LENGTHY SERMONS

A parishioner in one state wants to tactfully suggest that his minister shorten the sermon, while a preacher in another state inquires how to make his sermons more effective. Both invite my opinion on the subject. *          *           * I am instinctively sympathetic toward preachers, having personally delivered two sermons each Sunday for about 20 years and still enjoying the pleasure of … [Read more...]

FOOTBALL FROM FUDGE

I have never been much of a sports fan--except for a time in high school when I rooted for the Athens (Ala.) Golden Eagles, our town's home team (my private Athens Bible School did not particpate in intramural sports.) Thinking back more than half a century to those mighty Golden Eagles, an Old Testament verse comes to mind--the one that says "There were giants in the earth in those days; mighty … [Read more...]

telling the ‘big story’

Today, Christian theologians from all over are calling for a "big picture" story that takes the spotlight off us and shines it directly on God's enomous plan to redeem the whole world! In my book, THE DIVINE RESCUE, I tell what Max Lucado calls "'the sweetest of stories' -- God's relentless pursuit of his fallen people." With this book, says Max, "the drama is captured on paper." John Michael … [Read more...]

rules for rich folks

As we approach this Christmas season--indeed, as we live any day in any year--are there guidelines, principles, or maxims from God to direct our shopping and to guide our giving? Indeed there are, including a healthful cluster of instructions found in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. We might have overlooked them, because they are directed to "those who are rich" and we assumed that meant someone else. However, … [Read more...]

CHARISMATIC PURITANS?

California fundamentalist pastor John MacArthur recently sponsored an anti-charismatic conference. His promotion of the event included MacArthur's blanket condemnation of Pentecostals and charismatics in general. Not only are charismatics the fastest-growing element in the global Church, they (and their sympathizers) are some of the most highly-respected evangelical pastors, teachers and other … [Read more...]

COMMUNITY OF THE RESCUED

The following is an edited excerpt from Edward's latest book, The Divine Rescue: The Gripping Drama of a Lost World and of the Creator Who Will Not Let It Go, scheduled for pre-release at Pepperdine University Bible Lectures on May 4-7, 2010. For more details, click here. Jesus himself envisioned a community of faith, a fellowship of the Rescued, created by his intervention on their behalf. As … [Read more...]

THIS DOCTOR’S SWORD IS CHARITY

The calm serenity we experienced in Guatemala last week, described in the previous gracEmail, is a rather rare and recent blessing. Surrounded by picturesque lakes, volcanoes, Mayan ruins and exotic flowers and birds, we would never suspect that for many Guatemalan families violence and terror remain an all-too-recent memory. Only 12 years ago the country was still embroiled in a bloody civil war … [Read more...]

GUATEMALA R&R

White clouds sparkled in the sunshine as the Boeing 800 aircraft descended from five miles high and Guatemala City came into view. This city of one million souls, some very rich and most very poor, spread over the lush green mountains and valleys below in this homeland of the ancient Mayans. We would take buses one hour from this capital city to Antigua, an ancient town of 5,000 feet elevation … [Read more...]

TRAVEL MERCIES

October 2004 -- The last two weekends have found wife Sara Faye and myself, by choice and by planning, far from our Houston home. Two weekends ago we indulged a perennial craving for Autumn color -- a treat the eyes miss here on the Texas Gulf Coast -- by flying on Thursday to Nashville, Tennessee then driving for the weekend to Asheville, North Carolina. There in the forest-covered Appalachians … [Read more...]

MINISTRY REPORT — NASHVILLE

April 2003 -- This past weekend I enjoyed a blessed Spring weekend in Nashville in the beautiful hill country of Middle Tennessee, where I was privileged to speak at a two-night gospel conference sponsored by Engedi Ministries. Engedi is a relatively new interdenominational ministry focusing on helping Christians understand the wonder and assurance of their salvation. The name comes from an oasis … [Read more...]