This was an easy read and a really good book in terms of content and interest. I'm a big Groeschel fan so that may not be saying much, but I really did enjoy "Fight." The book is basically written for men though women can read it too. Groeschel writes to men however from the story of Samson and how his failures, attitudes, and victories eerily match the lives of most men. Groeschel talks about how God made men with an inclination to fight, push, and make things happen. We were made in God's image and God Himself is known as a Warrior. Groeschel calls for men to become that warrior for God and not to waste their talents, gifts, and abilities on sins of the flesh and pursuits of this world. Instead, he calls for men to fight for their souls, their families, and others. As the Bible tells us, we're all in a fight whether we like it or not. Groeschel calls for the men to start responding for victory's sake.
We had our first ever baptism inside our church sanctuary this past Sunday. We have had baptisms before during the almost six years we've been in Perry. We've typically used the swimming pool at Leroy & Retha Bennett's house. It wasn't that I thought that wasn't good enough or that I didn't appreciate the allowance when I decided to try to move baptism to our sanctuary. It truly was a desire to establish baptism as a focal point of the church as the New Testament church understood it to be.
I'm not against going to someone's house for a baptism. Let me say that up front. I honestly believe the Lord has a special blessing for families who will open up their homes, and in particularly, their pools, for the ordinance of baptism to take place. But I also believe that baptism should be something celebrated by the church. When baptisms can't take place in a location where the whole church can participate, it tends to minimize the celebration and participation of many. While people opening up their homes is certainly a gracious act, the truth is that providing directions to a person's neighborhood and trying to pile any number of people into a stranger's house can be a bit overwhelming. Try baptizing 10 at a 3 BR/2 BA house or at a house with limited parking. It can become frustrating instead of enjoyable.
And so knowing our past experiences, (and to my knowledge they've all been good), I decided to try and find a way to have a meaningful baptism in our sanctuary without the benefit of having a baptismal pool or area. I looked at horse troughs and small swimming pools, but I couldn't help but to think that it would be what it was, that is, people being dunked a swimming pool or a horse trough while I stood on the outside. I wanted something more personal, more baptismal like. When I found this idea online, I jumped at it. We purchased an 1100 gallon water tank from Tractor Supply Company in Dublin, GA. We would have went with the one in Warner Robins, but that's another blog story. (Needless to say, make the drive!) We cut the top off of the tank and we were pretty much set. The tank was translucent white which allowed for it to be seen through when full. We researched lighting however and found that a studio light would be bright enough to light up whatever was inside the tank. So with a newly cut 1100 gallon water tank, a par64 studio light, and some Party Blue Pool Coloring, we were able to create our very own baptismal pool for Free Point. My goal was to make the pool the centerpiece of the service and for it to stand out. Some important decisions were made in that pool on Sunday. Some amazing things took place there. The service was tremendous and the house was packed. There were only 13 empty seats in the whole building! We baptized 10 who had recently been saved, rededicated, or were entering a new phase in their life. It was an amazing day that I will never forget.
All of that got me thinking however. Why did I wait so long to do this? Why haven't we had more baptisms and why haven't I put more emphasis on it than I have? When I started researching baptism and reading books on it, I found some interesting things. For one, churches that emphasize baptism are growing across the board while churches that only do it every now and then are declining. Coincidence? I think not. I found that baptisms that were planned in advance and made personal, yet public with the church congregation, served as a somewhat right of passage for people to feel like they had truly joined a church or been accepted into a movement. Baptism drew out family members and friends to the church to hear the Gospel. Baptism was also about remembering Christ. I preached a truth on Sunday that jumped at me while studying for the message. In Colossians 2:12, Paul likens baptism to being crucified with Christ under the water and raised with Him when we come up from the water. In short, I realized that in many ways Communion is about remembering the death of Christ and what it means for us and Baptism is about remembering the resurrection of Christ and what it means for us. To focus on one and not the other is like half-remembering Jesus. It was Jesus who commanded us to be baptized and to baptize. It was Jesus who set the standard as He submitted Himself to being baptized. And when I started seeing all of these things, I came to some freeing conclusions.
