Articles related to Michael Helms


A Butterfly's Lesson About the Resilient Human Spirit
A Butterfly's Lesson About the Resilient Human Spirit

By: Michael Helms
Like the fragile butterfly that somehow survives a powerful storm, the human spirit resolves to pick up and rebuild when disasters strike. We reach out to our neighbors, share what we have with one another and start again.

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There Is No Greater Love: A Memorial Day Tribute
There Is No Greater Love: A Memorial Day Tribute

By: Michael Helms
Memorial Day is important because we give pause from our busy lives and are asked to remember the price paid by men and women for our freedom. It slips away the moment we take it for granted.

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The Cure for Internet Venom: Let's Listen to Each Other
The Cure for Internet Venom: Let's Listen to Each Other

By: Michael Helms
Technology has done more to divide us than unite us. There is no substitute for knowing that someone really cares what you have to say and wants to listen to you say it, even if the person has an opposing view.

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Abolishing Johnson Amendment Would Diminish Gospel
Abolishing Johnson Amendment Would Diminish Gospel

By: Michael Helms
The Johnson Amendment grants churches tax-exempt status as long as they don't endorse or oppose political candidates. If it's abolished, churches would be known by their politics, and the gospel harder to hear.

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Pedaling through Life Alone Leads to Burnout
Pedaling through Life Alone Leads to Burnout

By: Michael Helms
When we go at life alone and decide not to trust or collaborate with others, we burn out without reaping the results we want. When we work together, we have what it takes to reach the finish line.

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Georgia Baptist Pastors Tempted With Reach for Power
Georgia Baptist Pastors Tempted With Reach for Power

By: Michael Helms
Many Christians are threatened by U.S. pluralism pecking away at their majority status. To fight it, some Georgia Baptists are pushing for laws that benefit them, but that's liberty and justice for some.

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What You Can Learn from Examining Your 'Roots'
What You Can Learn from Examining Your 'Roots'

By: Michael Helms
Your family roots have a deep influence on you. On your life's journey, you must recognize the parts of your family system that still exist around you and within you - and ask yourself what needs to change.

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Legislation Won't Make Us Christian
Legislation Won't Make Us Christian

By: Michael Helms
Lawmakers are eager to pass laws to keep our nation 'Christian.' Tennessee, for example, wants to make the Bible the state book. Instead of forcing the Bible on people, what if we lived out its commandments?

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Losing in Sports Speaks Volume to Your Character
Losing in Sports Speaks Volume to Your Character

By: Michael Helms
How you lose speaks to your character. Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton's post-game Super Bowl interviews illustrated how not to handle a loss, while a high school swimmer showed how to come in second.

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Sabbaticals Prepare Pastors for New Season to Bloom
Sabbaticals Prepare Pastors for New Season to Bloom

By: Michael Helms
Gardeners understand that giving the land time to rest every few years is good for the garden. Similarly, a sabbatical prepares a pastor for a new season of ministry ahead.

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Remembering The Faithful Who Died and Those Who Grieve
Remembering The Faithful Who Died and Those Who Grieve

By: Michael Helms
Death is still our enemy, but All Saints Day on Nov. 1 has become an occasion for the church to recall those who have died and remember those who continue to grieve their loss.

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Win or Lose: You Always Win Playing with Integrity
Win or Lose: You Always Win Playing with Integrity

By: Michael Helms
The University of Georgia's football coach was praised for his ethics and integrity, even as other nearby colleges scored better records. A person's integrity is long remembered after games are won or lost.

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'I Don't Even See People as Black or White Anymore'
'I Don't Even See People as Black or White Anymore'

By: Michael Helms
As more and more news about racial tension tears apart our country, more of us need to model the spirit of Larry, an older African-American, who no longer sees "people as black or white anymore."

