Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sleeping in Church

Do you have problems staying awake in church? Do you miss hearing a word from God because you're slumbering in the pew? Sleeping in the pew not only keeps you from having a real encounter with God on Sunday morning, it sets a bad example for children sitting around you. Here are some helpful tips.

1. Get more sleep.
The Sunday service is not for sleeping; the night before is. This requires planning, especially for young people, who like to use Saturday night as an opportunity to stay up as late as possible.

2. Sit closer to the front.
Almost without exception, the best listeners are in front. Whenever I am not preaching and I'm sitting in the pew when I visit a church or attending conferences, I make it a point to sit no further back than the second or third pew. Sitting close to the front enables me to listen and to better experience the whole worship service.

3. Minimize distractions.
If you must, find a better place to sit. If your children are the problem, “divide and conquer” by asking a relative or friend to sit with you. And don’t permit the Sunday shuffle to the restroom.

4. Use your Bibles.
I'm amazed at how many Christians show up to church without a Bible. It is difficult to follow the pastor’s line of thought without seeing the Bible text before you.

5. Take Notes.
Taking notes helps to keep your mind on the message as you listen for key words or thoughts to write down. A word of caution here though: Don't spend so much time writing that you miss a portion of the message. Key words or thoughts are enough to help you remember.

6. Discuss the Message with your family after the worship service.
While you are riding home or to your favorite restaurant, or while you are around the dinner table, make it a practice to briefly discuss the message with your spouse and children. Knowing you will be doing this will keep you accountable. Ask questions like, what one point or comment impacted you the most? How can we apply it to our lives this week?

When you sleep through a sermon you miss what may possibly be your best opportunity to hear from God that whole week. Take these steps that you don't miss hearing from God.

Parts of this article came from

Monday, January 25, 2010

Help for Haiti

Since the largest earthquake in more than 200 years rocked Haiti on the evening of Jan. 12, Southern Baptists and many other organizations have been mobilizing to offer disaster relief for the millions of people in need.

Here are ways you can help now:


  • Haiti earthquake, January 12, 2010Please pray for those who have been affected by the quake – those still trapped or homeless or injured or traumatized.
  • Pray for Haiti's 9 million people, more than 80 percent of whom live below the poverty line.
  • Pray for all those who are involved in the relief effort, that the Lord would give them strength.
  • Pray for those who are trying to organize people and resources to assist with the relief efforts.
  • Pray that God would stir up His people to respond with the love of Christ to help those in desperate need.
  • Pray that hope and peace will fill the hearts of Haitians.
  • Pray for International Mission Board (IMB) personnel in the Dominican Republic who will be training national believers in post-trauma counseling for Haiti earthquake victims.

The International Mission Board office of global prayer strategy is posting prayer needs at Pray for Haiti.

Haiti News Updates

For news updates regarding Haiti from a Christian perspective, please visit Help for Haiti News Updates to read articles from Baptist Press.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Reading List

These are some of the books I read in 2009 that I highly recommend. Listed in no particular order.

  1. The Attributes of God, A.W. Tozer
  2. The Attributes of God, Arthur Pink
  3. Knowing God, J.I. Packer
  4. God, Bill Bright
  5. The Love of God, John MacArthur
  6. Rediscovering Holiness, J.I. Packer
  7. Spectacular Sins, John Piper
  8. Leadership Gold, John Maxwell
  9. Quiet Strength, Tony Dungy
  10. Washington: The Indispensible Man, James Flexner
  11. Getting the Gospel Right, C. Gordon Olson
  12. Today Matters, John Maxwell
  13. Good to Great in God's Eyes, Chip Ingram