where you tell him what a difference that sermon made in your life. Don’t assume they get plenty of positive feedback-because usually they aren’t.

Let’s commit to not just be someone who appreciates our Pastor in our hearts-but let’s let them know over and over.

5. Keep studying how to bless your Pastor.

Become aware of how your Pastor best needs to be blessed and step into that role. Make it a family mission to be one of those foundational families at church who stays out of the drama, seeks to give not take, and stays for the long haul honoring him all the way.

And don’t forget the other Pastoral staff who serve so faithfully as well.


What do you think? How can we best honor and encourage our Pastor and staff? The comments are open.

Want to do something important TODAY? It will take less than 5 minutes and is free but it will make a real difference

Touch Your World


DO THIS TODAY! Exercise the 10 Second Rule – just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do. (And do it quickly before you change your mind.) I can’t think of a good reason not to ‘like’ a FB page to send $5 to Freeset OR to sign a petition to protect an 8 year old from sexual abuse. Can you?



  • Make Way Partners – Lithuania – Visit change.org to sign a petition on behalf of Deimate. I’ve tweeted and emailed and written about her before. Deimate is now 8 years old. Lithuanian State Court released a court order which warrants the abused girl to be taken away from her protectress aunt Neringa Venckiene and return to her mother who is suspected for pimping her out to pedophiles (high ranking pedophiles including court judges, wealthy businessmen and political representatives). Moreover, the court permitted the bailiff of taking the child by force, which by no means meets the DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD. People and press in Lithuania are shocked by this action of bailiff and police against the child.


Here a couple of other ways to help: by giving and praying!


  • The Wellhouse – Alabama – This Christian shelter for victims of human trafficking needs your prayers – as well as financial support. If you would like to donate goods, here is a partial list:
    • Minivan
    • Laptop computers
    • Clothing of all sizes – appropriate for job hunting and church
    • Pajamas and underclothing –– NEW items only, please
    • Under bed plastic storage containers
    • Gift cards to Target and Wal-Mart
    • Kitchen cooking items/utensils/cookware
    • Bibles – preferably in an easily understood translation
    • Composition notebooks for journaling
    • Pens and highlighters
    • Christian/inspirational books for library
    • Clothes hangers
    • Towels and washcloths –– NEW items only, please
    • Patio furniture (table and chairs)


  • Living Hope – Cape Town, South Africa – Buy one of the new Living Hope CDs. Last Thursday, April 26, the new CD was released. It features the Masi Choir singing with artists such as Michael W Smith, Casting Crowns and Jars of Clay. Be sure to order your copies on the online store. http://www.livinghope.co.za/store    OR     you can buy the CDs in the lobby at Shades Mountain Baptist Church – before or after morning worship. They are $15 and all the profit goes to Living Hope.


  • Urban Purpose – Birmingham – The ministry needs your support. The downtown visits are an open door to get to know people on the streets, meet basic physical needs, and begin the process of building relationships. Join us on Sundays at 2:30pm at the Shades Mtn. Baptist Student Building to go downtown and serve a meal. There are opportunities for people of all ages to be a part of what happens each Sunday. They are also looking for 150 folks who will commit to give $25 each month to financially support the ministry. See the website to learn how to donate and for other ways to be involved.


Got comments or questions? I would  love hear your thoughts!

News and Truth – not the same thing?

I was reading a blog post by Lysa TerKeurst and this grabbed me. She was referring to a bit of news given by a doctor. Balance the news (facts) with Truth.


“This is news. This is not truth.”


Here’s what Lysa says:


I’ve always thought of news and truth as one in the same. What the doctor gave me was news. Honest news based on test results and medical facts.

But what I have access to is a truth that transcends news. What is impossible with man’s limitations is always possible for a limitless God.

So, I find myself looking at the word impossible a little differently today.

Impossible when looked at in light of Shaunti’s note to me could be completely different if I just stick a little apostrophe between the first two letters. Then it becomes I’m-possible. God is the great I AM. Therefore He is my possibility for hope and healing.

I’m-Possible is a much more comforting way to look at anything that feels quite impossible.

I suspect many of us have things in our life that feel impossible. Maybe you just got some bad news. News of an impossible financial situation. News of an impossible job situation. News of an impossible kid situation. News of an impossible friend situation. News of an impossible medical situation.

Whatever news you just got or will get, I pray Shaunti’s advice helps you too. This is news. This isn’t truth.

This is truth:

John 14:6-“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Psalm 146:6—“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them-he remains faithful forever.”

Isaiah 41:10–“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 73:23—“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.”

Psalm 32:7—“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

song lyrics – read them slowly and let them sink in…

“I Lift My Hands” – by Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Louie Giglio


Be still, there is a healer
His love is deeper than the sea
His mercy, it is unfailing
His arms are fortress for the weak

Let faith arise
Let faith arise

I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart
These things, I remember
You are faithful, God, forever

Be still, there is a river
That flows from Calvary’s tree
A fountain for the thirsty
Pure grace that washes over me

Let faith arise
Let faith arise

I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart
These things, I remember
You are faithful, God, forever

I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart
These things, I remember
You are faithful, God, forever

Let faith arise, let faith arise
Open my eyes, open my eyes
Let faith arise, let faith arise
Open my eyes, open my eyes

I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart
These things, I remember
You are faithful, God, forever

And I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart
These things, I remember
You are faithful, God
You are faithful, God, forever

Let faith arise
Let faith arise