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When Choosing Churches, Brand Loyalty Has Little Sway
When Choosing Churches, Brand Loyalty Has Little Sway

By: Michael Helms
Few people will join your church because they've been looking for a particular denomination. They don't care about your brand; they want a church that meets their needs.

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Profiles in Goodwill: Michael Helms
Profiles in Goodwill: Michael Helms
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Michael Helms, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Jefferson, Georgia, writes columns for EthicsDaily.com. Learn why his favorite book in the Bible reminds him of chocolate.
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How to Reset the Margins of Your Life
How to Reset the Margins of Your Life

By: Michael Helms
Like the pages of books, your life needs margins. Without them, you overextend yourself. Building margins into your life is a matter of choice and discipline, regardless of how much or how little you have.

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Ebola Threatens More Than Lives in Liberia
Ebola Threatens More Than Lives in Liberia

By: Michael Helms
Fear grips the people of Liberia. The majority of 1,400 deaths from Ebola are in Liberia. Public gatherings are off-limits, health workers fear treating patients, and schools and hospitals are closed.

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Why Church Youth Need to Learn Opposing Views
Why Church Youth Need to Learn Opposing Views

By: Michael Helms
Why do so many youth leave the church after leaving home? We spend a lot of time telling them what to believe, but not enough time educating them about opposing views and helping them think.

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The Most Important Sermons Aren't Spoken in Church
The Most Important Sermons Aren't Spoken in Church

By: Michael Helms
Many people will never darken the door of a church, but they're open to knowing about God's love. That's why the most important sermons are given by ordinary folks in the highways and byways of life.

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Marriages Work Best with Mutually Submissive Spouses
Marriages Work Best with Mutually Submissive Spouses

By: Michael Helms
Some preachers proclaim that men and women are equal before God but created for different roles. That sounds good on the surface, but it's a model that's ripe for abuse.

