Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Semester



Classes start today at Anderson University!

I am teaching two Introduction to Bible classes this semester.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ten reasons I’m glad I was homeschooled


Excellent article by Ellen Densmore, Colorado Christian University student 

“ 'Do you have any friends?' 'I wish I could stay in my pajamas all day.' 'I couldn’t stand being around my family all the time.' Those are just a few of the common questions and assertions I’ve grown up hearing as a student who was homeschooled all the way through 12th grade. 

So, since you asked: Yes, I have friends; no, I don’t stay in my pajamas all day long; and I rather like my family, thank you. Homeschooling is an empowering institution—not a lazy one. It’s a system that builds family devotion, personal initiative, and communication skills, and allows individual passions and interests to drive each student. There are a plethora of reasons I’m thankful I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and I’d like to share just 10 of those with you.

#1. Christian Worldview

Instead of being subjected to indoctrination in the state’s public school that have effectively eliminated God from the public square, I was educated in an environment where God was a key part of every aspect of life. The sciences are packed with evidence of His hand and design in creation; geography and social sciences are studies of His people; history is 'His-story,' and I grew up recognizing His divine plan for Israel, the world, and America. Beyond textbook schooling, my parents instilled me with what I like to call a 'worldview filter' through which I examine every book, movie, and song lyric. My Christian worldview is the foundation of my intellectual and spiritual identity.

Read the entire ten reasons here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Detours


Sometimes God takes us on detours that dismantle our comfort level in order to do something bigger that God had in mind for him.

Brother Tony Evans talks about God's detours in our lives.


 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Jim Williams - A Steady Hand

 
Twenty five years ago I walked into the small town barber shop of Jim Williams.  It was like walking into Mayberry.  The interior was old-fashioned.  Classical music lightly played through the speaker.  Theater seats, newspapers, and conversation welcomed customers.  Old and young men sat and shared recent news.  Every Christmas he gave out black combs marked with “Williams Barber Shop.”  He would give me several saying, "Here, give some to your boys."

I was nineteen years old - a freshman at Presbyterian College. Mr. Jim was in his sixties.  We began a friendship that would last a quarter of a century.


At our first meeting, we found common ground in our faith.  We both believed in Christ, read the Bible, and were Baptists.  I doubt if there was one time out of the several hundred I visited his shop that we did not talk about God's Word in our conversations.


He cut my hair for much of those years, except for the four years I was in seminary.  He remained an encourager in my life, he often wanted to talk about the Lord, and he shared many of the faithful qualities of his generation. 


Jim opened his shop in 1952.  When he celebrated his 60th anniversary in the shop, he asked me to come and sing at a special gathering.  I was unavailable, but I appreciated his thoughtfulness.  I later sang at his request at his brother’s funeral.


Jim was opinionated and didn't mind sharing those thoughts.  He had a "this is what I think, and you can take it or leave it" mindset.  He had the exterior of a stubborn old man who was set in his ways.  I would often come home and share with my family something funny Jim said.  But knowing him for many years, I knew that there was depth and goodness beyond the outside.  And I knew that he sincerely wanted to please his Lord.   


Jim always asked about my life.  He showed interest in my family, my education, my various pursuits, and in the churches I served.  Occasionally he would stop cutting, put his hand on my shoulder, and offer unsolicited advice.  I knew he genuinely cared about me and hoped for my best.  I think in some ways to him I was always that nineteen year old college student who walked into his shop.  When I gave him one of my business cards a year ago, he looked at my picture and began laughing.  He said, “I forget that you aren’t a freshman in college anymore.  You don’t look like you did then!”


He was excited when my wife and I recorded our musical CD's.  I received a memorial from him when my father died.  He even assisted me during my doctoral research by allowing me to interview him.  In recent years as I became a published author, he took interest in hearing about my writings and regularly asked where I was being published.


Jim taught a Sunday School class weekly.  I could expect an update from him regarding what book of the Bible he was currently teaching to the Knights of the King class.  He embodied faithfulness.  He was proud of his boys.  He often talked of his late wife, what a wonderful woman she was, and how he missed her.  I remember his stopping cutting hair one time and saying, "When she was here I had a home.  Now I have a house."   


The day I learned of his death, I told my wife, Jim is one of those folks that you thought would always be around.  You just never thought he would be gone.  


I will miss his steady hand on my shoulder. 


God bless you, Jim, and goodbye old friend. You are now with Christ and those who have gone before you.

Happy New Year!


A blessed 2017 to you and yours from The Wilsons!!!

 

Open Windows Devotions


If your church receives the devotional OPEN WINDOWS, look for the devotions I wrote for January 1-10.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

The first days of January offer a great time for evaluation, reflection, and planning.  The following is a helpful article by Donald Whitney.  

"Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. 'Consider your ways!' (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.


Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God."

Read the entire article, 10 Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year or On Your Birthday, here.