The church of Acts taught baptism, for lack of a better word, religiously. In Acts 16, Lydia accepts Christ and Paul baptizes her practically immediately. In Acts 19, Paul leads off a conversation with the question of whether or not some people had been baptized or not. Baptism was a major part of the church. So why had it seemed to disappear in my church and in other churches claiming to be descendants and replicas of the New Testament church of Acts? I discovered some things by remembering my past.
I'm blessed to have grown up in the church I grew up in. I don't think I could have had a better experience growing up in any other church than Hazlehurst Church of God. It wasn't that it was perfect, because it wasn't. But what it was was solid. It was sturdy. It was filled with disciples of Christ. There was something real about the people I grew up practically idolizing in many ways. I knew they weren't perfect, but they fascinated me. Our church had a baptismal pool and I remember several baptisms. To be fair, I don't remember them being on a regular basis, but I do remember many. It might be because I was part of several. If I had gotten away from the Lord, I got baptized again. When I accepted my call into ministry, I got baptized. When I got my license, I got baptized again. I recognized firstly that if I had walked away from Christ and was thereby going to hell, then to come back meant I needed to do my first works again. My first works included baptism. I also realized that Christ never sinned and yet He was baptized before beginning His earthly ministry. So when I got ready to start mine, I got in the pool again. I don't remember how I came to this understanding about baptism at a young age, but it just seemed to come natural that baptism was important and I wanted to be a part if at all possible.
However, when I started going and doing ministry in different places I found something startling. Many of the churches I'd preach youth services in or sing in or do some sort of ministry in did not have baptistries. Being a pastor and having to deal with finances now, I understand why the decision was probably made not to build one because they can be expensive. However, I found that when I would go and speak or sing in a small Methodist or Baptist church, they always had baptistries. Always! The church sanctuary might only sit 50 people, but there was a baptistry. In talking with someone raised in a different denomination, I found that in their churches, salvation was almost always followed up by baptism almost immediately. I started reflecting on my experiences in ministry and with other churches in my own denomination and I realized, at least from my viewpoint, that baptism was not typically pushed that much. It wasn't that it was preached against as much as it wasn't preached at all. I hesitate to say it this way, but I remember hearing more about the baptism of the Holy Spirit than the baptism in water. I'm not so sure that some didn't care more about people getting the first without having ever went through the latter . . .
Don't get me wrong. This isn't about building baptistries in churches. Our model that we pulled off was more than adequate, and quite nice looking may I add (sorry for the humble brag), and we pulled it off at a major fraction of the cost of installing one. What this is about however is getting back to what I believe was a calling card sign for the early church. The Great Commission tells us to disciple and baptize. The early church did, but what about the modern church? If baptism can be considered the calling card, the proof in the pudding that someone has made a decision for Christ and is ready to follow His commands and directions, then doesn't that take the guesswork out of follow up? I can't tell you how many times I've beat myself like a prophet of Baal on Mt. Carmel for not being able to keep people who have come to the church and prayed a prayer. It wasn't until I studied baptism and prepared for our own here at the church that I realized that there was something missing.
If a person gets saved, they're supposed to be a new creation. Now this isn't about judging someone's salvation. I'm way passed that. Outside of major egregious things, for me, that's to be left between the person and the Lord. Instead, it's about the response to the decision. If I know I'm going to hell and I accept the reality that Jesus Christ suffered the most excruciating death imaginable for me and then rose again and is coming back to get me, then something in me has to want to know more about Christ. If someone saved your life this afternoon, you'd want to thank them and know them. Salvation brings the Holy Spirit to live within us and it is His job according to Christ to teach us and lead us into the ways of Christ. When people have a real experience with Christ and truly recognize Him as Lord and Savior of their life, I just have to believe that they will want to know more about Him. In short, they'll want to know "what's next?" For the early church, baptism and discipleship were next. If a convert didn't want to follow through with baptism and didn't want to be discipled, then it became questionable whether that person really had experienced anything with Christ. In such cases today, many pastors and churches beat themselves up because they weren't able to keep people coming who unfortunately had never even demonstrated outside of one walk to an altar a desire to truly follow Christ, much less make His church important.