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When Cable TV, Social Media Become Bad
When Cable TV, Social Media Become Bad
Nothing's inherently wrong with cable TV, social media and the Internet. They become bad if they control us and lead us to make destructive and immoral choices.
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Liberian Camp Gives Teens a Roadmap for Life Together
Liberian Camp Gives Teens a Roadmap for Life Together
In Liberia, where century-long animosities that divided the country into warring factions still remain, 150 teenagers learned that building community takes hard work.
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How Your Church Benefits From a Long-Term Pastor
How Your Church Benefits From a Long-Term Pastor
Most ministers rarely stay long at churches. Many move on in search of greener pastures. Many congregants feel they must defend their turf. What if those attitudes changed?
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What You Can Learn from Alzheimer's Patients
What You Can Learn from Alzheimer's Patients
Many churches worry about how many people are in Sunday school or worship services, but a more crucial number is how many are in care homes and how often we visit them.
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Counselors Help You Navigate Rough Waters
Counselors Help You Navigate Rough Waters
It takes a skilled guide to navigate a boat through the twists and turns of a swamp. How much more do we need a skilled counselor to help us navigate our relationships?
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What If Your Church Were More Like Rotary?
What If Your Church Were More Like Rotary?
Rotary is an international service organization with the motto of "Service Above Self." Here are six ways your church could mature if it were more like the Rotary.
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Skype Interview: Michael Helms Discusses Ricks Institute
Skype Interview: Michael Helms Discusses Ricks Institute
Ricks Institute, a K-12 school in Liberia, can put the West African nation back on its feet, a Georgia pastor says. Find out how in the latest Skype interview from EthicsDaily.com. (Photo: RicksOnline.org)
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What Do You Value in Life's Daily Auction?
What Do You Value in Life's Daily Auction?
We place a value on everything, whether it's our time, our health or our family. The sum of these decisions reflects whether we believe life is about us or something much bigger.
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Isn't It Time You Took a Digital Sabbath?
Isn't It Time You Took a Digital Sabbath?
We're accessible any time thanks to today's technology. The down side is we can't disconnect mentally and emotionally when we need to. That's why you need a digital Sabbath.
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Why Huckabee's Wrong to Blame Public Schools
Why Huckabee's Wrong to Blame Public Schools
Contrary to what Mike Huckabee believes, God can't be systematically removed from our schools. Even if you removed all Christians, that wouldn't keep God from showing up.
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Isn't It Time to Turn Down the Video-Game Violence?
Isn't It Time to Turn Down the Video-Game Violence?
We have gotten to a point where violence is not only packaged and sold; it is celebrated as welcomed entertainment. Isn't it time that we turn down the violence?
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Whom Do You Serve – Others or Yourself?
Whom Do You Serve – Others or Yourself?
God does not ask us to solve the world's poverty, to house everyone without a home, to take in every orphan, to feed every hungry person. God does ask us to get involved.
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Why Can't Churches Be More Like Pecan Trees?
Why Can't Churches Be More Like Pecan Trees?
Pecan trees on a church parking lot offer their treasure to anyone who collects them. The trees don't care about political party or race. What if churches would do the same?
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A Child's Question: Adam and Eve vs. Cavemen
A Child's Question: Adam and Eve vs. Cavemen
What's your answer when your daughter asks whether Adam and Eve or the cavemen came first? You could pit science and faith against each other. Or help her affirm her faith while appreciating science.
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Group Claims to Know the Date of Jesus' Return
Group Claims to Know the Date of Jesus' Return
If organizers who claim Jesus will return on May 21 are certain of their conviction, they should give all their money to the poor, homeless and jobless on that date. The organizers won't need it after that date anyway.
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"Hoping Liberia: Stories of Civil War from Africa's First Republic"
"Hoping Liberia" includes stories of what author Michael Helms refers to as seeds of hope, including the stories of Liberian Christians as they struggle to survive and recover from the ravages of the country's civil war.
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Some Folks Need to Break Their Addiction – To Church
Some Folks Need to Break Their Addiction – To Church
Some people become churchaholics, going to four or five meetings a week for church-related events. Some feel compelled to do this. Others feel it’s their calling. Some attend out of guilt.
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Explaining Lent to Non-Liturgical Christians
