Tag Archive | Christians

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We’ve all heard the children’s rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

Around here our garden grows quite well with weeds.  The daily thunderstorms we’ve had have been extra kind to the weeds.  Why the vegetables don’t thrive as well as the weeds is beyond me.

Weeding a garden takes lots of time and work.

This is what I’ve learned that weeding takes.

  • Digging down deep in the dirt before ever setting out plants, really turning the dirt.

  • Early morning weeding before the heat of the day and before the mosquitoes in the evening.

  • Daily attention, even missing a weekend will set you back.

  • Recognizing weeds.  This is my biggest problem knowing the weeds from the seedlings.

  • Choking out weeds with mulch or landscape fabric.

  • Ridding weeds by the root and not just nipping it shorter.

Sounds like I might would do pretty well except there is a key ingredient left out  – hard work!

They all sound doable and reasonable until you get right down to doing the work.  Then it’s too hot, too buggy, back hurts, cheaper to buy vegetables, fear of snakes, hopeless, waste of time, …

Jesus used analogies about gardening and vineyards all through His sermons and actually all through the whole Bible. (John 15:1-16)

If we are a garden designed to yield fruit, good and lasting fruit, what must we do to tend our garden?  How about some of the same things?

  • Digging down deep removing the sin from our lives, even the deep unknown sins, and coming in repentance to the Lord.

  • Early morning time with God before the busyiness of the day and before the little things that annoy in the evening.

  • Daily attention, even missing a weekend will set you back.

  • Recognizing wrong teaching and false doctrine.  Do you know the false from the truth?  Doctrine matters.

  • Not allowing sin to see the light of day.  Giving no opportunity for the devil to get a foothold. 

  • Look for the root issue of sin.  Just dealing with the exterior visible sin is not enough.


Unchurched Christians !?!

Unchurched are mostly Christian, survey says

Churchgoing in the South is a social assumption, a point of civic and cultural pride, a starting point for conversations with complete strangers: “Where do you go to church?”

Not going often results in a stigma reflected in the billboard alongside Interstate 65 in Prattville: “Go to church or the devil will get you!”

People who don’t go to church may be a lot more familiar with Christianity than many church leaders believe, staying away from the pews because of bad experiences, not because they’ve never heard about Jesus, according to recent surveys by the Barna Group.

Although churches frequently say they try to attract people who are “lost,” most Americans not attending worship services — 61 percent — consider themselves Christians, Barna reports. About 39 percent say they are not Christian. About 18 percent of people not attending church identify themselves as born-again Christians who have made a personal commitment to Jesus that’s still important in their lives, according to Barna, which specializes in research about evangelical Christians.  

Research shows that most unchurched people — more than four out of five — were formerly regular participants in church life, many of whom departed after an ugly incident that hurt them deeply, Barna reported.

The Rev. George Hollis, pastor of Cahaba Valley Church, said he has seen cases at other churches where members left in anger over improper relationships, fights between choir members and a conflict over who would be scout leader.

“It can be so many things,” Hollis said. “I bet it’s mostly not theology.”

…    Continue reading…

This is the fruit of being in the “Bible Belt“, where theology is less important than hurt feelings and the unchurched still claim to be Christians!


Church Planting

When we were riding in the car this morning to church we were discussing an upcoming church plant.  There seems to be some bitterness and rumors that have started as a result of the church plant, even though very little has been said about it and absolutely no encouraging others who are members of other churches to join with us.  This is the thought that hit me while we were talking about it:

We could go to any country in the world or even any state in the US to plant a church.  Then we would be supported by the church we are leaving and maybe even supported financially in the process.  However, the moment we plant a church across town or even in an adjacent town we are subject to ridicule and derision, even if the churches are not exact duplicates of each other. 

Why is that?

Is this just an idiosyncrasy of SBC churches or does this happen in other denominations?

If the church is the full body of believers what difference does it make which building and congregation an individual worships and fellowships with? (Assuming that they are valid Bible believing churches.)

Believers do don’t belong to a specific “church” in a spiritual sense, the individual church is just to allow a group of local believers to grow, learn, worship and be guided by others together.


American “Christianity”

“The evangelical landscape in America is unlike anywhere else. Here you aren’t dealing with a majority of atheists or false religions. What we have to combat the most is a majority of folks who’ve received enough Christianity to damn them. They’ve jumped through an evangelical hoop and claim Christ on their Facebook, but are in love with their sin and hate God’s law. America, the land of false conversion.”


Rett Copple

HT: The Crosstalk Blog


Sunday Christians – Tim Challies

Here is one perspective on why believers today choose to worship on Sunday.

