The Absent Pastor

I was called to be a pastor when I was eighteen.  I am now thirty-six.  Over the course of the past eighteen years of serving God in ministry I have seen many changes, some good, and some not.  One change both angers and grieves me, the new worldly view of pastors and staff.

For at least the last twelve years, churches have developed a new philosophy concerning pastors and how they are to be selected.  Pastors are not pastors anymore.  They are leaders, innovators, facilitators, team builders, media gurus, and business savvy.  Sometimes, these men of industry don’t even need to have theological training, moral integrity, or spiritual maturity.  Entrepreneurial and secular success are deemed more valuable than Biblical literacy and doctrinal soundness.No Technical Skills Required

In the after shock of this trend, we are discovering churches without a Biblical compass.  Guided more by what looks good than what is right.  Take a moment and read a church advertisement on the Internet.  The qualities desired sound more appropriate for the business world than the spiritual.

The after effects are now becoming visible.  Some believe the springing up of community, non-denominational, mega, and emergent churches are examples of a spiritual awakening.  But I don’t see it.  I see a church confused and searching for her identity.  Continue reading

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Podcast Update

Sorry for the InconvenienceOurMedia, the site which hosts the TNS Podcast has been doing some major updates.  The site has actually been down for the past several days.  Because of this TNS’s podcast has been unavailable for download through iTunes or listening on the internet.  I apologize for this inconvenience.

It appears that OurMedia is up and running, but the ability to listen to individual messages via the internet are still unavailable.  Downloads to iTunes though has been restored.  If you wish to download these messages, please visit TNS’s Podcasting Page and select the subscription icon.

Thank you for your understanding, and again, I apologize for the inconvenience.

Taylor

2000 Hits And Going!

Celebrating TNS Crossing Over the 2000 Visitor’s Mark!Thank you for helping TNS to cross over the 2000 mark in visits!  I pray that your time here has been encouraging.  I launched this site as a way of honing my writing skills and to share perspectives about the unseen world around us.

Since beginning in September, I have made several additions to the site including:  a greetings page, subscription page, bookstore, podcasting, and a contact page all as another means of sharing the hidden mysteries of God.  Prior to Christmas, TNS also hosted a page dedicated to Operation Christmas Child a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse.  This page will return again next August as we all gear up for the holidays.  In the meantime, I will continue to post new thought provoking articles and sermons. 

Future plans for TNS include new pages like TNS’s The Writers’ Network, Worldvision Now, and links to my published works.  The Writer’s Network will be a gathering place for writers to meet, read, and encourage one another in our craft.  I also plan to invite a few participants to submit their own articles to be published here on TNS. Continue reading

Smallville – Lybyrinth, & The Martian Manhunter!

Martian Manhunter from Smallville Episode Lybyrinth

A little detour from normal content.  I am passionate about many things.  My wife and family, Jesus my Lord and Savior, golf, but there is one other thing which I’m passionate about, friends. 

My best friend is my old college roomate.  We have lunch each week sharing laughs and prayers.  I love him like a brother.  Like all friendships we have things in common.  We think similarly, share a few of the same interest, but most of all, we both love God.

Their is one other thing we both enjoy, Super Heros. Continue reading

Stop Junk Email!

No More Junk Mail Please!I just received an email from a friend.  I appreciated it.  It was thoughtful for him to let me know that he was thinking of me, and I am always happy to get messages from friends.

What I’m not happy about is emails forwarded to me in which it demands me to forward it onto others.  I believe email is a wonderful and powerful tool.  It has the potential of instantly passing an important note along in a matter of seconds to your entire address book.

But, as with anything that has wonderful potential, email can also be abused.  What do I mean by abused?  I specifically mean those who choose to pass on chain emails.  More specifically, I am thinking of people who pass along EVERY chain email.  Whether it is the “Bill Gates will make us rich” or the “This child will die without your prayers.” Continue reading

Abortion Good! Spanking Bad!

No SpankingThis past week Democrat Sally Lieber of San Francisco, a member of the state legislature, proposed a bill which would make it a misdemeanor to spank a child 3 years old or younger.  If passed, it would carry the possible penalty of a $1000 fine or even jail time.  Lieber plans to introduce the bill as early as this week. 

Read the article.

The bill would ban “any striking of a child” 3 or younger.  This would mean no popping a child’s hand, wrist, arm, or leg even in the most innocent of ways.  This would mean parents would be put in the position of disciplining their children by removing temptations or redirecting their child’s interest.  These are acceptable and effective, but they are incomplete by themselves.

Children need to learn boundaries.  Removing temptation or redirecting a child’s interest can be helpful, but it does not teach a toddler boundaries.  A small amount of temporary pain is not a bad thing.  We all have learned good lessons from experiencing something unpleasant, mainly, “I won’t do that again.” Continue reading

Keith Ellison, the Quran, and Thomas Jefferson

Representative Keith EllisonKeith Ellison was sworn in the other day as the first Muslim elected to Congress.  And good to his word, he took the oath of office with his hand on the Quran.  Ellison used a copy of the Quran once belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson.

 

Ellison chose Jefferson’s Quran because it demonstrated “a visionary like Jefferson” believed wisdom could be found in various sources.  What Ellison did not share or perhaps realize was that Jefferson used this Quran to study his Muslim enemies who were raiding American ships in the Mediterranean Sea, and taking the sailors as captives to be sold into slaves.

 

Thomas JeffersonIt was this same Quran which convinced Jefferson that bargaining, appeasement, nor tribute would satisfy the Muslim invaders.  One of his first acts as President was to muster a military force to go to the Barbary Coast and defeat the Muslims and recapture American men, women, and children who had been sold into slavery.  This is the real story.  And to this very day, Marines still sing “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Hills of Tripoli.”

 

Read Ted Sampley’s article from the U.S. Veterans Dispatch about the real history behind Jefferson’s Quran.

 

I continue to be amazed how America’s memory is so short.  We have forgotten our own history.  We have lived so long in relative peace and freedom that we have grown intellectually lazy.  We seem more interested in theoretical debates than living in practical realities.  We have forgotten that ideas and words have life and power.  Other nations understand this, but it would appear tolerance instead of national security is the preeminent topic of the day.  That Islam, not Christianity is the harbor of peace and tolerance in our nation.

 

In a world espousing tolerance and abhorring hypocrisy, it is hard to intellectually stomach how Islam is peaceful and Christianity and Judaism are divisive. Continue reading