Explaining Lent to Non-Liturgical Christians
The preparation for Easter became known as Lent, which comes from the Old English word "lencten," meaning "lengthen" as the days do as winter gives way to spring.
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A 2009 Challenge to the Church
The church needs to recommit herself to sharing the light and warmth of the gospel in a world that is cold and uncaring. The work of the church never ends. It's a good thing, too, because even though the church is made up of forgiven sinners, were it not for the church, the body of Christ would resemble a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle with no pieces connected.
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We Can Have Joy in the Winters of Life
The season of Advent prepares us for Christmas Day, the day that Joy came down from heaven and entered into the hardships of humanity as a vulnerable child.
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Selfishness Can Trample the Life Out of Others
If we are not loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our strength and with all our minds and loving neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:27), then it's very likely that we too are a part of a crowd that has our priorities all out of line during this Advent season.
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Living a Life of Significance: Part 2
Dr. Melvin Cheatham is an accomplished neurosurgeon. For much of his early career he felt that his drive for success had more to do with his own rise to stardom and material wealth than with providing care to suffering humanity. Long hours were taking such a toll on his body that he was told by a physician that his high cholesterol would likely kill him before age 50. It gave him a wake-up call.
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Has Sports Become a Religion in America?
Most religions focus on one god, one deity, or one central spiritual leader.
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Living a Life of Significance
Rev. Olu Menjay could have lived a comfortable life in America. As a refugee from the Liberian civil war, he was granted a green card. After graduating from Mercer and Duke Divinity School, he was in pursuit of a doctorate at Boston University when Rev. Emile Sam-Peal, general secretary of the Liberian Baptist Missionary and Education Convention, invited him to return to Liberia to become principal of Ricks Institute, a K-12 grade school about 12 miles outside Monrovia.
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The Golden Rule and the Separation of Church and State
In Franklin County, Idaho, the Mormon population is 91.5 percent. In Utah County, Utah, it is 88.1 percent. If your job transferred you to one of these counties and you sent your child to a public school, would you object if the teacher began class by reading from the Book of Mormon each day? Well, obviously not if you are Mormon. If you are of any other religion or none at all, chances are good you would object.
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NCAA Chooses Money Over Students' Health
Recently, presidents of about 100 of the nation's best-known colleges and universities called on lawmakers to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. Their reasoning is akin to that surrounding the law of prohibition of years gone by: the drinking age is encouraging drinking, not curtailing it, specifically binge drinking.
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The Importance of Living an Authentic Life
By now the Bigfoot story is no longer big news. It was all a big hoax.
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Making Interruptions Into a Ministry
It's not unusual to get a phone call and be asked, "Are you busy?" Now that question is tricky. Of course I stay busy. If I'm in the office, I'm not doing crossword puzzles.
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Should Christians Be Concerned About Our Carbon Footprint?
Scientists are in wide agreement that global warming is real. Carbon dioxide and methane gases have increased in our atmosphere over the years and scientists believe these are mostly to blame for the warming phenomena which are causing more frequent extreme weather, disappearing glaciers and ice cover in both the Arctic and Antarctic Sea regions, and a rise in the ocean's temperatures.
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Does Your Teenager Know You Care?
From age 25 to age 30, I worked as a youth minister. It was my job to stay on top of youth culture. Sometimes I became an important link between teenagers and their parents. At times I felt like an interpreter, helping parents understand teenagers who didn't seem to speak the same language or helping teenagers understand their parents who didn't seem to understand their teenager's growing need for independence and space.
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Doing the Right Thing
What would you do if you learned that three of your friends were planning to do something criminal? Matt Atkinson, a high school senior at East High School in Green Bay, Wis., was told by three of his friends that they planned to carry out a Columbine-style attack on their 1,500-member school, shoot students and staff they didn't like, ignite bombs and set fires.
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No Political Party Has a Corner on Morality
Beginning with President Ronald Reagan, Republicans sought a moral high road, courting the Christian vote to eventually claim both the House and the Senate.
