Loving Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Summer Olympics men’s decathlon gold medal winner, recently declared himself a woman and changed his name to Caitlyn. As you might imagine, reactions from those supporting Jenner, as well as those disapproving, has been intense. I am one who disapproves. Yet, I have been praying for him. At the same time, I wonder how an Evangelical Christian, like myself, might love Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner? There are at least three reasons: 1) he is made in God’s image, 2) he is a sinner, too, and 3) he needs the Savior, too. Jenner is made in God’s image …keep reading »


How I Pray Scripture

I will briefly share in this post how I pray through Scripture. While this action seems easy to do, questions arise at times about how to pray Scripture. People have been very thankful when I have shared this simple approach in person. So, maybe some readers will also appreciate the following perspective. First, of course, you will have to choose a Scripture to pray through. You might chose a Scripture that is a favorite, one you’ve memorized, or one that speaks to a certain issue you are currently dealing with. For my example, I will use Romans 5:1-5 which was …keep reading »


Creating Persecution: Bus Driver Pastor Fired for Praying with Students

The StarTribune is reporting that a Pastor loses bus driving job for praying with students in Burnsville, Minnesota. George Nathaniel, a bus driver and pastor, was fired for praying with students on his bus after being warned not to. When I read the story I thought – why create this kind of controversy or persecution? Granted, the news report Mr. Nathaniel complained of persecution over his firing. Yet, this is certainly a controversy that could have been avoided. The StarTribune reports the termination letter stated: “There have been more complaints of religious material on the bus as well as other complaints regarding performance. In accordance …keep reading »


Everything by Prayer?

In Philippians 4:5-6, Scripture tells us, “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (ESV) But do Christians really take everything to prayer? Do we let everyone know our reasonableness by appealing to God in prayer? Praying is normal and expected when Christians are in church, Sunday School, small groups and such. We comfortably give and take prayers and prayer requests in those settings where it would be easiest to live out the …keep reading »

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Another Ban on Christian Prayer

Nick Provenza at The Seattle Times reports that praying in the name of Jesus Christ is no longer allowed at Longview City Council invocations. The ban was enacted due to a atheist’s complaint. LONGVIEW (AP) — Ministers should refrain from invoking Jesus Christ in invocations for City Council meetings, Longview Mayor Don Jensen said. Jensen told the Kelso-Longview Ministerial Association last month that such prayers were not acceptable because they could expose the city to a lawsuit, The Daily News reported Tuesday. “It’s not my choice to stop this, but I don’t know how we can put our citizens at jeopardy …keep reading »


If Government Mandates Prayer in Public Schools

In light of the tragic Sandy Hook massacre, one of the reasons given for such incidents is that God has been kicked out of public schools. One argument for inviting God back into public schools is to reinstate prayer. I am not arguing whether reinstating government mandated prayer is right or wrong. But I am wondering something…. If government mandates prayer in public schools who faith will lead the prayers – a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist , a Sikh, a Jehovah’s Witness, a Mormon or a Christian? Which prayer would please God and actually invite Him into …keep reading »


Would You Pray at Ground Zero?

An interfaith prayer vigil will be held at the National Cathedral for the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It seems that no Evangelicals were invited to participate along side the “dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.”1 Should Evangelicals have been invited? Carl Trueman addressing Southern Baptists seems to think that not being invited is a good thing since no invitation means no compromise.2 Mike Horton weighs in with a thoughtful response asking …keep reading »


On Frivolous Prayer and Reverence

Given the discussions on the recent NASCAR prayer both here (A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?) and elsewhere the commentary below from Calvin offers helpful perspective to consider on prayer. In the first quote, Calvin addresses the state of the mind and reverence to God in prayer. Let the first rule of right prayer then be, to have our heart and mind framed as becomes those who are entering into converse with God. This we shall accomplish in regard to the mind, if, laying aside carnal thoughts and cares which might interfere with the direct and pure contemplation of God, …keep reading »


A NASCAR Prayer, Parody or Blasphemy?

Below is a transcript and video of the invocation “prayer” that Pastor Joe Nelms of Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, TN (near Nashville) recently gave at a NASCAR event. I’m not sure how to respond other than to scratch my head and think of this in light of the state of American Christianity. Of course, he had to be Baptist, but atleast he’s not Southern Baptist as far as I can tell. So was Nelms offering a prayer, a parody or blasphemy? Heavenly Father, we thank you tonight for all your blessings. You said in all things give thanks so …keep reading »


Lord, Help Me Submit to the Pain

Below is a guest post from my wife. She is also my best friend, my partner, my joint heir of grace and my crown so it is difficult for me to read. As my family, church family, friends and many readers know my wife suffered back injuries from a car accident in August 2008. It’s been a long two years; two years of needles, meds and prayer. The Lord has guided us to a procedure that may finally give my wife some pain relief. The first half of the procedure will be done this Tuesday to one side of her …keep reading »


A Memorial Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, as an American, thank you for this great country. I am not proud, but humbled, that in Your sovereignty I was born in such a Nation. Thank You for those serving in the military that you have used to help raise up and protect America. Thank you for those men and women in our military who were willing to give their lives and who gave their lives to fight to keep this country free. It is a great service to lay down one’s life for others. Father, as a Christian, this is a great reminder of the incomparable …keep reading »

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Congregational Prayer Requests

Can asking for prayer ever be a burden? That might sound like a strange question. It just might be right now, but hear me out. I am not talking about prayer requests that turn into gossip. Those requests that ask for prayer for uncle Bill’s and aunt Martha’s marriage only to go on to give intimate details of the problems. No. Not those kind. The potential burden comes from people asking


Tiger Woods and the Cross

Tiger Woods makes news. Usually it is a victory or an amazing golf shot. Sometimes it is a loss. Recently, the news has been about loss. Maybe the biggest loss of his career. Unfortunately, this loss is not a golf tournament. While it is uncertain if this will cost Woods’ any future sponsor earnings, this loss affects Woods’ family. It may cost him his family. The loss is Woods’ integrity in his marriage covenant. He betrayed his wife and kids with extramarital affair(s). This loss is not like a loss where Woods’ did not perform as well as somone else. …keep reading »


Uncommon Prayer Requests

It’s Sunday morning.  Sunday School has started.  It’s time for prayer requests.  What do you think about?  What is your prayer request going to be?  The common habit is to ask for healing for illness, disease, broken limbs, etc.  These are good prayer requests.  However, we can expand our prayer lives. There are greater things to pray for while not neglecting hurting and suffering.  The Kingdom of God is much bigger.  Bigger than us. I want to offer some other ideas for prayer requests.  Often these requests are uncommon as your focus is elsewhere.  I offer these for encouragement.  As …keep reading »


Apostle Paul On Inauguration Day

There’s been mixed reviews of Rick Warren’s Inauguration Day prayer (a transcript) for President Barack Obama.  The reviews have been critical and grateful.  Like the mixed reviews I have mixed feelings.  I don’t want to talk about my reaction though.  I read what Mark Driscoll said and thought about one of Driscoll’s points. If you want to criticize him, of course you can. But remember, if you lived your life under the scrutiny that he does, you would likely be even easier to criticize. (Source) I have other issues concerning what Driscoll wrote, but to the above I thought, “scrutiny?”  …keep reading »