At one point in my life I attended a church that was extremely laid-back about the subject of giving. It wasn't talked about much at all. There was no offering of any kind and the issue of money came up extremely infrequently. It was downplayed to the point of being out of sight, out of mind. Whether this was in response to an overemphasis that had left a bad taste in the pastor's mouth or the desire to rely fully on the Lord's provision I am not sure. I certainly am not judging that ministry decision, but what I do know is that it wouldn't be until later on that I would discover the richness of all that the Bible has to say about the subject and it floored me.
Consequently, during that period I sporadically gave when I felt "led," which, if I'm honest, wasn't all that often. It was more like a "tip" for a good sermon, or when I felt extra generous. I might have called it a tithe but it wasn't, it was nowhere near a tenth of my earnings. Things certainly seemed to be humming along at the church though, and for all I knew the congregation was full of millionaires that gave so much that it really didn't matter if I contributed or not. Also, I made very little in my job at that time and so I felt justified in keeping almost all of what I earned for myself.
Looking back, I am horrified that I would enjoy teaching that I didn't support, be led in worship by a team using equipment that I did nothing to offset the cost of, and bring friends to church, taking for granted that a chair was there for them to sit in and hear about Jesus but not help cover the costs to make it all happen. At one point in my life I attended a church that was extremely laid-back about the subject of giving. It wasn't talked about much at all. There was no offering of any kind and the issue of money came up extremely infrequently. It was downplayed to the point of being out of sight, out of mind. Whether this was in response to an overemphasis that had left a bad taste in the pastor's mouth or the desire to rely fully on the Lord's provision I am not sure. I certainly am not judging that ministry decision, but what I do know is that it wouldn't be until later on that I would discover the richness of all that the Bible has to say about the subject and it floored me. more >>
Dwight Howard, Houston Rocket forward-center, visited Pastor Kerry Shook's Woodlands Church over the weekend to share his testimony of coming to faith in Jesus Christ, and how an encounter with what he believes was the voice of God solidified his course to the NBA.
Howard, a seven-time All-Star who joined the Houston Rockets in July of this year after a brief stint with the L.A. Lakers and eight years with the Orlando Magic, spoke with Pastor Shook on the issue of divine guidance and honoring God in every area of one's life.
"He's honoring God with his talents in a major way," Shook said while introducing the 28-year-old Atlanta native to those at the Houston-area megachurch and others watching via a live online stream. more >>
A youth evangelist who flashed his honorary sheriff's badge earlier this year did so as "an attempt to show the character of who he was," and not because he was trying to impersonate a law enforcement officer, a witness testified at his preliminary hearing on Monday.
Matt Pitt is currently serving the remaining 10 months of a one-year prison sentence after authorities revoked his probation when he was charged for impersonating a police officer for the second time since 2012. His Dec. 9 hearing was to determine whether there was sufficient probable cause to maintain the charge. Upon its conclusion, the judge said she intended to send the case to a grand jury, reported AL.com.
Bailey Little, Pitt's cousin, who was with him during the June 15 incident, testified that he and youth evangelist had been confronted by Brad Lunsford and Brandon Vessels and that only after persistent questioning, had Pitt flashed the badge and told the men to call the sheriff's office. more >>
Trinity Broadcasting Network aired a 3-hour tribute Sunday evening to its founding visionary, Paul F. Crouch, that included a fascinating documentary-style history of the media organization and short testimonials from many well-known Christian leaders. Wife and ministry partner, Jan Crouch, also spoke briefly about her husband, who died on Nov. 30, following a decade-long battle with degenerative heart disease.
"God called us on the same day to TBN," said Jan Crouch, relating an evening more than 40 years ago, when both realized at the same moment that they needed to start a TV station, "and I just always dreamed we would go home the same day. I never dreamed I would be left without his wisdom and his saying 'no' as only he could say," she explained, while momentarily giggling through her tears, "so lovingly, so lovingly sometimes. I never dreamed that one day TBN would be here and Paul wouldn't … Right now we just need your prayers and your love like never before."
The Rev. Franklin Graham, CEO and president of Samaritan's Purse, said during the television special, "TBN Remembers Paul F. Crouch 1934-2013," that he could not say or think about Paul Crouch without also thinking about his wife. more >>
Pastor Derwin Gray told Saddleback Church attendees over the weekend that even though he had made it into the NFL as a player he didn't experience "authentic peace" until he committed his life to Jesus Christ.
Gray, who played as a defensive back for the Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers, is the lead pastor of Transformation Church in Indian Land, S.C. He spoke at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. this past weekend in the stead of Pastor Rick Warren, who he called his mentor, as part of the church's advent series.
Gray says his mother and father were just teenagers when he was born, and he was raised primarily by his grandmother. He grew up in Texas just a half-mile from some government housing projects and says his childhood was anything but peaceful. more >>
An Ohio pastor rode a wild horse in front of his congregation for a sermon illustration on Sunday.
Rev. Lawrence Bishop II, associate pastor of Solid Rock Church in Lebanon, attempted to tame the horse, as part of the church's "Conquer the Beast" event.
"Many consider a wild bucking horse to be a beast, and it's a simple analogy. When we submit to the master's hand is when we find our purpose and God can bless us. If people don't support the idea itself, hopefully they'll support the motive of doing something unique to win souls to Jesus! God Bless!" the church wrote about the event on its Facebook page. more >>