It’s no wonder that Christians worship on Sunday. Muslims worship on Friday, Jews worship on Saturday, but Christians worship on Sunday because that is the day when Christ proved that he had conquered death. This is why we are Sunday Christians. We are not Friday Christians who serve a dead Savior, not Saturday Christians still waiting and wondering, but Sunday Christians who serve a living, breathing Savior–one who is alive and one who reigns. He died because he had to die. Our sin demanded blood and death. And yet he rose because he had to rise. He was the Son of God; how could death hold him? How could the Creator of all that exists be held down by death? It cannot happen and it did not happen. Christ is risen.


Tim Challies


Children of Israel verses Children of Abraham

This is a very, very simplified explanation of the “Children of Israel” and the “Children of Abraham“.

The Jews, descendants of Israel, is what is meant by “Children of Israel”.

Acts 9:15-16 (KJV)
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

Notice the Lord says the “Children of Israel” as opposed to the Gentiles.

But in Galatians believers are called “Children of Abraham“.

Galatians 3:7 (KJV) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

The “children of Israel” specifically refers to the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob, believers or not.

The “children of Abraham” refers to Abraham and his believing descendants both by his linage (Jews) and by adoption (Gentiles).

The difference between being a “child of Israel” and being a “child of Abraham” is clear in Jesus’ words.

John 8:39 (KJV) They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

The “children of Israel” are claiming to also be the “children of Abraham“.  But if you read the whole context the Lord says that they are the seed (descendants of Abraham, Jews) but they are not Abraham’s children.  Even worse the Lord says that they are the children “of your father the devil”.  This is a very serious rebuke!

John 8:33-45 (KJV)
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

This is going to be very important when reading the NT.

Which are you?


Little Hints

Ever noticed how you can be listening to someone you don’t know at all but yet walk away saying “that’s a believer”?

I had that experience this weekend in a public setting and with large numbers of public school teachers and students.  No one was blatant and discussed the gospel, but those who speak the same foreign language, understood clearly.  I always enjoy watching and listening to people, especially from a distance.  It is amazing what you can learn.

Believers just have their own vocabulary at times.  Which was so obvious this weekend.  Did you realize how much truth can be hidden in a simple conversation?  Everything from attitude and mannerisms, to little phrases found in Scripture.  Much like when I’ve written letters to missionaries in dangerous situations, you can’t be obvious and blatant about your faith, but every believer understands:

“I don’t want to disappoint my Father.”

What do others notice about you in your daily conversations or public speaking?

Ephesians 4:22-24
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:…  KJV

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  KJV

1 Peter 3:1-2
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

These verses all reference our conversation, however the more literal translation to would be life.

However Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has this definition for Conversation:

Conversation –  1. General course of manners; behavior; deportment; especially as it respects morals.

So you can see how life fits better today.  But I think we lose the realization of the impact of our words.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.  ESV



Do You Love The Brethren?

“To love those whom we do not like means that we treat them as if we did like them — to choose to act kindly toward them even though we do not like them….The Bible does not ask us to like the brethren, it asks us to love them, and that means, therefore, something like this: we may not like certain Christians. I mean by that, there is none of this instinctive, elemental attraction; they are not the people whom we naturally like; yet what we are told is that to love them means that we treat them exactly as if we did like them. Now, the men and women of the world do not do that; if they do not like people, they treat them accordingly and have nothing to do with them. But Christian love means that we look beyond that. We see the Christian in them, the brother or sister, and we even go beyond what we do not like, and we help that person. Love your brethren — that is the exhortation with which we are concerned?


Martyn Lloyd-Jones on I John 3:16-18 in his book Children of God


Today is a Football Game for Alabama – What are you teaching the children?

I dislike football, actually to be honest, I hate it.  Why?  Because I’ve lived in Alabama all my life and all you ever hear about is Alabama and Auburn football.  Half the state is either red and white or orange and blue.  Nothing can be accomplished when a football game is expected, playing or even finished.

Today we are expected to have snow and possible serious driving problems.  Most of the schools have let out for the next two days due to the weather.  But because of a football game due to be played on TV tonight a local weatherman has even received threats if he breaks in during the game with a weather up date.   People are sick and depraved in Alabama!

But what are they teaching their children?

Small children usually learn to love what Mom and Dad love. Show me a ten year-old who loves the Texas Longhorns, and I’ll show you a parent who had him in front of the TV (or on the fifty yard line in Austin) when he was smaller. Moreover, show me a parent who views daily family worship as drudgery and I’ll show you a kid who probably thinks the same. This is not to say we have to be fake, or that we have to make our family worship artificially “exciting” in order to appease our kids. It is, however, to say that we must buy in to this. We need to have a passion for the God of the gospel and a desire to honor him in our homes. 


Voddie Baucham