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Monday, January 30, 2012

Are you dating the church, married to it, or broken up with it?

Are you dating the church, married to it, or broken up with it?
by Michael Galloway

I went on my first date as a freshman in high school. I remember asking this girl out on a date, a little while later I got a call as the girl had talked to her parents. They had decided that before they would allow their daughter to go on a date, the guy had to eat dinner with their family. Looking back at that time in my life I can see that I didn’t date the girl long, and in fact didn’t date any girls for a long time while in high school. I enjoyed going on dates but not being “burdened down” or committed to a girlfriend. I have realized since that time that there are many who treat their religion like “high school me” treated relationships. There are many who try to date the church, when instead they should be trying to marry it!

1) What is a church dater? Most of the time when someone is just trying to date the church everything is about them! They are me-centered, independent, and end up being a harsh critic about the smallest things. They care nothing about the church they are trying to date. The problem with this is the attitude. The church is not just about us. Instead the church is about Christ!

2) Those that date the church with no intention to marry miss out on the benefits of marriage. As most readers know when you stop dating to date, and start dating to marry you end up with a better relationship. In most instances you care more about the other person, and care more about the relationship. The same is true when it comes to the church. The church is about relationships. The church is described in the Bible as being the bride of Christ. The church is also described as being made up of Christians who have obeyed the gospel. If the body of the church is made up by Christians then that means we are Christ’s bride. The church is made up of a group of people that act as your spiritual family. When you date with no outlook for the future it will causes the relationship to fail. When you look towards the future it causes you to strive towards greater things such as heaven.

3) Those that marry the church should be committed to it. If you want to be married to the church that Christ started there are several things to realize. First, we must join in the manner that Christ set into place in John 3 with Nicodemus. Second, in order to truly realize the benefits that Christ has given and to truly do what Christ wants we must commit to his Church. After all there are responsibilities from both parties in marriage. The church was central to God’s plan and it should be central to any Christian’s plan as well

What about you? Are you a church dater or have you married the church? Have you broken up with the church? I encourage you to marry the church and stay married till life. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Why Church Matters? By Joshua Harris

It was on the verge of greatness and then it crashed and burned. That was my feeling of my most recent book that I read. The book was entitled "Why Church Matters" by Josh Harris. The book started off by making some excellent points about those who go about the attitude of church in the wrong way. It talks about how important church is and even shows the importance of church to the life of a Christian. It was at this point in the book that I felt that the book was moving toward being a great inspirational while informative read.

The book then crashed and burned. As the book unfolded more and more I saw several contradictions. One section of the book talks about choosing the right church. It makes some excellent points that the congregation that you choose must be follow the word of God. It even goes on and talks about the importance of sound doctrine. The book then collapses as it starts preaching false doctrine. Right after the book talks about the importance of the word of God in a church the author starts talking about how he is a pastor. He even talks about the qualifications of  a pastor in the Bible. He conveniently leaves out several of the qualifications, and then talks about what a short time he has been a Christian and how young he is which would mean he wouldn't meet the qualifications. He also wrongly conveys how a pastor is a singular leader at times and not a group of men who lead the church, who are also known as elders in the Bible. He misses out on the fact that not all ministers are pastors. He also wrongly applies salvation in this book.

Although this book had some excellent thoughts on what our attitude should be about the church it had a lot of false doctrine. If you read this book I would recommend being wary of many things said in this book as they do not match up with what the Bible teaches.

This book was given to me as a free copy to review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Monday, January 23, 2012

False Identity

False Identity
By Michael Galloway

Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested this past Thursday for using a false identity while outside the United States Consulate in the Dominican Republic. Carmona had allegedly used a false identity while playing baseball in the United States. Carmona, whose real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia, had played baseball on the Indians since 2006. I believe there are several spiritual applications that can be made to this story.

1) How many times do we live a spiritual life of false identity? How many times do we fail to show the world that our lives center on Christ. The Bible tells us that the “disciples were first called Christians at Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The reason that the disciples were called Christians by those in the community of Antioch was because they were living a life that reflected Christ in their lives. They weren’t leading a life of false identity nor were they ashamed of the gospel of Christ. The wanted the world to know that they lived for Christ.

2) Do you live a life of godliness in public, but a life of sin in private? This is once again a life of false identity. The Bible tells us “to be instant in season and out of season”. As Christians we must live a dedicated life of service to Him! We must live a transformed life (Romans 12:1-2) that is committed to Jesus Christ. We must live a life dedicated to fighting the temptations of the devil, and avoiding the things of the world. James said it best, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

What kind of identity do you carry with you during your everyday life? Do you carry an identity that is false? An identity where you are scared to truly show what is important to you to the world? An identity where you pretend to be something that you are not? Let me encourage you to do what those in the first century did. I encourage you to live a life pure and full of Christ, a life where you are not afraid of what people might think, live a life that will cause them to call you a Christian! Live a life where they will know your true identity.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blogging for Books- The Richest Man who Ever Lived

Review: The Richest Man who ever lived by Steven K. Scott.