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A Message to the Graduates: It's Time to Fly Away
We raised you to leave us. It's not natural for you to stay in the nest forever. We want to fly, to mount up with wings as eagles.
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Hats Off to UGA for Policy on Underage Drinking
I don't want to sound like some poor soul locked into a constraining fundamentalist religion that keeps me from enjoying life; nor do I want to sound pious or preachy. It's just a fact of my life--I've never drank a beer. I've never had a swig of Jack Daniels. I tasted a strawberry daiquiri once.
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Seeing God from the Back Side of Life
Pat Robertson opened his mouth and inserted his foot again recently. He traced the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as well as the recent massive stroke of current Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the hand of God, saying these were punishments for their efforts in trying to make peace with Palestinians by sharing land in Israel.
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Schools that Teach How to Cheat the System
How can a high school exist without paid teachers? That's a very good question, but apparently it's not a real concern for Michael R. Kinney.
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Herod Launched the First War on Christmas, and He Lost
Driving recently through a small town, I noticed the Christmas decorations on city streets. The banners hanging from the poles read "Holiday Greetings."
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A Voice of Hope from an Urban Wilderness
For Christians, we have entered into that Season of Advent, a season of anticipation of the coming of the Christ Child and a season of expectation of the second coming of Christ. It is a season of hope.
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Giving Life After Death
This weekend marked the 10th anniversary of National Donor Sabbath. Since 1996 faith communities throughout the nation have observed the opportunity to discuss organ donation over the weekend that falls two weeks before Thanksgiving.
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God Used Rosa Parks to Help Us Change Our Ways
Earlier this week, someone asked me a piercing question about the Sermon of the Mount: "Where is the line between turning the other cheek and being someone's doormat?"
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Making Lemonade to Fight Cancer
You might think that 3-year-old children are too young to learn about cancer. You might think that cancer is a topic too heavy and deep for a teacher to be discussing with 3-year-olds.
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Should We Look for God in Every Storm?
Should we look for God in every storm? I've been mulling over that question a lot since Katrina rudely interrupted the lives of our Gulf Coast neighbors and Hurricane Rita now gains strength and threatens another part of the Gulf Coast region.
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Maybe All is Not Gone With the Wind
These are perilous times. As I write this article on Friday, New Orleans continues to fill up with water as if it were a large bowl tipped over to take on a strange mixture of soup. The city's a soup of debris, toxic chemicals, decaying matter, and even dead bodies.
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The True Nature of Fundamentalism
I want to thank Pat Robertson for helping people understand the true nature of fundamentalism. For many years it's been a little confusing to some. Even the word "Christian" is confusing these days.
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A Prominent Group Missing at the Centenary Baptist World Congress
Even after the terrible bombings that have left the city of London on edge, more than 10,000 undeterred Baptists from around the world gathered in Birmingham, England, last week for the centennial celebration of the Baptist World Congress.
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Frist is Going for the Jugular
I don't put political signs in my yard. For one reason, I live in a borrowed yard, a yard owned by the church members whom I serve. Some might mistake my views as those endorsed by the church.
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Place in History for the New Pope
I am blessed to have many Catholic friends in my community. At times we have engaged in discussions about faith matters and we have even had opportunity to worship together. Last year Trinity Baptist Church and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church held a joint Ash Wednesday service. I hope we can begin the season of Lent with our Catholic friends in this way again in the future.
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A Softer Movie but Still a Rugged Cross
Mel Gibson has released "The Passion of the Christ Recut" in theaters across the United States and Canada. About five minutes of the gruesome beating of Jesus has been cut from the film. Apparently Gibson took to heart some of the criticism regarding the violence of the movie.
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Raising a Jug of Crown Royal in Victory Lane
NASCAR and the NBA are traveling in opposite directions on the issue of alcohol. Recently the NBA announced that it is bouncing alcohol sales in the fourth quarter in order to curb improper conduct. Apparently someone has put two and two together; the longer fans drink alcohol, the more unruly they become.