When a church is trying to build disciples, then baptism can't be an optional thing. If a church is just trying to get people to come, then not only is baptism optional, but discipleship is just a choice instead of the call for Christians according to Luke 9:23. For me, I want everyone who wants to come to my church to come, but I have to be honest. I've learned to lower my expectations for people in my church who openly display a desire to not be plugged into the pathway of a Christ follower. That's not to say they're not important to me. Far from it! They are of the utmost importance to me. This is to say however, that if someone doesn't think baptism and discipleship are important or necessary, I've learned not to be surprised if they don't think church attendance or prayer time is important. It would be like being surprised that someone doesn't know how to drive a stick shift when all they've ever driven is an automatic.
So I've gained a new found love for baptism and its place in the church, at least mine that is. Baptism is here to stay at Free Point. If we're not doing it regularly, something's wrong with us. It means people aren't getting saved. It means people aren't moving forward in their destinies with the Lord. It means no one is accepting a new call into a new ministry or way of living. And truly, if we're having church and none of those things are happening, are we really having church or are we guilty of using the Holy Spirit to massage away our troubles while we remain enthralled with our close knitted group that only selective people are invited to be a part of? Have we then actually turned the church into a place for Christians to gather and have their needs met? If so, then have we not made our own selfishness the motivation behind our assembly and thus perverted the actual reason and mission for the church in the world today?
Baptism is important. It's remembering the resurrection of Christ. It's an outward sign that we've crucified our flesh with His and that we've come alive by His Spirit, the same Spirit that the Bible tells us raised Him from the dead and now lives in us. I invite all of those in my church who haven't been baptized since you believed (at all or again) to pursue it. Follow Christ in it. Make His commands priority and let us celebrate with you as you make Him first in all things in your life!
Below are some pics from this past Sunday's historic event. I'm so very proud of each individual that was baptized! They are amazing individuals who God is moving in and working in. I'm excited to see what's next in each of their lives!
This book somewhat wrecked me. I didn't want to put it down, but I didn't want to read it anymore either. It wrecked me in a good way. Batterson challenges the reader on where he stands with God. Are you "all in" with your whole life, heart, resources, strengths, talents, etc? Batterson reminds us in the book that God is "all in" on us, and He asks, no commands, that we go "all in" on Him. But are we? Is He truly first? Are we utilizing our lives for our own good or are we seeking to glorify God in all we do? Are we trapped in our own routines of religiosity at the expense of the passionate and intimate relationship with Christ that He desires and commands? Are we settling for something instead of pursuing the real thing?
The book is a must read as Batterson does a tremendous job at mixing in historical examples as well as personal stories to illustrate the points he makes from scripture. Without a doubt, the book calls Christians out of complacency and into a place of reconsidering the way we spend our time and efforts. He calls out the dreams and pursuits that many have let die simply because they didn't pursue them with all they had. It definitely awakened some things in me that I've long laid down. This is a must read. Tremendous book! Go all in and read it.
This is Furtick's first book and it was great. The book deals with Joshua's faith moment of asking God to make the sun stand still over Israel's enemies until the battle could be completed. Furtick calls this Joshua's, "Sun Stand Still Prayer," and spends the rest of the book speaking about these types of prayers in several different areas of life.
Furtick calls readers to have audacious faith to believe God for extraordinary things that seem impossible and improbable. He calls on Christians to quit playing it safe when it comes to praying. He speaks directly to the lack of faith we as Christians tend to operate in and how it is shown with our crutch and religious phrases about being God's will that we attach to our requests as if to give God an out or to provide and explanation if He doesn't respond.
