Category Archives: Blogroll

An Excellent Post

Tim Challies has written an excellent post¬†on the Ted Haggard scandal. This is one of the best articles I have ever read. Don’t miss it.

HT: Tim Ellsworth

Blogspotting

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was good, it would have been better had the Seminoles beat Clemson, but God still reigns! A special thanks to all who participated in the last Weekend Survey. Thank you for being transparent enough to share some things that will undoubtedly be an encouragement to others. I wanted to direct your attention to a few blogs and posts that have caught my eye over the last few days. First, you may have noticed that I have added a couple of new links in my blogroll. Daniel’s Thoughts are the writings of a youth pastor from Nebraska. Daniel has a very pleasant spirit and is a welcome participant in theological discussions. I had been linked to him before he took a few months’ hiatus from blogging. Now that he is “back in the saddle” I am happy to have him on the list. The Dyspraxic Fundamentalist is my first link to an Englishman. Matthew is a young man who is a serious student of the Bible and who demonstrates a gracious attitude in discussion. Check out these new blogs for a blessing. Blogging buddy, Steve Sensenig, at Theological Musings has a provocative inspection of the concept of sola scriptura. Check out his new blog design while you are there. Don Fields, of World From Our Window, has published an outstanding series on the fallacy of thinking that programs can solve a church’s problems. Read the first post here, and the second here. Kansas Bob has written a wonderful post called Stepping Into Your Pain. This is a wonderful article that went hand-in-hand with our Weekend Survey. You need to read this article. There is a story about a tiger and some pigs at Joe’s Jottings that will make your day. On the “lighter” side, frequent commentor, Danny Kaye (aka Jeff Morris), has had a stimulating discussion going on about the color of coffee. I never would have thought that this topic would garner over 200 comments, but there we are and I am still not sure that the matter is resolved. More field research is definitely in order. Share the love of Christ with someone today.

What’s In a Name?

Barb, at Chelsea Morning, has come up with a great idea for people to promote their blogs and meet other bloggers.

She is suggesting that each blogger write a post on how we came up with the name of our blog, and then go to her blog and leave a link to it.

“Heavenly Heartburn” is inspired by the story in Luke 24 of Jesus and the two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus. As they walked, Jesus taught them the words of truth. After He left, they stated that their hearts burned within them as He taught them.

It is my hope and prayer that those who visit this blog will be encouraged to walk more closely to the Savior, increase their passion for Him and His truth, and thus develop a case of Heavenly Heartburn.

Analysis

Wow! Thanks, everyone, for your participation in the weekend survey. We certainly had a wide range of responses. First, I want to commend everyone for being passionate about your point of view, but not becoming combative with those who held a different opinion. I had a particular purpose in mind for this survey, in two weeks I will be teaching a class on Church Development and I wanted some additional insights from you on the challenges with which the church must deal. You have certainly provided me with some good material with which to work.

The answers ran from increasing our fellowship, to speaking in tongues, to what we believe about the Gospel, to personal growth.

I would definitely agree that our presentation of the Gospel is extrememly important, but while it certainly has an impact on the church, I think bad soteriology (however one defines it) is probably a greater threat to the world (the lost) than it is to the church. There are definitely some questionable methods being used by churches, and often this leads to the “watered-down Gospel” that Bonnie mentioned, but I think the first casualty in this issue is the sinner with the impact on the church coming a little later.

Katie Russell mentioned a lack of understanding concerning tongues. Katie, as a cessationist, (sorry Steve, I had to say it :)) I would probably take a different perspective than you on the relevance of tongues today, but I will agree with you that an ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit in the church has weakened many Christians and local churches.

Janice, as a good Southern Baptist, your suggestion of eating down by the river rang my bell!

There were several answers that varied in content, but were closely related in nature. I believe the problems of personal growth, ignorance of true doctrine and several others of this ilk are closely linked together. The church basically loses its true identity when these problems characterize it. Unfortunately, we see far too much of these things today.

