Unmasked in Marriage

the phantom gl

Damn you! You little prying Pandora! You little demon - is this what you wanted to see? Curse you, you little lying Delilah! You little viper Now you cannot ever be free! -The Phantom once he's unmasked, from Lloyd-Webber's 'Phantom of the Opera' Continue Reading

Andrae Crouch: My Own Tribute

Andrae

I thank God for the mountains, I thank Him for the valleys And I thank Him for the storms He’s brought me through ‘Cause if I’d never had a problem I’d never know that God could solve them I’d never know what faith in His word can do. -"Through It All"  by Andrae crouch I’d say he built all of us up, some a little, some, like me, an awful lot. Music permeates, after all, so when musicians birth great songs, they settle into our lives and literally become part of us. That’s why you can still remember tunes that got you through a rough Continue Reading

The Irrational Bible

Irrational Bible

"I have no more ability to believe --- that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago. I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an arc ---” -Christian musician Michael Gungor  To me, one of the scariest trends in modern Christian thinking is the notion that it’s less important what you believe, and more important how you believe Continue Reading

Some ABC’s We Can’t (But Often Do) Ignore

ABC

Certain words – important ones - simply don’t mean what they used to. “Christian” traditionally meant born again, believing in the authority of scripture, and seeking to have one’s life conformed to God’s will and teachings. Now it’s become an ambiguous label for all things nice or spiritual. “Evangelical” referred to those believing the essentials of the faith while striving to share the Good News wherever they could. But like “Christian”, it too is fast losing its defining features, as more and more of those using the term are simultaneously Continue Reading

Worship and Recovery

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Guest posting by Renee Dallas Note from Joe: I’ve received a number of messages from wives asking for help dealing with their own pain over their husband’s behavior, so  thought I’d let my own wife Renee respond with some ideas she has on the subject, since she runs a ministry to wives. For more articles by Renee, and for more information on her work, go to wifeboat.com. Continue Reading

Unboxed

Unboxed

   I like boxes; I love being boxed in. Clear definitions, unmistakable boundaries, everything nice and neat, that’s for me. I thrive on routine, and whereas predictability bores some, it delights me. Given the choice, I’d wear the same uniform daily, keep the same hours, do the same thing. So when God shoves me out of my box, I go kicking and screaming all the way. Continue Reading

It Ends Well

alfred hitchcock

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 1:6 I love a good thriller. Tell me one of the old Alfred Hitchcock films is on Turner Classic Movies, and if I’m not home to watch it, you can bet I’ll be recording it. When you put a man or woman into a seemingly impossible situation, then spend the next two hours tracking their progress through a maze of surprises, you’ve got me. Continue Reading

Pastor Chuck Smith: Double Honor

Chuck Smith

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. -I Timothy 5:17      If a man impresses you, you admire him. If he equips you, you bless him. And if he’s both impressed and equipped you, he must have been Chuck Smith. Continue Reading

A Cuppa Joe

Last night Renee and I joined a couple of close friends for one of those nights you savor, remember and rehash for years. We drove out to LA for dinner and a concert at the Greek Theater to see Chicago, one of my favorite bands for more than four decades. The fellowship was, predictably, the best part, as these are folks we’ve loved since the early 80’s, and the choice of restaurant couldn’t have been better. (The Alcove, if you’re interested, nestled in a tree-covered avenue near The Greek; charming environment; don’t skip dessert!) Continue Reading

The Vanishing Hymnal

hymnal

There are traditions, then there are essentials, and a wise church knows the difference. Mine did. When I began fellowshipping as a teenager, our pastor allowed us to quite literally come as we were: barefoot, long haired, and clad in Levis, although tradition at that time dictated coats and ties for church. Guitars, bass and even drums were utilized for worship, in defiance of the traditional piano/organ combination one normally saw in those days. But if we approached traditions of dress or music casually, our approach to the essentials – like Continue Reading