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Live Life Like You are Dying
Tim McGraw won a Grammy Sunday night for his hit song, "Live Like You Were Dying." The song is about a man in his 40s who discovers he has a short time to live. Instead of feeling sorry for himself, he goes out and has every kind of positive experience he can with whatever time he has left.
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The Value of a Good Name
"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." Proverbs 22:1 (NKJV)
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Love and Compassion Also Left in the Wake
I began this year with a study of Jeremiah, the longest and one of the most complex books of the Bible. Robert Carroll once wrote: "The reader who is not confused by reading the book of Jeremiah has not understood it."
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The Offending Nature of John the Baptist
It's the season of Advent, a time when Christians prepare for the coming of Christmas, the birth of Jesus. I thought about inviting John the Baptist to preach at my church during Advent.
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Thanking Those Who Touch Our Lives
Samuel Leibowitz, a criminal lawyer, saved 78 people from the electric chair. Not one ever thanked him.
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Important Words From Bush and Kerry After the Election
The presidential debates were exciting. The two candidates stood before America and the world and debated hot-button issues such as war, homosexuality, stem cell research, appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court, jobs and foreign policy.
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Keeping the Election in Perspective
Is politics America's salvation? Hardly. Of course it is the arena where ideas can be debated, which leads to people who are elected, bills that are written and eventually to laws that govern. Few things are more important in America than the legislative process.
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From Box Cars to Stock Cars, A Curse Word is a Curse Word
Were it not for a slip of the tongue, Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be trailing Kurt Busch by only four points in the Nextel Cup standings, the coveted prize in the sport of stock car racing.
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Spinning Rims Are a Sign of the Times
I was in Panama City Beach, Fla., the first time a saw a car with a set of spinning rims. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. The car was stopped but it looked like the wheels were still moving.
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The Purpose of the Ten Commandments
Religion News Service reports below that former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore intends to appeal his case over posting the Ten Commandments to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Common Threads in Religious Fundamentalism
Four Southern Baptist missionaries for the International Mission Board were killed on March 15 in a drive-by shooting. The group was researching needs for future humanitarian projects.
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Surviving the Pressure Points of Marriage
According to Genesis, a marriage is the coming together of a man and a woman in a "one flesh" relationship. "A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Gen 2:24). This one-flesh relationship is a welding of two wills, two personalities and two bodies into a relationship that is only as strong as the commitment to keep the vows spoken on the day of their wedding.
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Temptation and Pride Knock on Every Door
Martha Stewart can't use ignorance as an excuse like the woman from Atlanta is doing after trying to pass a $1 million bill at a Wal-Mart. After offering a Wal-Mart card that had only a couple of dollars left to spend, she tried to purchase more than $1,500 worth of merchandise with a bill that can be purchased at a novelty store. Did she really think the cashier was going to give her more than $998,000 in change? Something doesn't add up here.
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The Kind of Love that Changes People
In his book, The Lord is My Shepherd, Harold Kushner tells about Martin Buber, a German philosophy professor of the early 20th century. One day a young student came to see him, deeply concerned about a draft notice he had received to serve in the German army during World War I.
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A Culture Over the Edge
Instead of P. Diddy, Nelly and Kid Rock, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake as halftime performers at the Super Bowl, CBS should have brought in Ray Stevens to sing, "The Streak," one of his classic country comedy renditions about streakers. With all the nudity during the halftime show, it would have been more appropriate.
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If We Should Lose Our Way
God told me that He was going to tell Pat Robertson who will win the presidential election in 2004.
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A Modern-Day Drummer Boy
A favorite Christmas song for many is "The Little Drummer Boy." The song tells the story of a child who hears about the birth of a king, worthy of one's finest gift.
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Christmas Came After All