An anonymous commentor gave us, what I believe, is the solution to the above problems, return to our first love. If worship of Jesus Christ is not at the very heart of all that we do as a church, we will definitely lose sight of who we are as the church, what we are supposed to be doing as a church, and the value of truth. Lack of focus will then lead to apathy. Lukewarmness will then lead to ineffective evangelism and discipleship. Older Christians will lose their passion for growing in the knowledge of God’s grace. As a result, newer Christians will not have examples of spiritual maturity to follow and the church will settle in a general malaise of mediocrity that is unable to either impact the world or please God.

Are we there yet?

Jonathan Moorhead mentioned lack of persecution as a problem. Perhaps that is what the church needs to purge it and cause us to reassess our condition. I was shocked to hear recently, that while we are praying for the relief of persecuted, Chinese Christians, those same believers are praying that God WILL send persecution to the churches of other places in the world where prosperity and methodology have replaced worship and truth.

I really appreciate each of you who shared your thoughts on this topic. If you have any additional thoughts on my analysis of the survey I would definitely be interested in hearing those as well.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniac has posted an old sermon of Charles Spurgeon’s that I think is relevant. You can read it here. Don Fields at World From Our Window has also asked a related question about why churches are losing their youth.

Weekend Survey

This has been quite a busy week for me. Pastoring a church is kind of like watching the tide at the ocean, sometimes things are quiet for a while and then there are weeks where it all rushes in at once.

I really enjoy the ministry, though. It has its challenges, but it is a blessing to be able to see God working in the lives of the people with whom you are working.

For this weeks survey, why not tell us a little bit about your vocation and what you like about it? If you are involved in a ministry or business that has a website, feel free to provide a link. (As always we expect them to be family-friendly)

And now for some special news, today is my lovely wife’s birthday. I won’t say how many this makes, but I do wish her a very happy day and weekend. The wonderful people at Pine Park Baptist Church surprised her with a party Wednesday night after church and it was a great blessing. Those folks are really nice.

Hope you have a blessed weekend.

Edifying Blogs

I wanted to take a quick detour, today, from the I John series and write about something that I feel is important.

Yesterday, Ken Fields posted a great article on blogging in a way that is edifying to readers. In his article, he discussed the approach of writing posts that were intended to build up the faith of readers as opposed to intentionally posting on controversial topics just for the purpose of drawing hits on your sitemeter.

Now I am not completely naive. I understand that any topic is potentially controversial. As I often tell my congregation, “Where two Baptists are gathered together there will be three opinions.” But it is nice to know that there are some blogs that are edifying to me. Some of these blogs are devotional in nature, some are sermons, some have the ability to handle potentially controversial topics without allowing acrimony and vitriolic debate to hijack the conversation.

Let me share a few of these with you.

Bonnie Calhoun always encourages through the gift of laughter. Another lady who is willing to be transparent as to how God is working in her life is Dionna Sanchez. If you want some good, common sense stuff that is amazingly on point yet done graciously (unless you are a terrorist), check out Joe’s Jottings. If you want to read the insights of a woman who is raising a beautiful family in a godly way, check out Lisa’s blog. Windows to My Soul is the blog of Vicki who writes wonderful devotional posts. I always get a lift by the friendliness of Jeff Morris’ (aka as Danny Kaye) blog as well. Check out Maegan’s blog (this is Lisa’s daughter) to see a young person who really loves God.

There are a few blogs I visit that have the ability to tackle topics that may be controversial, but they do so with a spirit of Christian gentleness. Some of these are Rose’s Reasonings, Theological Musings, and Godward Thoughts. KC does a wonderful job of this and then there is the aforementioned, World From Our Window.

There are some pastors and teachers as well who are a great blessing to me. My brother’s blog is always a blessing (except when he is making fun of me). T.A. Blankenship, Garry Weaver and Steve Weaver always have excellent “soul food” as well. Ray Van Neste always challenges pastors in a good way to be better at what they do for God. My dad doesn’t blog often, but when he does it will bless you.

