Hope in the Midst of Racial Chaos

hope

The alt-right movement represents the worse in the heart of sinful mankind.  They spew hatred and spawn violence, many under the guise of what they call christian.

I’ve been a Christian since I was 8 years old.  I have studied the Bible for years and think I have a grasp of what Jesus expects from His followers.  None of His expectations include hate, disdain, division, violence, or racism.

As an anglo-American Christian, I have a responsibility to speak out against those who may look like me but represent something else entirely.  My African-American brothers and sisters need to know where I stand.  I will not risk misunderstanding by remaining silent.

I do not stand with those hate groups who hold to white-supremacy.  Count me with my brothers and sisters who name the name of Christ regardless of their color, economics, politics, or language. The Bible recognizes only TWO RACES – the race of the first Adam and the race of the second Adam, Christ. Sin, not skin is the determining factor.

Our country’s problems are not racial, economic, political, or educational. The primary problem is a SIN problem, and we have the answer – the Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

Four Vital Truths that Give Us Hope

I want to share four universal truths to which you and I need to awaken so that God can use us to bring healing to this land.   Each of these truths comes with accompanying Scripture for you read and consider.   I ask you to affirm these 4 truths with me.

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Fact Check that Story Before You Share

fact checkAlternative truth. Fake news. Fact check. The political arena has added some new terms to our vocabulary over the last couple of years.

As I peruse the social media news feeds of fellow Christians, I see a lot of unchecked facts. We too quickly hit the share button on “news” of people, businesses, and organizations accused of offending our Christian sensitivities. Upon further review, many of those stories are not true.

Starbucks is one of the most common targets of fake news. They have been accused of refusing coffee to Marines and telling Christians they don’t want their money. Liberal politicians find themselves the subject of some pretty wild conspiracy theories. Many posts tout news that means the “end” for someone. Other posts purport to expose some nasty things found in the food at popular restaurants.

If only we shared the good news about Jesus as faithfully as we share the fake news about these non-stories.

Reasons We Need to Fact Check Before We Post

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Remove the Do Not Disturb Sign from Your Life

disturb“Do not disturb.”

You’ve seen the sign hanging on hotel room doors. The sign means that the occupants want themselves and/or their things left alone. Maybe the occupant needs to sleep in. Perhaps he or she has valuable items that they do not wish for others to see.

Whatever the case, the message is clear. Be quiet and stay on your side of the door!

Our Personal Do Not Disturb Sign

How often have you wanted to display a Do Not Disturb sign prominently on your chest? We prefer an undisturbed life. We want our plans to succeed, our families to grow, our businesses to profit, and our health to stay strong. If we were to get our way, nothing bad would ever come our way. No one or nothing would ever cause us heartache or disappointment.

But that is an unrealistic expectation isn’t it? All of us experience some disturbances now and then. My good friend Bobby Simpson (Higher Ground Softball) reminded me that those disturbances are not necessarily bad things. In fact, we find our faith grows better in the fertile ground of challenges and trials. (See James 1:2-4, and 1 Peter 1:6-7). Sometimes, as Bobby says, we need disturbing.

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Jesus Sat Down, So You Can Too

Jesus sat

Sitting down can be a good thing.

I had to move some furniture around the other day and sitting became my friend. Thankfully, my friend and experienced hard worker, Randy Toney, was there to make it possible. We moved my daughter’s old bedroom furniture to the church for our yard sale. Then we moved the furniture from my mom’s guest room to my daughter’s bedroom.

After loading up the “new” furniture, we decided it was time for a lunch break at Chick-fil-A. I have never sat and eaten so slowly. I needed that sit down. In fact, I found it difficult to get back to work after sitting for lunch.

We finally unloaded and set up the furniture. I didn’t mention that we also moved a large TV to our house. Our TV from our den went to my daughter’s bedroom, and her TV went to our bedroom. So after unloading the furniture, I set up everyone’s TV and took the best shower I have ever had.

After enjoying a delicious meal at our friends, The Griffins’ house, I went on to church for a committee meeting. I finally got back home and was able to sit down…really sit down. This time, I sat because I was finished with all I had to do for the day.

