Archives For February 2010

Is Your Denomination Up, Down, or All Around?

The National Council of Churches' 2010 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches reports membership gains in the Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Assemblies of God, among others.

The 78th annual edition of the Yearbook also reports a continuing decline in membership of virtually all mainline denominations. And the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second largest denomination and long a reliable generator of church growth, reported a decline in membership for the second year in a row, down 0.24 percent to 16,266,920.

Here's the top ten if you are interested: Continue Reading...

Tiger's Apology, Lent, & Repentance

I don’t feature guest columnists often, but my friend, Magrey deVega (pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cherokee, Iowa) wrote a thought-provoking piece on Tiger Wood’s apology that seamlessly fits into the Lenten season. I hope you enjoy as much as I did. Thanks, Magrey.

Dear Lenten Pilgrims,

When celebrities sin, it’s voyeuristic entertainment.  We hang on every word of every detail, and dissect their apologies like a science lab experiment. That’s why Tiger Woods’ confession last Friday seemed to garner so much attention, with millions viewing it live on television and on the web.

It is impossible to gauge his true motivations behind his apology.  He could have been trying to repair his public image, or express genuine remorse, or both.  But what we do know is what he said: Continue Reading...

Tuesdays with Tozer

Margaret —  February 23, 2010 — 2 Comments

Tuesdays with Tozer

Yesterday a dear friend and Christian leader and I were engaged in a conversation about repentance. After we repent, change our ways, do a 180, how do we get those we work with to do the same? Or can we? Or is that the work of God's Spirit?

There are many peculiar ideas about biblical repentance. I have talked with people who tried to tell me that repentance is necessary because "it makes you fit so that God can save you." The Bible does not teach that, and it never did. No man or woman has changed the character or goodness of God by an act of repentance. All the repentance in the universe cannot make God any more loving, any more gracious, Repentance is not a meritorious act. God is eternally good, and He welcomes us into His love, grace and mercy when we meet His condition of an about-face so that we are aware of His smile. Continue Reading...

Tuesdays with Tozer

Margaret —  February 9, 2010 — 1 Comment

Tuesdays with Tozer

Some people have a knack for making me hungry to know God. I know a few people who when I'm done talking with them make me want to know and love Him more. I treasure those people.

They don't try to be religious. They don't attempt to be spiritual. They simply are themselves and in the process radiate the presence of God. Many of them have trekked through dark valleys yet they still carry a hopeful, persistent, passion and love about them. Continue Reading...

How to Be A Mentor

Margaret —  February 6, 2010 — 2 Comments

How to Be A Mentor

I'm often asked about the importance of mentoring, and I think it's something that our generation craves. We long for older, wiser people to come into our lives and walk alongside of us.

We want them to love us, pray for us, challenge us, and root for us.

Yet a good mentor is hard to find. Part of the challenge is that our expectations are out of line. We may look to a mentor to be a kind of expert, sage, or counselor beyond their expertise, ability, or comfort level.

A good mentor is simply someone who will walk beside you who has a little bit more dust on them. They may have been down the same road or a different one, but they know you're better off not taking it alone. They know when to speak, when to listen, and when to silently pray. Being a good mentor (or mentoree) isn't easy. There's always some stumbling and fumbling involved, but knowing that someone is for you and with goes a long way to smooth things over.

How to Be A Mentor

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