If you are looking for a nice friendly place to hang out, talk sports and current events, and just generally have some fun from a Christian perspective, visit Tim Ellsworth’s place or Bro. Tony’s blog.

As I think about it, maybe this isn’t such a big detour from I John after all. I have really been blessed by all of these blogs and the people who run them.

Can anyone say “cyber-koinonia“?

Blogroll Update

It’s time to expand my blogroll. Some of these are long overdue. Some are new blogging friends. Each of them will be a blessing to you in their unique way.

Tony Foeller (pronounced “feller”) is a pastor from the Midwest who enjoys sports and deerhunting. He is a Cardinal’s fan, but that is just a testimony of the sufficiency of God’s grace.

Janice at My Place is a regular visitor here. She is a real country gal with a great talent for taking cool pictures. Be sure and check out her work.

Notes In the Key of Life is the blog of Cindy Swanson. She is a radio personality who has a good view of culture and also some interesting interviews.

Windows To My Soul is probably the nicest looking blog I have seen. Vicki Gaines, (another fellow Georgian) offers some inspiring devotional articles. She also has a new baby granddaughter who needs our prayers.

Garry Weaver is the father of Steve Weaver. Bro. Garry pastors in Titusville, FL, and has a great sense of humor. His blog is called Amazing Grace and Old Chevys.

Last but not least is Bobby Gilles. He is a musician/songwriter whose blog has the catchy title of Jive to the Monkey.

Stop by and check all these nice blogs out and tell ’em I sent you.

McGoth and Some Good Blogs

Phil Johnson, the chief Pyromaniac, posted a disturbing article this weekend concerning McDonald’s heavily sponsored site, KidzWorld. The website features McDonald’s themed Gothic wear and gear with an explanation of what it means. It also provides information on Wicca and adoption of children by gay parents. If you have or know any children who have Web access, YOU NEED TO READ THIS ARTICLE. While McDonald’s doesn’t own the site, they sponsor it and allow their trademark arches, along with Ronald McDonald’s image to be used throughout the site.

On a positive note let me share with you some new links to blogs I enjoy. Recently I mentioned Danny Kaye (not his real name) but for some reason I failed to add his link to my blogroll. That is now rectified.

Pastor Steve Weaver is a solid expositor of Scripture from Tennessee. His writing will bless and challenge you. I highly recommend his blog.

Another blog I have been enjoying is Oversight of Souls. Ray van Neste is a professor at Union College in Tennessee who teaches ministerial students. If you are involved in any form of ministry, you will find his blog to be a great inspiration and help to you.

I hope everyone has a blessed day.

Weekend Survey

Let’s put a little twist on the Survey. This week, name one blog that you recommend besides your own, that is not already listed in my links. It goes without saying that the blog must be family friendly.

I am going to recommend Danny Kaye. Danny is a frequent visitor here and has a pretty cool site. He has a unique way of finding significance in the mundane. Give him a visit and see what you think.

Have a blessed weekend.

Some New Items

I have a pretty busy day ahead of me, so I will not have time to post much today. I would however like to mention a couple of new blogs that I have been visiting as well as some new items on my own blog.

Steve Sensenig at Theological Musings is definitely worth a read. While Steve and I may differ on a few points, he is a good writer and will definitely challenge you both intellectually and theologically.

My dad, Dr. Kenneth Cloud, has thrown his hat into the blog ring. Check out his blog, Palms of Victory. He taught me most of what I know, now you understand why I am the way I am.

Some of you have already taken advantage of the opportunity to receive my blog via RSS feed. For those not familiar with this, you can have my blog delivered directly to your favorite feed-reader, such as My Yahoo or Newsgator. Just click on the orange button below “Syndication” on the sidebar and it will help you get set up. I also have an option where you can receive my posts by e-mail. It is just below the orange button. Neither of these options will let you comment but if you read something you like (or don’t like for that matter) you can always come back and comment. I hope you will.

Have a blessed day and I will catch up with you later.