When someone says “church”, what immediately comes to mind would be a traditional Sunday Worship Service. I believe that`s why most folks (about 50 percent of the entire population in many local churches) find it easier to miss weekly services. Services like the Prayer Meeting and the Bible Study Meeting record such low turnout from members. Members don`t feel so bad when they don`t come to church on those days, but will have guilt overshadowing them when they try to miss a Sunday Service.
The atmosphere is different on Sundays. Everyone somehow looks tushed up on a Sunday. Even the members who attend weekly services will dress better on a Sunday. In other words, no meeting that occurs weekly in any local church equals the Sunday Service in importance to the average church-goer.
The controversial topic of service structure is one that I really try to avoid, but is also one that I have been unable to. What should be part of a service? How should a service be ordered? What should come before what? I`m sure you must have asked some of these questions before, except if you have not been attending church services. Now, I have friends who speak against services with such rigid structures that there actually is no space for spontaneity. They Holy Spirit, they argue, can be restricted in such services. Everyone will have their unique views on this. But what really makes a service complete? Continue reading
I’m sure you must have heard the old African adage, “When two elephants fight, it is the ground that suffers.” I personally believe that this quote would be better understood if we could try to imagine how big elephant s actually are. The average adult African elephant would weigh between 4,000-7,500kg while an average Asian male would weigh between 3,000-6,000kg. One interesting fact about elephants is that they never stop growing – they continue to grow for the entirety of their lifetime. In very simple terms, elephants aren`t just big creatures – they are huge animals.
Now, can you picture two of those large mammals engaged in a fight? That`s one fight that I would definitely prefer to watch from the other end of a TV screen. A very large radius around them would literally shake. The dust raised would be enough to reduce any man`s visibility to a bare minimum.
I personally believe that Jesus is one of the most controversial figures in history. In my opinion, Jesus of Nazareth is the only man who has a personality that is either distorted or misinterpreted by different worldviews. He has one true identity, but this has never stopped men from creating images of Him that suit their numerous ideologies and worldviews.
In certain circles, He is seen as a prophet and nothing more. In others, a great moral teacher. Some others see Him as one great man that met His demise too early. It is interesting to note that Jesus is one of the only personalities that cut across so many worldviews and religions on earth. They quote Him, respect Him, worship Him misguidedly and even await His return. Because one worships or acknowledges the ministry or life of Jesus doesn’t make one a true believer.
I wish you would sleep an eternal sleep
And breathe the venomous air of Hell,
That your skin would change its color from
That lucent lustre to a hue of despair
I wish that your name be forever erased
From the sands of time and that the memory
Of you be expunged from the hearts of men,
An atemporal exertion of the Creator’s might
Your name alone reminds me of the days
Of my captivity, days when I waited on the
Beast for the means of my livelihood
All he had to do was wish and I obeyed
I remember standing that day at the crossroads,
I held her hand while we stood at the point
Where our world as we knew it had been shattered
By a blow so strong that we were left confused
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Excerpt from Courageous Living by Michael Catt, Senior Pastor, Sherwood Church, Georgia.