The book was great in that it absolutely challenges the reader to reconsider what God can, will, and desires to do in His people if we would have the faith to stand and believe. Furtick explains the process of faith and what kinds of faith prayers God responds to. He offers explanations for possible reasons why some prayers are never answered, i.e. wrong motive, doesn't bring God glory, not able to handle the answer. He also writes a complete chapter about how to respond when God hears your prayer but doesn't do what you've been seeking Him to do. According to Furtick, these times should increase our faith that much more by trusting in His sovereignty instead of wrecking our faith as it typically does.
This was a great book that I would recommend to anyone who believes God can still do extraordinary things with ordinary people. I can definitely see a small group coming from this book!
My wife and I were talking last night about her classes in college. Billie is going to be graduating with her Bachelor's degree in May in the field of Public Service. In a nutshell, she'll be able to work in family services for the community, education systems, and non-profits to name a few. With this kind of degree comes tons of sociology and psychology classes. I'm a big fan of these kinds of classes as I am a pretty analytical and so are these disciplines. The problem however is that postmodernism and liberality has successfully attempted in many places to mitigate truth and fiction. The two true disciplines of sociology and psychology have become polluted and diluted with so much liberalism and unimpressive attempts of brainwashing to cause new students and readers to accept a new way of life and way of thinking about the world. The problem exists that this "new" way of thinking and living is not substantiated by any reputable claims or scientific proof. Instead, these once proud disciplines have devolved into Hedonism 101 and the search for justification for the way humanity wants to live.
Case in point is the sexual orientation debate. People have tried to use science, biology, and genetics to prove that individuals are born homosexual. Yet time and time again, there is no evidence to prove that a person is born with the quote / unquote "gay gene." There have been tons of studies done on homosexual individuals and heterosexual individuals in adolescence that do however show different stimulation points to the brain and even different growth patterns of important parts of the brain which control emotions and ultimately sexual feelings. What does this prove? It would seem to prove that individuals are not born homosexual, or as it is called, with an alternate sexual orientation or lifestyle. The evidence does seem to suggest however that a person's environment and life happenings can indeed cause changes which may definitely lead to a change in behavior and even a biological change. If you take sexual orientation out of the picture, and consider studies done on individuals who have experienced traumatic experiences during childhood or adolescence, biological changes can be seen as well. We are shaped by our environments and tend to be affected more than we would want to admit by the things we experience in life.
All that being said, one aspect of the argument for people being born homosexual or with an alternate sexual orientation that I do not hear considered very often is the reality that if indeed people are born homosexual, then where does the line stop? Scientifically and biologically, people are either all born heterosexually or not. It is undeniable that whether a person wants to believe as I do in the great Creation of God or if they choose to believe in a big bang and atheism, we all have to accept that the bodies of men and women are absolutely made / evolved for each other. This is a fact that cannot be debated. It is proven in reproduction, sexuality, physicality, and biologically. And if there were not a natural inclination towards the opposite sex, the world as we know it would be less populated and culture as we know it would be drastically different. So then if people are either born heterosexually or they are not, what ramifications does that create?
As it turns out, lots. The pundits want to make homosexuality acceptable. They claim it is an alternative lifestyle. Some claim people are born homosexual or born with a different sexual orientation and thereby should be given tolerance, rights, and acceptance. Here's the major problem no one wants to address. If people are indeed born with a different sexual orientation other than heterosexuality, then where does it end? If people are born homosexual, are people born with pedophilia? Pedophilia is actually diagnosed as a psychotic disorder of the brain, that is, the brains of pedophiles react differently in terms of sexuality to certain stimuli, namely children. Many pedophiles claim they can't help themselves and many more claim they were born with a genetic disposition towards children. If we are trying to make the argument that homosexuality should be accepted because people can be born with an alternative sexual orientation to heterosexuality, what stops us from having to accept pedophilia?
