Today's Word for Pastors...
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Today's Preaching Insight...
Men & the Church: A Man's Place in the World
Men in general have become reluctant warriors in a social revolution. Men everywhere are wanting to find their places in the world. Most of us grew up in a world that was very different from the world we now inhabit. Our fathers brought home the paycheck and carried out the garbage. Our mothers raised us kids and kept the house clean.
At church, our fathers went to the men's Bible class and debated the Last Days, while our mothers went downstairs and helped the children try to make it through their first days. In church business meetings, our fathers argued over whether to reroof the parsonage, and our mothers sat at their sides in dutiful -- presumably biblical -- silence.
Not all of that has changed, but the evidence is clear that it is all changing. Middle-class lifestyles require two paychecks, not one. And working mother -- who in more and more cases is bringing home half the bacon -- is beginning to expect working father to change half the diapers and run the vacuum half the time.
The church is also changing -- much more slowly but just as surely. Women are no longer silent. Men no longer make all the decisions. And down in the nursery, men are expected to take a turn just like women always have.
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Don Aycock tells the story of Menelik II, who was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 until 1913: "News of a successful new means of dispatching criminals reached him. The news was about a device known as an electric chair. The Emperor eagerly ordered one for his country. Unfortunately, no one bothered to warn him that it never would work because Ethiopia at that time had no electricity. Menelik was determined that his new purchase should not go to waste. He converted the electric chair into a throne.
"There was another occasion when an instrument of death became a throne. On a Palestinian hillside about 20 centuries ago, a cross became a throne for one named Jesus of Nazareth. To this day, that ancient instrument of torture and death is converted into a powerful symbol of life, hope and resurrection. Millions of people around the world see the cross as God's way of indicating His refusal to let death and destruction have the final word."
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