Recreational Christianity

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-25 ESV

Hobbies are big business these days. As Americans, we spend massive amounts of time, energy, and finances on our hobbies. I find it humorous how we are constantly seeking new ways to justify our worship of our hobbies.

My Life and God's Mission

“I don’t really see how talking about the Trinity is very important.”

The statement moved through my emotions from shock to frustration yet ended in sadness.

This thinking could be the result of low concern for the things of God. Perhaps it’s an illustration of the failure of the Church to preach the whole counsel of God. Regardless the reason, it should serve as a call to action.

We must proclaim the mission of our Triune God.

The Latin phrase Missio Dei is thrown around quite a bit, but most people have no idea what it means.

Tell Me the Condition of Your Soul

“When was the last time someone asked you about the condition of your soul?”

When I posed this question to our Commissioning group last week, we had a few minutes of silence.

“Has there ever been a time when someone has asked about your soul?”


It’s not a typical question, but it’s an important one. Perhaps the fact that we rarely, if ever, ask about a person’s soul betrays our lack of concern for something about which Jesus is intensely passionate.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?

Graciously Getting, Generously Giving

In a culture that honors Black Friday more than Thanksgiving, it’s easy to get lost in the getting.

Of course, we can say that we’re buying gifts for other people, and we wouldn’t be fibbing.

Fairy Tale Marriage

One of my great joys as a pastor is getting to share in the excitement and happiness of a couple preparing for marriage. I never tire of listening to couples talk about one another, how they met, how perfect they are for each another, and how everything is so much brighter when they are together. Yes, I am a hopeless romantic, and even though I try to hide it and play the part of the macho man, I want to see those sappy romantic comedies as much as my wife does.

Relational Re-"generation"

Sadly, Western culture holds little honor for the elderly.

It’s worse when the Church imitates culture.

In many churches, there are fairly active senior ministries. However, it is a rare case for any other generation to actually interact with their elders. If the Church is meant to equip and support the whole family of God, how then are the younger generations taught to honor their elders?

On the other hand, I’ve heard of churches who have re-focused on the younger generations to the extent that they even encouraged the senior saints to find another place of worship.

Guest Post: Who Am I?

This post is shared by Gail Wise. She serves as the Outreach Director at MorningStar Baptist Church.

It was the third day we were working on building houses in Fermathe, Haiti. We were out on the worksite constructing 10x20 cinder block homes when I began to feel insecure, useless; my world started to feel very large.

My hands fell to my side, and I said, “Who am I?”

I am usually focused on tasks and want to be productive so I felt a bit like I was failing since I couldn’t seem to be either of those.

Guest Post: Sacred vs. Secular

This post is shared by John Pope. He is the elder of preaching and teaching at Refuge City Church in Dayton, OH.

On October 31, 1517 a young boisterous monk burst on the scene debunking the predominant views held by the worldwide church. The young man’s name was Martin Luther. While I do not condone everything Luther condoned, I do believe his writing still has much to offer us today.

Fight Song: The Parent Edition

Some days I seem to wake up motivated. Other days, I could use a fight song.

It makes sense to me, especially being so interested in film. If you watch older movies or even some independent films, you are caught off guard now if there is silence during scene transitions. You expect there to be some background music to carry the mood of the story or take you to a new place.

Whether we want it or not, there is a kind of soundtrack for life.

In the hustle and bustle, the composition is some kind of avant-garde creation.

Houses 4 Haiti 5k and Kids Run on the local news

Outreach Director, Gail Wise, and Pastor Mark Simpson recently had the opportunity to sit down with Maureen Russell Hodgson of Centerville Reports Today to share MorningStar's experience building houses in Haiti and to promote the 5k coming up in September. We have linked the video so that you can watch and share with your friends. If you haven't signed up to participate or volunteer yet, now is a great time.