If homosexuality should be accepted based on the belief that people are born that way, then when will we have to start accepting the belief that people are born to be sexually attracted to children or animals? Does anyone in their right mind and in their heart of hearts believe for a moment that pedophilia should be accepted? Absolutely NOT! It is sick and twisted. It is perverted. No one is born to be sexually attracted to children. Almost all of society would agree with that statement. This is to say, that most of society does not believe people are actually born with an alternative sexual orientation for children. So what is the difference, biologically and genetically speaking, in being born with an alternate sexual orientation. The whole basis of being born homosexual is genetic, or something that no one has any control over. To begin to try and make an argument that a heterosexual orientation is not hardwired into us is to accept that an alternative sexual orientation can be. And if society and social disciplines want the world to accept that alternate sexual orientations can be hardwired into a baby while being formed in their mother's womb, thus causing them to be born a certain way, then what constitutes acceptable orientations? The basis of the argument for homosexual acceptance in many cases is that they are indeed born that way and thus cannot help it and should be accepted and given rights to live in such a lifestyle. If indeed they are born that way, and I do not believe people are, but if they are, therefore proving people can be born with alternate sexual orientations seemingly proven biologically due to the brain development and hormonal balances, then the proverbial can of worms has now officially been open.
The world will argue that pedophilia would never be accepted because its atrocious and abusive to children. On a moral level, despite biological science, it should never be accepted. And I completely agree. The problem is that these amoral pundits of liberation attempting to infiltrate and eradicate all images of Christianity, traditional marriage and families, and values are talking out of both sides of their mouths. If biologically it is true people are born homosexual and thus should be accepted and given rights, then based on their own logic, we must extend those rights and acceptance to all behaviors which can be somewhat proven or assumed to be biological and genetic in nature. Are we ready to go there? That's where the argument is headed whether we like it or not. It's a slippery slope we're on here.
If we want to argue on a moral basis and what supposedly does and does not hurt others or affect others as being the basis for why alternate orientation should and should not be accepted, then we must abandon the biological debate wholly. If we abandon that debate completely then we must argue the merits of alternative sexual orientation on the basis of choice rather than genetics. On the basis of choice, pedophilia will never be accepted because it goes without saying that children do not consent to sex willingly or knowingly understanding what it is. But on the basis of choice, if homosexuality is to be accepted as normal, then why is it considered alternative? If it is a choice, then why does the choice to live in a sexually alternate lifestyle trump the choice of one who chooses heterosexuality and thus rejects the alternative? If it is to be considered normal, then what is heterosexuality? Can they both be normal? Absolutely not especially in the sense that "normal" in this debate is being defined as equal and the same. So if indeed it is normal and equal, where are the biological children produced from the union of homosexual passion? This reality alone proves that heterosexuality and homosexuality are not equal. Homosexual couples have children because a heterosexual couple reproduced them. And we're not talking about the fact that there are some heterosexual couples that cannot for some reason get pregnant. The problem there is not the lack of "equipment" nor the lack of trying. Miracles can take place or biological measures can be taken to try to help the couple. These options are not available at all for the homosexual couple. Thus on this basis alone, the orientations are not equal and never will be.
If it's freedom to live one's life we want to talk about, that's another debate, and civilly and politically, I think some common ground might can be found. The problem comes when we as individuals attempt to justify the lives we live thereby wanting acceptance. Nature itself has an order to it. Followers of all religions and atheists alike understand and believe that. It's unfortunate that so much of today's media, education, and publications would rather spend precious time, money, and energy trying to convince a new generation to follow the shifting sand of justification rather than the concrete and very visible order of nature. The debate for rights and equality can never truly be had until a common ground is established on natural order. That unfortunately will probably never happen for what we are seeing today is the exaltation of selfishness, ego, and sin. If it feels good, you can do it and should have the right to do it according to today's society and leading minds. The right to live openly in whatever fashion a person wants to has now trumped the right to reject a belief or lifestyle by another individual. Our rhetoric has sunk to new lows where we attack viciously those that would disagree with our opinions or "rights" to be ourselves. This only proves we're more in love with ourselves than we are with equality, rights, government, or God. Indeed, we as a country have reconstructed ancient idols of self lust and crafted for ourselves a polytheistic way of living in which the gods of pleasure, sex, money, and success are routinely worshiped in our homes and in our families. We receive messages from these gods on our TV screens, computer monitors, and books. Their prophets parade on the silver screen, the blocks of DC, and possibly the pulpit nearest you. This phenomenon is being played out in secular and religious circles alike.