If you want a song that'll put you in a melancholy mood, listen to Mavis Staples sing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" on the album Johnny Cash released just before he died. Mavis Staples sang that song years ago at the Grand Ole Opry with Johnny and his wife June. There's no doubt that song took on a deeper meaning for Johnny Cash after his wife's death. It would be no surprise if her death had a lot to do with that song being on his last album.

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When I Was Hungry You Gave Me Food
By this time, most of us have had our fill of turkey and dressing and all the fixings. Few, if any of us have ever known what it's like to be hungry. We know it's not like this in every place in this world. We care but we try not to give it much thought. We are a lot like the boy who was told by his mother to eat everything on his plate. "You can't waste food when there are starving children in China," she'd say scoldingly. "Name one," came the boy's astute reply.
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Grieve, But Grow!
I watched recently as one of my twin nephews, both starters on their high school football team, went down with a season-ending knee injury. In the scheme of the world's problems, a torn ACL may not sound like much. But in the world of a high school athlete, it's devastating news. You have only one senior season.
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Praying for a Cure
I've been wearing a hospital bracelet on my arm for about two months. It's a rather odd piece of jewelry. One of my friends put it on my arm at church before I could protest. "We are going to wear these until Chandler's healed," she said. I looked at the hospital bracelet and noticed the words stenciled in blue ink: "Remember to Pray for our Chandler Booth."
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In Defense of the First Amendment
The circus that has taken place at the state judicial building in Alabama has brought attention to Judge Moore, to Alabama, to the Ten Commandments and to the courts' ruling on the separation of church and state. Whether this attention is positive or negative depends upon whom you ask.
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When Hospitalized Notify Your Church
One responsibility of a pastor is to visit people when they are hospitalized. When people's lives are disrupted by loss of health, they need support and love. It's an opportunity for the minister to say on behalf of the church, "We care about you!"
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Dropping Our Stones
As a pastor, I am sometimes questioned about this topic: What does the Bible say about homosexuality? What's a proper Christian response? Of course, homosexuality is just one of many sexual behaviors about which the Bible speaks. Yet it is the hot-button sexual issue of our time and gets the bulk of our attention.
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Hypocritical Patriotism
Americans will pull out Old Glory this weekend to celebrate Independence Day. Coming off a war in Iraq and with soldiers still dying there, the mood is highly patriotic this July 4. In addition, we are only a couple of months away from the second anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11.
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You Can Help Defeat Cancer
You might forget his name, Aron Ralston, but you won't soon forget what he did. After having his arm pinned by an 800-pound boulder for five days while hiking in Colorado, Ralston broke the bones in his arm and used his dull pocket knife to cut through the skin and tendons to free himself. He then rappelled from a 60-foot cliff and walked about six miles down the canyon before encountering two hikers who assisted him.
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Pastors Preach God's Message
There are days when we are heavily burdened with grief, fatigue and our own failures. We climb into the pulpit with great struggle, even to the point of asking ourselves at times, "Do I really believe what I am about to preach?"
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Pastors Work to Keep Church a 'Well-Oiled Engine'
Most businesses have a "go-to" person who's responsible for the overall workings of the enterprise—a "buck stops here" person. In the church, that person is the pastor.
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Ministers Put Out Fires
Like firefighters, when ministers are called about a crisis, we often rush to the scene. But unlike firefighters, we don't have a water hose to put out the fire. We arrive on the scene knowing that when we leave, the crisis will not be over; so we don't arrive with any false illusions that we have come to solve the problem.
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Wrestle With Soul to Prepare for Easter
Jesus did not find answers to these questions in the crowd or among his disciples. Jesus found answers in the wilderness, on the mountain, in the garden, often in the late hours of the night or in the early hours of the morning through disciplines such as prayer.
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Antique Barber Chair Brings Back Memories
For whatever reason, I've decided to trust women with my hair. But I don't think I'd ever go for a haircut at a salon called "Delilah's." That's advice I once heard from a man named Samson.
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Do You Shirk Responsibility Like Jonah?
Jonah admitted he had angered the God—the God of heaven who made the sea and land. He told the sailors to throw him overboard and the sea would become calm. Amazingly, Jonah chose to die rather than change his ways.
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Love at First Write
I don't suppose it really matters how love begins. What matters is whether the commitment to love another is genuine enough and deep enough to forsake all others, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death comes.
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Astronauts' Song Choices Tell Story
We grieve the loss of these seven men and women. Though their loss is profound, we lose people around us everyday. One day, this world will claim us. What then? What song will people remember that we have sung? What lyrics will people remember that we wrote with our lives? In time, most of us will simply fade away, never to be remembered again. What then?
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Run to Get the Prize
Running each day will greatly benefit our bodies. But greater still are the benefits of disciplining our lives spiritually. The Apostle Paul reminds us that the benefits of this type of self-discipline are out of this world.
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Church Shopping: The JFK Approach
