Let’s dig back into Acts this week with the first of two posts about the church at Antioch. We will connect the dots between different parts of Acts and see how this church paved the way for our modern definition of church.
When the apostles appointed seven deacons to serve in the Jerusalem church, one of them was from Antioch: Nicholas (Acts 6:5). Nicholas was the only deacon for whom Luke felt it necessary to name his city of origin and note his spiritual history. Nicholas was a convert to Judaism who became a Christ-follower. Why did Luke mention all this? I think it’s because, by the time Luke wrote his history of the early church, he knew both the city of Antioch and the Gentiles who inhabited it were significant. It’s a bit of foreshadowing. Continue reading
One aspect of a bigger thought process I’m in right now.
There are some things in the Bible that just aren’t clear. When Paul talked about mystery (e.g. Ephesians 6:19), he wasn’t joking! If you read your Bible honestly and extensively, you’ll see why there are controversies among modern believers. Just to name some of the big ones,
- Timing of the rapture
- Role of women in church leadership
- Baptism’s relationship to faith
- election/free will
There’s a part of me that says, “If the brightest minds haven’t resolved these issues in the 1500-ish years since the Bible was codified, I’m not going to figure them out.” But there’s another part of me that says, “I need to know the right answer, and I need to know it now!!!!!” I’m still trying to find a balance because I believe God enjoys our inquiry and wants us to pursue knowledge of Him (Romans 11:33—my favorite, Hebrews 11:6), but He also expects us to practice our faith, which often means we trust without evidence (Hebrews 11:1). Continue reading
I grew up with the Four Spiritual Laws, door-to-door evangelism, and massive loads of guilt for not telling my unchurched neighbors and classmates all about how Jesus changed my life. As a young adult, I studied methods of evangelism in which I was expected to walk up to a stranger at the mall and “convert” her. There is nothing in the world that makes me more uncomfortable, and nothing in the Bible that suggests we should do this.
I went to church every Sunday, too. There was a designated time in the service to greet everyone sitting around me. If I finished my greetings quickly—which I usually did—I stood awkwardly staring forward, waiting on the singing to resume, or I rummaged in my purse, pretending to look for something. Continue reading
I am not a singer. I want to be, but I’m not. Still, I can belt out worship songs with the best of them…as long as the people around me are a little forgiving.
I like to worship beside my husband who, like me, sings out loud (even when he doesn’t know the tune yet) and raises his hands with the best of them Continue reading
I had the enjoyable privilege of catching up with a fellow writer when I went to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference back in May: Sandra Allen Lovelace.
Afterward, I interviewed her for PastorsWives.com because her wisdom is worth sharing! Even if you’re not a pastor’s wife, you’ll find some good advice here for managing church relationships. Continue reading
I can’t speak for everyone, but in my experience, our brains automatically stereotype based on personal observation and experience. What image comes to mind with each of these?
- professional basketball player
- soccer mom
- construction worker
- woman missionary
- minister’s or pastor’s wife
If I asked for an image of a “dogwood flower,” you probably think of the white flower above (calm, pure, little tinge of pink on the edges), but the riotously-fuchsia flower on the left is just as much a dogwood as the white one!
Growing up, I had a really strong image of what a minister’s wife was “supposed” to do and look like. Because my own life and personality were so far removed from that stereotype, I struggled when that role became mine.
This month on Pastor’s Wives, I talk about it. Catch the post here, then leave a comment over there or come back and talk to me here. I’d love to hear what you think. Am I right in my advice? What would you add or take away?
God always knew you would be a #pastorswife, and yet He made you this way anyway! (click to tweet)
The title says it all. I’ve been buried in a (paid) writing project for my church, and I didn’t step away to write a blog post. So sorry, friends and faithful followers. I’ll be back next week…probably with part 2 of The Completely Not-Boring History of the Bible.
If you’re looking for something to read, check out part 1 or start on my Christmas series from last year, The Cast of Christmas, with this post about Zechariah and Elizabeth.