Google has made humanity appear smarter than it is and as such Christians along with secularists have been brainwashed into making decisions that are best for ourselves when Christ's way is about thinking of others, preferring your brother before yourself, and becoming a servant to those around you. Our opinions have become our gods. And the main problem is that we don't have an original thought. Whatever side of life we have an inclination to lean towards: politically (Republican or Democrat), spiritually (Church or No Church), sexually (Heterosexual or Alternate Orientation), fiscally (Saver or Spender), militarily (War or No War), we surround ourselves with the media and voices of those who think like we want to. Unfortunately this causes our debates to be less about trying to find solutions and exploring our hearts and actually more about trying to defend the talking points we've adopted from those who think like us. We've lost original thought. We find for ourselves preachers who describe the Christian life the way we want to believe it exists and if we can't find them, we'll declare ourselves spiritual enough to judge the failing churches and do our own thing. We want to speak as financial advisers to our government who certainly could use some help while we're waist deep in credit card debt living off of someone else's money or paycheck to paycheck. And while there is nothing wrong with wanting to make something of one's self or make good decisions in life, we have been cursed almost technologically to pursue what we want and think regardless of the cost of all others. Our new social media phenomenon is unfortunately in many cases one of the many altars we invite people to worship ourselves at. When you have to post all of your opinions all the time and check back multiple times a day to see what someone thinks about it, social media just became the means by which you find recognition. To be fair, social media can be great especially when it comes to the sharing of ideas and relationships (look at me now), but could it also be another avenue in which we exalt ourselves if we're not careful? It all points back to a problem with self, or maybe we should call it the god of me.
In the voice of the confusion and chaos, there is still One calling. He is Jesus. Will you accept what some trumped up educator, politician, or any other individual claims is right? How much longer will we judge the validity of something by what we feel rather than what we know? Will we exalt Christ, His way, His truth, His life, His commandments, His Word, to the foremost position of our lives? There are lots of voices out there today attempting to justify and publicize sin and choice, but the still voice of Christ still beckons. It ultimately comes down to this question: why would we want to serve a god we've crafted for ourselves when we can serve the God who crafted us first in His image?
I celebrated my first day off of school since June by reading a book in a day. It was a really good book if you love faith and football.
When most people think of the quarterback of the Washington Redskins, Robert Griffin III is who comes to mind and for good reason. RG3 is one of the great young talents of the game and led his team to the playoffs in his rookie year. The backup quarterback for the Redskins is a little less known outside of DC and East Lansing, MI. The backup is Kirk Cousins.
Cousins is a born again Christian who proudly lives out his faith on and off the field. He was a part of one of the most successful classes of players at Michigan State University. And those who do know him now, know him for his great play last year for the Redskins when RG3 went down with a knee injury. Cousins led the team to victories and played like a veteran with poise and confidence. He credited it all to his walk with the Lord and his book examines just how much his faith has helped him through adversity and challenges from high school to the NFL.
Cousins provides great lessons for every reader and especially youth and young adults. The overall theme of making Christ first and learning to make good decisions proves itself over and over in the book. Cousins' own testimony is proof that those who put their trust in the Lord can depend on Him to walk with them through every arena of life.
Where Cousins goes from here is anyone's guess. Outside of injury, it is assumed that Cousins will rarely see the field for the Redskins. While that is disappointing to Cousins who was a three year successful starter for the Spartans in the Big Ten, he will no doubt find success at whatever he puts his efforts towards. God blesses and uses individuals who remain humble and place their entire trust and faith in Him alone.
This was probably one of, if not the, best books I've ever read on the subject of the cross. It's an older book and Dr. Hughes has passed on from this life into glory. He left behind an amazing legacy of preaching, pastoring, miracles, and anointing.