The truth is that churches do a lot of member swapping. In Southern Baptist life, for example, most additions to a church's enrollment in a given year are not from converts, but from people looking for a new church home. While shoppers come in the front door, others slip out the back.
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Poor Voices in the Darkness
Although people have a responsibility to help themselves, it doesn't alleviate our responsibility to raise our light in the darkness and help those who cannot help themselves.
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A Little Hope Goes a Long Way
What lies ahead for our world in 2003? More suffering. I'm sure of it. But I'm not a pessimist because I believe God will continue to supply us with sprinklings of hope. They will swell within a people who continue to look for a kingdom that reflects the love and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
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Struggling With Teenage Boundaries
It's natural that teenagers want to break free from their parents' boundaries and test their limits. It was with Jim and Kate's oldest son, Mark, that the battle over boundaries was more intense.
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If You Win the Powerball, Give Me a Call
It was bound to happen sooner or later. A winner of the Powerball lottery has given God the credit for letting him pick the right numbers.
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Sharing the Light
The creative act of separating light from darkness is ongoing. As long as darkness is present in the form of evil, chaos and confusion, God will be working to create light and separate the light from the darkness, bringing order to a disordered world.
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What God Wants for Christmas
There are still lots of things to do between now and Christmas. Unfortunately, many of us are so busy we will miss the person standing between us and Christmas, a man who's pointing us in the direction we need to go: John the Baptist.
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Whose Water Is It?
My grandfather used to have a gourd dipper that hung on a nail from the back of his house. People who fished in his pond would stop by to tell him what kind of luck they had and to get a refreshing drink of cool water that came from a nearby well. Nothing has been made that quenches our thirst like pure water.
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A Match Made in Heaven?
If you are married, it's not likely that you came together like Aaron and Helene or King Xerxes and Queen Esther, but I bet many of you still marvel at the events that led to your marriage, prompting you to believe that you are "a match made in heaven."
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A Custom Worth Keeping
In the South, it is customary for motorists to pull off to the side of the road and stop after meeting a funeral procession. This is a custom worth keeping.
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Moving Through an Identity Crisis
Only when we take up our cross and follow Jesus can we move through our identity crises and have any hope of helping others overcome theirs.
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A Red-Light District on Main Street
If you have children who have unlimited, unsupervised access to the Internet, it's time you discovered what you can do to protect them, lest they be led astray by the evils that await their curious minds.
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Confidence: A Key for Successful Living
All of us have confidence in some areas and are lacking in others. A proper balance is important. Confidence run amuck leads to arrogance. No confidence leads to a poor self-esteem.
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Passionate Living Can Change Your World
When Christians stop being passionate about living the Christian life and sharing the love of a passionate Savior, our relationship with God will grow cold and distant and we will stop attracting others to our faith.
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Using Adversity as a Catapult to Success
Though all of us have different adverse circumstances affecting us, we each need to remember that we are left with a choice of how we will respond. Ultimate defeat might not be in the circumstance, but rather in our response and in our attitude.
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Taking Religion Seriously Across the Curriculum
It's time those who set the educational standards in our state and nation bring balance to the classroom by taking religion seriously across the curriculum.
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The Most Important Thing About a Name
Beyond the name that's been given you or the name you've made for yourself, the most important thing about your name is where it is written.
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The Most Important Thing About a Name
Beyond the name that's been given you or the name you've made for yourself, the most important thing about your name is where it is written.
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Turning Holes into Holy Moments
Unconfessed sin stays with us. We may suppress it, forget about it or pretend it never happened, but eventually our unconfessed sin revisits us or spills over into the lives of others, hurting them and us.
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Train Up Children, Change the World
Teaching and training our children should be the most important priority in our efforts to secure the homeland. Our children are our most important investment in the future of our nation and our world. Children turn into adults who may give their lives to save the world or give their lives to destroy it.
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It Takes Two to Gossip
It takes two to gossip. When gossip occurs, there is an initiator (the one who shares the nugget of information), and there is a listener (the one who swallows it down and asks for more).
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Guard the Gate of Your Character with Integrity
A person with integrity discerns right from wrong and acts on it, unafraid to state why a particular position was taken. Integrity takes courage because sometimes being a person of integrity comes with a personal cost.
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Has Pleasure Become an American Idol?
One of the oldest searches known to humanity is the search for happiness. Perhaps the widest path cut in this search is the path of pleasure. One of those who espoused this path was Epicurus, a Greek who lived more than 2,300 years ago.
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Corporate America Plays 'Spoons'
There's a card game called "spoons" played something like this:
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