Tag Archives: Poverty

How To Become A Lukewarm Christian

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 (ESV)

Steamy water cools off. Icy water warms up. Likewise, it is the natural tendency of men and women who are serious for Christ…to become lukewarm. So, in actuality, you don’t need to do anything to become lukewarm; nevertheless, here are some things you can do to get there faster…

  • Pray very little. If someone asks about your prayer life, tell them you pray “on the run.” In other words, be careful not to follow the practice of the Lord Jesus who regularly set aside special time for prayer, often going away from the crowds to be with His Father (Luke 5:16; Luke 9:28; Mark 1:35).
  • Avoid the Bible. Explain to people that you’re not a reader. But you do listen to sermons…occasionally, and on that note…
  • Be irregular in your church attendance. A couple was asked by their children why the family didn’t go to church more. “That’s not how we do it in our family,” Mom and Dad replied, as if moderation in church attendance was a principle to be proud of. Hmmm. Well, here’s a rule of thumb – God is sovereign, and while there is nothing we can do to absolutely guarantee that our kids will follow Christ, we can do a lot to make them not follow Him. One of the best ways to do this is to communicate that Christ is of mediocre importance. Kids who grow up assuming that church is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition…will often leave it.
  • Store up treasure on earth. Not in the other place. Some years ago I heard of a family that gave up tithing “because our kids need designer clothes to keep up with the Joneses at school”. The saying is true, however, that everyone tithes, but not everyone tithes to the One True God. Many pay tithes to idols. And anyway, that widow with the two mites was irresponsible (Luke 21:1-4). And while we’re at it…
  • Ignore the poor. Social Justice is for liberals. You wouldn’t want to be one of those. Best to help your own family and keep it to that.
  • Keep your mouth shut about Jesus at work and in the neighborhood. You don’t want people to think that you’re one of those fanatics who believes that eternity is actually on the line. Leave evangelism to the evangelists. Besides, it’s not your gift.
  • Forget the gospel. Get annoyed at all those “gospel-centered” Christians, and tell them that you’ve got the cross thing figured out and want to get to the deeper stuff. This is the best way to get lukewarm. For none of us can be hot or cold enough (yes, including those who write snarky blogs). You see, everyone needs Jesus. And all of us are in danger – everyday – of forgetting it.

For Monday, December 7th: Revelation 4

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Posted by on December 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Fresh Perspectives on Election Day…Part 3 and Final

See that little blue spot in the far southeast corner of the map - that was my post on Election Day

See that little blue spot in the far southeast corner of the map?…that was my post on Election Day.

This is part 3 of my account on Exit Polling in the inner city of Milwaukee.  Part 1 is here.  Part 2 is here.

All in all, it was a day of fresh perspectives, and that’s what made it all so enlightening. A month ago, I would have never imagined being in that polling place on that Election Day, but being there gave me eyes to see what I don’t normally see – poverty in America, and the palpable hope that an election might somehow alleviate it. “Gotta get him outta there,” was the basic refrain I heard more than one time during the day, no doubt referring to Mr. Walker.

I saw poverty in different places that day, on my surveys, for instance, and certainly in the extremely overweight young gal who sat across from me all day serving as a greeter, helping voters discern which precinct they were in. During a lull, a caring teacher from the school took time to speak with this gal to assess and try to help her daughter who attended there. What I remember overhearing…was sad.

But fresh perspective came to me again when Larry walked into the school. Last time in Madison I was alone the whole day, and I certainly didn’t expect any company this year, but long about 10 a.m. a friendly 60ish-year-old man showed up with the same Edison Research lanyard I was wearing. He was a supervisor making rounds named Larry Thomas, and we hit it off right away, especially when he pitched in to help from the get-go. When we had a chance to catch our breath and chat, we had great rapport, and he came to visit me again later in the day.

And it was that afternoon when Larry, a black man, said something I appreciated. It was about our President, whom Larry referred to simply as “Barack.” Now I, of course, like everyone else, have a perspective on Mr. Obama. For instance, I believe he hurt our country deeply when he announced his support of gay marriage. And his pro-choice stance is completely incomprehensible to me, at least for one who proclaims himself a Christian. But I do pray God’s blessings on him every day, or most every day, I’m guessing more than many of his supporters do.

But that day brought fresh perspective again when Larry began to wax eloquent about how he has seen older black men walk into the voting booth differently these days…with their heads held high, because after years, decades, yea, centuries of oppression, a fellow black man holds the highest office in the land. And though overall I was disappointed when the election of 2008 concluded, I gladly remember that I too felt a surge of pride in our country when Mr. Obama was elected. And in that moment, talking to Larry on Election Day in the inner city of Milwaukee, I was reminded of that pride. Admittedly, I couldn’t help but wish that it was a black man with vastly different policies, but I had renewed appreciation for all that my new friend was saying.

It came time for him to move on; we had a warm goodbye, exchanging cell numbers and email addresses, and I invited him to Edgewood, which he seemed quite open to. Larry’s a Milwaukee resident – join me in praying that he might make the drive some weekend.

My day concluded around 8:30 that evening when leaving Westside Academy One, I called in the final vote totals to Edison Research. The two precincts showed incredible unity with Mary Burke taking over 95% of the vote. She had clearly won the battle of Milwaukee, but before too long, she would lose the war for Wisconsin.

As for me, I had a fine chance to participate in democracy, and to remember afresh that though our country seems to be heading down so many wrong directions today, not all is bad. Racism may not be dead, but it’s been dealt a serious blow.

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Posted by on November 8, 2014 in Uncategorized


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