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Coping with PTSD

       It is alarming to me the number of individuals that I have heard of coping with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and I am even more alarmed by the Christian Community’s response.      I recently received a text from a pastor friend (whose wife is divorcing him) that was forced to resign from his church and now has limited visitation with his children, following a major anxiety attack because of his PTSD. During the momentary attack, he freaked out and attacked his wife.   Please understand this individual is a very Godly man, with a deep love for his wife, children, and God. If I shared his story of military service, and his action throughout several search and rescue operations he participated in within the United States during some high-profile disasters, you would call him a hero; however, the reality is what he saw, felt, heard, and lived through is affecting his thinking, causing him to relive them repeatedly.      I understand that many of my Christian friends are bec
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The Great Victory: Honoring D-Day

One of the most significance dates in world history is June 6, 1944. On that day the course of history changed. Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British, and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. Their objective was simple, defeat the Nazis there and move forward inland. However, there task was one of the most difficult of World War ll.   That day would result in over 4,000 men from the American, British, and Canadian Army’s losing their lives with thousands more missing or wounded. That morning June 6, 1944 General Dwight D. Eisenhower gave orders to commence Operation Overlord. He told the troops: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.” Two thousand years earlier, Christ gave the Church a commission to do battle and win! Ac

The Influence of Mom

     Heading into this weekend, Mother’s Day is of course on my mind. I’m reading in 2 nd Timothy 1: 5, “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”      I can relate to this passage because growing up, my mother was the spiritual leader of our home. Dad was an amazing individual who taught me so many things just like I am sure Timothy’s dad did. However, the reality is where I am at in ministry after 40 years is due to the influence of three amazing women; my Grandma Argue (maternal), my mom, and the mother of my children and my wife of 35 years (Lee).      They all have several things in common, and these should be relevant in every mother’s life. three relevant things that these ladies had in common are… They understood the importance and power of pray.      I can remember hearing these women praying for their children, Grandma Argue had 12 children, and I would hear h

Ministry on the Homefront

I was studying for my message this week, as I prepared to talk about  “Jesus preaching in his Hometown”  from Mark 6: 1 – 6 and some thoughts came to mind surrounding our ministry to the people closest to us. Over the years the hardest people for me to minister to is my personal family, including my wife’s family.  They know me, they have watched me, they know my family, and they know my history, good and bad.  This is not a new experience, and even Jesus shared in this struggle:   3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James,  Joseph, Judas  and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.     Wow! I can’t help but hear a little sarcasm, resentment, and hate when I read these words. No matter what Jesus did, the people closest to him still refused to see him as anything other than the boy from down the street, as the lowly carpenter.      The truth is, we may not be able to change how the people closest to us choose to look at us

Eight Reminders That Will Revolutionize YOU in Your Ministry to Men

     Many of you have accepted the challenge of ministering to men, whether as a pastor, a men’s small group leader, or another position within the local church. However, before we can be an effective leader of men, we must have our own house in order. We must strengthen and develop our own personal relationship with Christ, and then minister to men where they are in their growth as a Christian. Please understand I don’t write this out of some sense “having arrived” in ministry. I only write out of personal experience and watching other great men of God as they lead their men’s ministry. I have found these reminders to be the very foundational in how we revolutionize ourselves as we minister to men.        Before we get into reminders, we must first understand why our ministry to men is so critical in the local church. When I started in ministry in the 1970’s, the normal thought was to build a successful bus ministry and the families will flock to your church, or develop a ministry to

A Reflection on 42 Years of Ministry

As I reflect on the upcoming weekend, it is hard to believe that it has been 42 years since I took my first staff position at the Flint Baptist Temple, where I grew up. I joined staff as the Assistant to the College and Career Director (yes it was unpaid). It was five years later on April 17, 1984 when I would be ordained by the Flint Baptist Temple. On Tuesday April 17, 1984 Brother Robert Warren and I met with a group of eight pastors for what would be three hours of questions concerning our theological beliefs and explaining our call to ministry. Honestly, it was one of the most intense times of questioning I have ever encountered. However, I was blessed that my Senior Pastor, Dr. Don Lougheed was the moderator and helped keep it focused and fun. Then on Wednesday Night April 18, this group of men laid hands on us and prayed that God would use us mightily in ministry.   Many of the men that sat on the ordination counsel have gone on to be with the Lord, while others I still have som

Prayers For St. Vincent

This past weekend I received an email from a pastor and college administrator that is currently using our material from Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry. He asked for prayers for his family, friends, and his   home country, St. Vincent (he is currently leading a Christian school on the Island of Grenade, but his family and friends still live on St. Vincent). The La Soufriere volcano has erupted and has forced many to flee the island. This small island is only 18 miles long, 11 miles wide and covers an area of about 133 square miles.   With a current population of about 130,000, 70% of the population claim Christianity as their faith. There are some great churches and Bible schools on the island that are impacting not just St. Vincent, but the entire Caribbean Region. There are reports of Ash from the volcano reaching islands over 100 miles away. How can we pray? Pray that the God would calm the storm (the Volcano that is erupting). If Christ was able to calm the Sea o