“For the benefit of the Lord’s cause, many godly men and their respective families travel to areas of the world completely foreign in order to help but a few plant the seed of the word (Luke 8:11), doing what they can to water, leaving to God for the plant’s growth (1 Cor. 3:6). Let us pray for foreign missionaries, and let us do what we can to support them in their work (cf. Rom. 15:24). A most important work it is.” —Sent Preachers | etsop95.

Earlier today, I read a tweet announcing that new annotated Bible is out, something along the lines of “You Can Get Through It Bible.” Notes by a famous writer. The idea seems good at first glace, but it’s woefully inadequate. Seems moderns are wimps. Saints must do more than just get through their personal crises. They must use them for the kingdom.

So the article on Preacher’s Files, also published today, comes closer: “Praising God in Times of Adversity.” Based on Psa 57, Tom Moore writes, “Let we all strive to follow the biblical example of praising God in adversity, remembering how we benefit from such, and how others can benefit from the good example we set.”

And not only from the good example we set, but from what God can do and what he can produce from the depths of our suffering.

A much better perspective, one that follows Christ.

Major media outlets have noted the rise in the number of Americans giving up their citizenship and moving to other countries. When a co-founder of Facebook moved to Singapore last month, the trend got noticed.

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare as a tax in its ruling this morning, the Internet chatter about moving abroad picked up suddenly.

I noted on Twitter earlier that one American, on the wave of this trend, wrote about moving to Brazil for socio-economic reasons. I asked the question there, and I repeat it here: Why don’t you do it for spiritual reasons? Continue reading

You know the type of congregation, have at least visited one. You go in, worship, go out, and there may be a bit of hello and a smidgen of banter, but nobody really knows anybody. The church isn’t really a family, a cohesive group, but a collection of individuals who come together for an hour or two a couple of times a week and who then go on their way.

Whether it be a new church, to prevent it from becoming like the description above, or whether it be a church dead in its relationships, the question is this: How can a congregation be a true community? Continue reading

No little attention is being given to the news that American churches of Christ stopped growing over the past several years. It should be noted that numbers is but one gauge of spiritual health of congregations. With that caveat, it’s not hard to discern the causes, once modern practices are placed beside Scripture.

First, many churches have lost their mission. Budgets are showing increases in benevolence and disaster relief at the expense of the preaching of the gospel. The former are now classified as missions. Supposedly, the former are done with saving souls in mind, but they are ineffective and few have strategies implanted to take advantage of opportunities of evangelism. Continue reading