Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Blog

Archive for the 'Biblical Principles' Category

No Passengers, All Crew

“So, how many ministers do you have at Ingleside?” the person asked.  I understand that this question is typically intended as an inquiry about the number of people on our church staff. But if answered in a biblical way, the number of ministers at Ingleside is more than 1,000! Think biblically.  A key passage of Scripture that informs our answer to this question and should shape our thinking about a healthy church says: 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the...

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Biblical, Balanced, & Blessed

Do you remember when you learned to ride a bicycle?  Did you start with training wheels?  Did someone who loved you run along beside you steadying the bike with their hand?  What was the key to success?  It was learning to be balanced. What about roller skating or skateboarding?  Do you remember learning how to position your feet and shift your weight so that you could stay upright?  So many nuances, but the goal was simple.  Stay balanced. A few years ago I took a surfing...

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An Acts 16:5 Church

As a shepherd of the flock at Ingleside, I turn to the Scripture again and again for direction and insight about how our church can be healthy and pleasing to the Lord. One of the verses that has left its mark on me is Acts 16:5.  As the Apostle Paul and his missionary partners re-visited the cities where they had shared the gospel on his first missionary journey, he observed: So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. (Acts 16:5, ESV) Did...

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Give Thanks

When our lives are transformed by God’s grace and filled with the Spirit, one of the results will be a grateful heart.  We will approach every day, every relationship, and every circumstance with a bias toward giving thanks. Perhaps that’s why the Apostle Paul mentions gratitude and thanksgiving three different times in the space of just six verses (Colossians 3:12-16) that describe who we are and how we are to live in Christ.  This powerful passage concludes by saying: And...

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The Flu Shot and the Blood of Jesus

Virtually everyone is aware that we are in the midst of a particularly virulent flu season.  As the New York Times reported recently: “As of February 2, infection rates for the 2017-2018 flu season were still rising, higher than those in any year since 2009, when the swine flu was pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even more worrying, the hospitalization rate is the highest that the C.D.C. has ever recorded at this point in the season. It has just...

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And the Survey Says

What if you could survey about 80,000 people in more than 200 churches about their spiritual growth and how it happens? What if those people were all along a spiritual continuum – from merely “exploring” faith in Christ to an “all in” Christ-centered commitment? What if you could measure over fifty factors to assess their impact on spiritual growth? And what if those factors included: (1) beliefs and attitudes; (2) organized church activities; (3) personal spiritual...

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A River of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you will pause today personally to give thanks to God through Jesus Christ for all the “good gifts” that have come to you from his gracious hand. For as the Scripture says: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17, ESV).  He is indeed the “fount of every blessing!” The hymn-writer, Johnson Oatman, Jr., has challenged us well: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one;...

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The Reformation at 500

On October 31, 1517 – five hundred years ago – Martin Luther, a young Catholic monk, posted his 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany. That was the spark that set ablaze the religious movement we know now as the Protestant Reformation.  And it was a movement that literally and radically changed the world. But, one might ask, “Is the Reformation over?  What is its lasting significance?  Why should it matter to me?” One might also ask: “So, in...

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Healthy Habits

In these first few weeks of August, the focus for many in our community will be the return to patterns or habits that revolve around school. Five-year-olds will experience elementary school for the first time. Seniors will rise up as key leaders in their high schools. College students will come to town with their sights set on a career choice. Gone are the summer “sleep-in” days, lounging by the pool, and the yearly break in routine. Maybe you aren’t in this stage in your life. But...

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30 Years and Counting!

It was on March 14, 1987 – 30 years ago this past Tuesday – that my wife, Beverly, and I said “I do.” We could not have known then that the Lord’s plan was to bring us to Macon and to Ingleside in 1989, or that two girls would be born and reared, and launched into life from here. But now, from a three-decades-in perspective, we see that in ways far too many to number the Lord has “dealt bountifully” with us (Psalm 13:6) and that “the lines” of our lives “have...

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