Admittedly, Hughes didn't so much offer tons of new information about the cross in this book, as much as the information, backed by hundreds of scriptures, leaped off the page with heart piercing targets and pure sincerity. Hughes takes the reader through understanding the necessity for the cross, the nature of the cross, the power of the blood of Christ, how precious the blood truly is, along with several other chapters detailing the powerful event which was the cross.
One chapter that stood out to me the most was Hughes' continued push for today's churches to recognize that the most important topic, the foundational element, and the pure focus of the early church was the cross. In focusing on the cross and what Christ did in living, dying, and resurrecting, the floodgates of God's power opened in the early's church's ministries and midst. Hughes declares that there is no other way to touch the Lord and to give service to His commands than to preach the cross, hold high the blood of Christ, and proclaim its freeing power over sin.
Loved this book! It's hard to believe I bought it for $1 at a book sale at Church of God Campmeeting. Best $1 book I've ever bought. Tons better than many $20 books I've bought!
I've got to be really honest here. This was actually a very good book. It's a must read for all worship pastors or those who want to do music ministry. If I ever pay anyone to do my music again, reading this book will be a requirement! Kauflin does a tremendous job at detailing the ministry of a worship leader, his responsibilities in the church, to the congregation, to the pastor, and to the Lord. He deals straightforward with the hangups that always happen with style and preference. He deals with how to handle worship teams, musicians, and critics. He deals with selecting songs to sing and learn. He talks about understanding the theology behind the songs to see if it mixes with what the vision of the church is. He talks about the place of the worship leader in the church. He really doesn't leave many stones uncovered. Great, great book!
Now the rest of my honesty, I absolutely hated reading it. One, I'm no longer a music minister and because the book is geared very poignantly to music ministers, it was a tough read. Second, it's a required read for one of my Masters' classes. God's still working on me and I absolutely hate to be made to read something. (There's my confession time.) Last, I have to write a 32 page book report on the book, so I was doomed to dislike it from the beginning.
Nevertheless, great book and a must read for all music ministers, worship leaders, and all who think they want to be.
I haven't read a Perry Stone book in some time. I still like Stone a lot, but I admittedly have also become a little leery of what seems to be sensationalism in some of his stuff. That said, I respect him greatly and there's no doubt that he pours hours and hours of research into his studies, books, and sermons. He's extremely anointed and sincere.
I said that to say this, "The Meal That Heals" was a bit of a disappointment for me. I read it in doing some research for an upcoming message on Communion next Sunday. This was one of Stone's older book and it showed in that it wasn't as detailed as his newer books and seemed a little repetitious in parts. That said, the book still had some very good aspects of Communion.
One aspect that jumped out was the notion of taking Communion daily or at least weekly whether it be at church or in the home. Stone makes a good argument for this very thing taking place in the early church on a regular basis. He connects Communion with the obvious promises of the New Covenant that Christ came and put in place and as such encourages believers to received Communion often in faith believing that the promises of the New Covenant will be wrought in their lives. I must say I've never heard that taught from anyone else besides Stone and he makes a tremendous case for adopting the practice.
Overall, the book was a good read, but if you've read a lot of Stone's books, this one isn't nearly as detailed. It does provide great information on Communion though that are very good. I'm sure I'll use some as I prepare for our church's Communion service two Sundays from now.
This is one of Lucado's "gift books" in which he takes a popular portion of scripture and dissects it using stories and material from some of his other books. In this book, Lucado delves in to the 23rd Psalm of David and speaks to different elements of the psalm in detail. Of significance was Lucado's expounding on the role of the shepherd and the usage of the oil as described in the psalm.
This is a very quick read, but though the book is short and is a collection of writings, it still represents some great truths and realities that everyone needs to be reminded of. Especially me!
Ryan is engaged to Rachel and resides in Perry, GA. He is the proud "Dada" to Rylee and Charlee. He holds a Bachelors degree in Social Science Education and a Masters degree in church ministry / leadership. He has served in various positions of ministry, music, management, and more. He spends his free time with his girls, writing and playing music, reading books, playing and watching sports, and living life. To contact Ryan, email email@example.com.