Many times I have asked my students the question, "If Hitler repented and turned to God at the end of his life would God have forgiven him and saved him?" This is an offensive question for many people, but it's a theological problem Christians should consider. Less about Hitler, this question really takes the most evil person our modern minds can think of and puts his many sins up against One who Christians would usually claim is a God who can, through Jesus's atonement, redeem anyone .      Reading through 1 Kings again recently, I was reminded of an Israelite "Hitler." King Ahab reigned over the ten Northern tribes of Israel in the 700's B.C. He didn't carry quite as much of a murderer's rap as Hitler did - Ahab's sin was idolatry. He worshipped idols and led the people of Israel to do the same. Similar to the way Hitler's name carries a stigma of pure evil today, Ahab's name would have carried a stigma of evil in his day. In f

The New Guy Is Moving In

    This week has been a time of transition for me. I've been on staff at Meridian Baptist for almost two years. When I first came, I inherited an office that was used by multiple staff members before me. Before this week, I had been using the old, large bookcases that were put in here by an old staff member I never met. Because of how they were positioned in the air, the bookcases made the office feel twice as small as it actually is. Finally, this week I got up the energy to stop talking about it, and to actually tear them down with the help of my pastor.     Our secretary told me she was glad to finally see those bookcases go. She told me, "You're the youth pastor. You don't need bookcases that make you look..." For some reason she didn't want to say the word, "old," but I knew what she meant. "You need some bookcases that look... different... like what a youth pastor would have," she said.      In the spiritual sense, all of us also hav

So That's What That Means

     Last week, I learned something new. Maybe you're like me; sometimes I overhear conversations where someone will employ a word I don't know the definition of. If that word doesn't intrigue me for some specific reason, I'll move on and forget about it. Last week, a word I've heard before was repeated enough that it got my attention.      The word was Maundy.      I know what you're thinking; I was thinking it too... Maundy, Tewsdy, Winsdy, Thursdy, Fridy - the five business days of the Southern states.      But apparently Maundy has a much different (and serious) meaning. According to Merriam-Webster, Maundy comes from an old Latin word meaning "command, order." Today, Maundy is used in the phrase, Maundy Thursday, to refer to the command Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper.      In John 13:34 Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one anoth

It's Not Thursday

     Today is Tuesday. From here on out, I'll be posting short devotional thoughts on Thursdays. I'm giving you a heads up today and getting familiar with this new-fangled thing called blogging .       Okay, I know I'm a little late to the blogging scene. But it's never too late to get started - right?     In fact, when is it too late to get started on anything ? About a year ago, I remember watching a man in his 80's take a dip in the church baptistry. This man had lived an entire lifetime how he saw fit. But he still had breath in his lungs, and that meant it wasn't too late to surrender to a new Boss - Jesus!     Romans 10:9-10 says, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is  justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."     I couldn't find an age limit in that Bible verse... only a simple description of ho