         I have decided to try something new lately. Read More! It is not that I don't like to read but instead many times I don't have the time to read. So I came up with this plan. I decided that I would enroll in one of the blogging for books programs and force myself to read. I also am able to get free books that I can put in my iPad so when I have a spare moment it becomes easier to read. This program is amazing as it allows you to choose your book and I even tell them what kind of books I am interested in.

       The first book that I choose to read for my new ambition of reading more was a book entitled The Richest Man Who Ever Lived By Steven K. Scott. It was one of the best books I have read in a long time. As a minister I am constantly looking for knowledge, and inspiration. This book had both in an easy to read format. The book takes the wisdom left to us by King Solomon and showed how one man used this wisdom to become successful in life. Scott starts off the book and tells his incredible story. He tells how for his first 9 jobs he was a complete failure. He reveals how he was continuously being fired at his jobs. He then read the book of Proverbs and learned the wisdom that King Solomon relates in the Bible. His life instantly changed as he changed his life. Instead of being a failure he became a success at his job. During this book Scott reveals the things that he learned from King Solomon that changed his life. He talks about work ethic, diligence, vision, hope, honesty, anger, loyalty, greed, and so much more.

          As a minister I frequently am trying to convey in the classes that I teach, sermons that I preach and even my interactions with the youth that I work with; that the Bible tells us how to be successful in all aspects of life. This story was a great encouragement to me, and even gave me inspiration to continue teaching that that the Bible can help us not just spiritually but financially, with relationships, and anything else that we need help with.

        I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to live successfully. I was wary when I first started reading this book but I was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of inspiration, wisdom, and content that this book contains. 

*****”I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”

Monday, January 16, 2012



I recently read on the internet of a single father who is trying to raise two small girls. The past several years have not been easy years for his family as he has been having trouble making ends meet. His house has been foreclosed on and he is in the middle of renegotiating his mortgage so he can make the payments that he owes to the bank. I am sure there are many such stories such as this out there but this one has a twist. While he was in the middle of renegotiating his mortgage the Occupy Wall Street movement saw that the house had been foreclosed on. They decided that the bank was charging too much and so they were just going to take the house.  In the process of making their point “that the bank charges too much” for these mortgages. They allowed their fellow occupiers to occupy the house. Ironically they kicked out and kept the father with the two girls from being able to use his own home.

The media has recently started calling the society that we live in an “entitlement society”. It disgusts me when I read of those who believe that they are entitled to things that they have never earned. It is interested to me however that the Bible talks about the principles behind entitlement. The wisest man who ever walked this earth was King Solomon. He was wise because God gave him wisdom. Solomon gives direction with his wisdom to us today through his inspired writings in scripture. He shows us how to live a successful life in all realms. He reminds us by showing us his experiences that in the end all that matters is where you will spend eternity. While Solomon shows us the way to success. He shows us the evil of laziness, the importance of hard work, and honesty. These things are shown over and over again in his writings. He shows us that to be successful we must earn what we have through hard work and that we are not entitled to anything. In Proverbs 21:25-26 Solomon says, “25 The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. 26 All day long he craves and craves,  but the righteous gives and does not hold back. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.” There are many times in our society that we as a society believe that we deserve something for doing nothing. Solomon makes the point that laziness will in essence be the ruin of someone. What wisdom Solomon brings.

I hope that even while living in the middle of a society that holds many unwise traits that Christians can continually realized the wisdom in living in the way of the Lord that the Bible shows us is so wise for all realms of our lives. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

If it ain't broke...

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
On May 11th, 2000 a woman found that she had a new e-mail which simply said, "I love you". It looked innocent enough, perhaps romantic, and like most of us would, she opened the message, and the so-called "Love Bug" was born. This virus quickly spread until millions of computers crashed. It started with one virus but had so much contamination. It is not the first time that a virus has caused so much grief to mankind. In fact, a deadlier virus hit our world in the very beginning. Despite God’s warning not to click on Satan’s message, Adam and Eve did so and caused consequences that would affect them the rest of their life. That virus is called "Sin". 

It has always been intriguing to me that in the beginning in Genesis 3 at the root of the very first sin; Satan convinced Eve that if she partook of the forbidden fruit that there would be no negative consequences, that God wouldn’t do anything.In most avenues in life when you find a good strategy you keep using that strategy, after all as the old adage says “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This is true when it comes to sports, finances, and most everything in life. It is also true when it comes to the temptations of the devil! From the beginning he has used the same strategy to keep humans away from God! He has convinced the world that there are going to be no negative consequences eternally in regard to the way we live our lives.

In the Garden of Eden when Eve sinned after listening to Satan. She soon found out how deceptive he was. God did punish both Adam and Eve because of their sin! There were driven out of the Garden, a literal paradise on Earth, and life would never be the same for them again.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:5 that we will give account for our actions on this earth!  We must embrace that fact that the deceptions of Satan will lead us astray just like it did Eve! We live in a world that doesn’t believe in consequences to our actions. We serve a God who is living and that does believe in consequences. We live in a world with Satan, who continues to use the same strategy that he did in the beginning as it has continued to work.  It is also true that God still gives us a better alternative than succumbing to Satan.  I hope and pray that you will live your life in a way that will enable God to provide you with the positive consequence of the reward of an eternal life in Heaven with him. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, however if it is broke please fix it!