Where Jesus Sat Down

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Are Your Prayers Analog or Digital?

digital

My first Internet service provider was AOL. Dial Up. Slow. Unreliable.

I can still remember the sound of the screeching modem and the voice that said, “Welcome.” I remember the anticipation of waiting for the announcement, “You’ve got mail!”

I also remember surfing with the anticipation that I would suddenly lose my connection and be “booted” offline. As long as I was connected to the service I was “online.” However, after choosing to log off or being booted off, I was no longer connected to the service.

Internet Service Providers eventually introduced DSL and other high-speed connectivity options. These services not only promised high-speed internet surfing, but also an “always on” connection. Users no longer needed to log on to get service. The service was automatically available as long as the computer remained on and connected to the modem.

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Truth that Heals a Troubled Heart

troubled heart

I want to share one last post reflecting on the recent passing of my mother.

Monday, I had the blessing of preaching at her funeral service.  I shared with those gathered from John 14, some of Jesus’ last words to His disciples.  He began the discourse by saying, “Don’t let your heart be troubled.” Jesus wanted them to know some truths that would set their hearts at ease.

I will miss my mother greatly, but only temporarily since I know I will see her again n heaven.  She and my dad provided a Christian home for our family where I learned the precious promises of God’s Word.

Truth for the Troubled Heart

Because of four things found in John 14 that my mother taught me, I have a sad but not troubled heart.  I have posted the video excerpt of my sermon below in hopes that it will encourage you as well.  The four truths my momma taught me are true for you as well.  If you believe them and live them, they will bring encouragement to your troubled heart.

Ann Duggan Memorial Service from Jim Duggan on Vimeo.


Real Faith: Do You Have It or Not?

real faith

As a kid, I believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. When I grew older, I learned the startling discovery that none of them are for real.

As adults, we lean more often on our faith to help us cope with many challenges life brings. Is this faith we claim for real or is it just feel-good talk to keep us from facing harsh realities? What is real faith? In whom or what does real faith rest?

How can we be sure our faith is for real?

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Lessons I Have Learned in a Time of Grief

grief

Today, we celebrate the life of my mom, Ann Duggan, who passed into the presence of the Lord Thursday evening. I want to share just a few lessons learned from the response of friends over the last four days.

The Power of Presence

Never underestimate the effect of your presence. So many times, we feel like we don’t know what to say in a given moment. But often, the words we say fade into the background of the fact that we are simply there. One of the most helpful tools to process grief is the opportunity to talk through how we feel. When it comes to helping people grieve, our greatest asset is not our mouth but our ears.

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What It Means to Walk by Faith

walk by faith

I learned a life-lesson in what it means to walk by faith.

A couple of years ago, I had to make a very difficult decision. The decision would not only impact my family and me, but also lots of other people. My initial reaction lead me to believe it would not work, it was not feasible.

I didn’t know how it would work out. The path would lead me down a road obscured by the fog of uncertainty. However, after prayer, I sensed God saying go forward and He would make it work. I am glad I trust Him. My decision blessed my family and me and I hope the other people impacted by it.


What IS Faith?

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Learn to Embrace the Seasons of Your Life

seasons of life

We have reached the midpoint of the best season of the year, Baseball season. It’s no secret how much I love the game.

But, of course, the year breaks down into other seasons too. Softball, football, basketball, hockey and a myriad of other sports have their seasons. Sportsmen can only hunt or fish for particular species during specified season.

The calendar year features four weather seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Well, except here in Georgia, we tend to skip winter. We have winter occasionally, but it usually only lasts a week or less.

Seasons of Life

We experience seasons in our lives as well. In his Holy Spirit inspired journal of wisdom, Solomon reminds us that God ordains the seasons of life (Ecclesiastes 3:1). He also considers these seasons occurring in God’s timing a beautiful thing. (Verse 11)

We struggle to own up to the seasons of our lives because we resist change so tenaciously. But whether we admit it our not, change is inevitable as we move through the seasons of our lives.

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