1. 10 Ways to Share Christ during December

    December 5, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Christmas-Bells

    One of the reasons I love the Christmas season is that it is such a great time of year for initiating gospel conversations. Between the special church events and the fact that many people still do want to go to church to celebrate Christmas, this is also the easiest time of year to invite people to church.

    Our annual Christmas musical service at Lancaster Baptist is this weekend—Saturday night and Sunday night at 5:00 both evenings. We’ve been inviting our community and are praying for many people to trust Christ through the gospel preaching. (If you live near Lancaster, please join us! And if not, feel free to join us via live stream at lbclive.tv.)

    But even in a season like Christmas when it may be easier to invite people to church or begin a gospel conversation, it still doesn’t happen automatically. It usually requires that you and I take the initiative to share Christ. Here are ten ideas to help you take that initiative: (more…)


  2. 7 Ways You Can Keep Christ in Christmas

    December 1, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    nativity

    You’ve heard it (and maybe shared it): “Keep Christ in Christmas.”

    It’s a great thought…but do you do it?

    December can be such a busy month. Even busy with ministry. But sometimes in all the busyness of the season, we’re as guilty as the innkeeper of not making room for Jesus, even if our reasons are well intentioned.

    How can you, throughout the month of December, not only keep your head above water but actually make this month a season of worship? Here are seven suggestions: (more…)


  3. 7 Ways to Actually Decompress on Your Day Off

    November 28, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    coast

    Have you ever gotten to the end of a “day off” and felt just as exhausted as you did at the beginning? Have you ever looked back over the day and wished for a do over?

    God so kindly designed our lives to function best with one day out of seven as a day of rest. Although “the Sabbath” is not a New Testament requirement, time for rest is something God created us with a need for.

    Many people, especially “Type A” leaders, struggle to take this time of rest to actually decompress mentally and emotionally and renew spiritually. (I know, because I am among those people.)

    Here are seven suggestions that may be helpful: (more…)


  4. 5 Things to Pray for When You’re Overwhelmed

    November 14, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    waves-on-rocks

    Four weeks ago, I spent Monday night at gate 76 of Detroit International Airport, fervently praying for my three-year-old grandson, Chandler, who was undergoing an emergency surgery.

    A CT scan had revealed a fractured skull and bleeding near the brain, but beyond that, I really didn’t know or have the medical understanding of exactly what was going on. In an email I sent the next day to some praying friends, I wrote, “I don’t have all the technical info. I just know we need to pray fervently.”

    Those statements capture the intensity and yet ignorance I felt that Monday night in the airport.

    How do you pray when you don’t exactly know what to pray for? When your spirit is fervent, but your knowledge is limited and your ability to help is non-existent?

    Sometime during that Monday night, I read Psalm 39. In this short, thirteen-verse chapter, I found clarity for prayer and reminders of the power of God. (more…)


  5. How Is a Biblical Christian to Respond in This Election?

    November 5, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    flag flying

    This has been an incredibly difficult election season. In fact, recent polls indicate that 82 percent of Americans are disgusted with it.

    Sometimes as Christians, we wonder how we can make a difference in a time like this. How do we respond to the vitriol and rhetoric with clear thinking and Christ-like decisions?

    1. Remember your dual citizenship.

    Our first loyalty is not to America but to our King. Patriotic as we may be, we have an eternal homeland:

    For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.—Philippians 3:20–21

    This is good news for the Christian because it gives us a clear perspective to see the issues through a biblical framework and eternal vantage point.

    As a pastor, I’m always aware that there are people in every church in different phases of their spiritual journey. Some are skilled Bible teachers while others are just beginning to learn where the books of the Bible are. Younger Christians have often not yet learned to apply biblical principles to matters of everyday (or every four years) life. Thinking through issues that have been labeled as “political” with scriptural truth in mind can be new to them. Christians shouldn’t be contentious with one another over these issues. We should stand and declare biblical truth but allow for growth in grace. (more…)