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Setting Big Goals

By Don Loftis | 12.12.18

Recently, I ran across this quote: “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”  What does that say to you?   In one sense, this is safe advice.  Disappointment can be defined as the gap between our expectation and our current experience.  If a team has no expectation of winning, they will not be disappointed in losing.  Paul told the Philippians that he had learned to be content in all situations — prosperity and adversity.  Does it really make any difference what we set our sights on?   However, this approach sets a very low ceiling of blessing.  It may avoid disappointment, but it also severely restricts joy and hope.  Jesus told His disciples that their faith could move mountains and “all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” [...]

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What Is Your Legacy?

By Don Loftis | 12.05.18

Since former President George H. W. Bush passed away, we have all heard a variety of stories and remembrances concerning him.  As I am writing this, his funeral is underway, and the various speakers are painting his legacy.  Statesmen and family will attempt to capture his impact professionally and personally.   The reality is that all of us are in the process of writing our own autobiographies.  Throughout our lives we take a series of selfies that are filed away to be recalled later by those we have met.  Sifted together, they become our legacy.  We only get one chance to write this story, and edits are very difficult to achieve.   Every life is unique, but people tend to remember two things about us.  First, they recall our character more than our success.  Things [...]

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The Missing King

By Don Loftis | 11.28.18

Michael O’Neill describes a painting by Adolph Menzel that is displayed in a Berlin art gallery.  Menzel intended the painting to depict the German king, Frederick, surrounded by his host of generals.  With painstaking care he painted all of the generals, leaving the perfect space to insert the king.  However, he died before he could complete the project.  As O’Neill said, “He left a painting–full of generals but no king.”   We all have those people in our lives who are a lot like generals.  It may be an overbearing boss or a demanding spouse.  It could be a creditor, a team member, or even a spiritual mentor.  They are always there with demands and seek immediate compliance.   Yet, for many folks, the problem is less about the presence of the generals as it [...]

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Veterans’ Day – Lessons Learned

By Don Loftis | 11.14.18

This past Sunday (and Monday) we observed the centennial celebration of Veteran’s Day.  Originally called Armistice Day, it represented the end of WW I.  Through the years, it has become the day we honor all men and women who have served in our military, while Memorial Day honors those who died in that service.  The patriotic songs and speeches from the day remind me of the three great truths.   First, we need to be continually thankful for the blessings secured by these soldiers.  For all the griping we hear, our daily freedoms transcend those of other societies.  The peace we experience today is another of those legacies.  We need to be both aware and thankful for the physical and spiritual blessings we enjoy.   Secondly, we recognize that anything of value has a cost.  [...]

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Why Do You Preach Like That?

By Don Loftis | 11.07.18

I like to think that most preachers seek to be balanced in their sermon selections.  Some lessons are topical others are textual; some biographical others doctrinal; some positive others negative.  Even with balance, sometimes we are asked, “Why do you preach against so many things?  Why not just talk about how to be happy and love one another?”  In some way, many listeners connect a sermon against sin as being unloving.   If a patient is sick, very sick, is the doctor unloving in telling the man that he has cancer?  Is the teacher unloving, when she informs parents that their child is failing math?  Is the engineer unloving, when he tells the city that a certain bridge is unsafe to cross and needs to be closed to prevent a disaster?   Sermons against sexual [...]

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