Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Church Etiquette" - Wisdom From A Bygone Age

One of our church members recently brought me an old bulletin from a nearby church that she found stuck away in a book.  It was dated January 10, 1963.  The front of it was entitled “Church Etiquette.”  As I read these, I was amazed at the wisdom in many of these points.   I don't necessarily subscribe to every one of these, but overall I found them to be quite helpful.

We live in a ultra-casual age.  Where people used to dress up for public functions, whether it was work, church, or some kind of other event, but now it's "anything goes."  Actually, I admit that I like some of this.  I often don’t wear a suit and tie to church, and we have members that come in all types of garb.  I would much rather someone come to church in a pair of ratty jeans and a shirt with holes in it than not come to church at all! 

However, somewhere along the line we’ve lost our way in the way we approach meeting with God.  We don’t have a nonchalant God, so we shouldn’t approach him in a nonchalant way!

These points from a bygone age are instructive to me, and I hope they may be to you as well:

1.       COME. Never miss unless absolutely necessary. George Washington's pastor said of him, "No company ever kept him from his church."
2.       COME EARLY. Rushing into service at the last minute is not conducive to true worship, yet often scores of our people will come in after the service has started when they could easily have been on time.
3.       COME WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY. The service is not a convention where a family should merely send a delegate.
4.       TAKE A PLACE TOWARD THE FRONT of the church.  Leave the rear seats for those who of necessity may come late.
5.       BE DEVOUT. The church is not a theater or place of amusement. You come to worship God, not to whisper, lounge, or sleep. If you must talk, talk to God, pray for the preacher.
6.       BE THOUGHTFUL of the comfort of others. Never make a haystack of yourself at the end of the pew and expect others to climb over you to reach a seat.
7.       HELP STRANGERS to follow the service by sharing the hymnal and following the order of service. Always remember that strangers are guests of the church. Treat them with the
same courtesy you would if they should visit in your home.
8.       GIVE A GOOD OFFERING TO GOD. It is one of the highest acts of worship.
9.       NEVER RUSH OUT BEFORE THE BENEDICTION. This is the critical time of the service and someone's future or eternity may depend on your action. After the benediction, remember to stay long enough to speak to and be spoken to.
10.   NEVER STAY AWAY because the church is not perfect. How lonesome you would feel in a perfect church.

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; His truth endureth to all generations." —Psalm 100:4-5

For an inspirational lift, check out my new book, "Grace In Shoe Leather." It's an amazing story of grace and forgiveness that has made a difference in the lives of so many. You can download it here:  

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Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm Writing A Book...Here's How To Get Your Free Copy!

Ina Kae Simpson
In 2007, an elderly lady and her family began attending the church where I serve as deacon.  I noticed right away that Ina Kae Simpson's body may be elderly, but her outlook on life is youthful.  She had and still has such a youthful, buoyant spirit!   Not long after this, a news report on a local television station featured Ina, and I was shocked to learn what my new friend had been through.  In 1998, her husband had been killed in a convenience store robbery by a young man who was high on drugs.  I was amazed to hear the details of her story in the news report.   Not only had she not let the excruciating difficult experience destroy her, but she had recently developed a friendship with the young man who had killed her husband!

Recently, I have been writing an Kindle eBook about Ina Kae's story that should be ready for publication very soon. There's much more to this story than what I've shared above, but I wanted to give my blog readers a "heads-up" on what is coming.  I've enjoyed writing this blog for several years now, but writing a book is a new experience for you.  It's challenging, but very rewarding.  The manuscript is about 3/4 completed, and I hope to have this eBook uploaded to Amazon by Thanksgiving.  The name of this book will be "Grace In Shoe Leather".

The eBook business is exploding right now.  In just the last year, eBook sales have far surpassed traditional book sales on Amazon, which is far and away the top venue in the world for ebooks.  Hundreds of eBooks are uploaded every day, and it's hard for a new author to get noticed.  This is why I'm assembling a team of my blog readers who would be willing to read my book and review it before it comes out to the general public.   If you would like to participate, please send me an email to  When the book is out, I will gift you a copy.  All I ask is that you read it and post a review within a week. It will be a short read, so this should not be difficult at all.

Once the book is uploaded, I'll be posting excerpts from the book here, so, even if you choose not to participate, stay tuned!

P.S. If you don't have a Kindle, it's no problem!  Amazon has free software that you can download on your computer, tablet, or phone.  I'll send you details via email, once you sign up.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

These 300 Year Old Resolutions Are Still True Today!

Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a Christian preacher, philosopher, and theologian. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian," and one of America's greatest intellectuals. (Wikipedia) He was one of the leaders during the First Great Awakening and saw some of the first tent revivals in America.

Those the words were written almost three hundred years ago (and contain some rather archaic language!), they still challenge us today…

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humble entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake. [I will] remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

  •  Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general.
  • Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.
  • Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  • Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.
  • Resolved, Never to do anything out of revenge.
  • Resolved, Never to speak evil of any one, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
  • Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
  • Resolved, Never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession which I cannot hope God will accept.
  • Resolved, To ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month, and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
  • Resolved, Never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
  • Resolved, After afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them; what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
  • Resolved, Always to do that which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Let there be something of benevolence in all that I speak.

For an inspirational lift, check out my new book, "Grace In Shoe Leather." It's an amazing story of grace and forgiveness that has made a difference in the lives of so many. You can download it here:  P.S. IT'S ON SALE TODAY - JUST 99 CENTS!!!!

Following are links to similar posts on this blog:

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