“If I Had it My Way” Friday

Every week I come across articles that I wish every member of The Church at West Franklin would read. They include articles that teach, encourage, challenge, and help as Christ-followers. So, instead of thinking "I wish I could get the members to read this" I am going to post my weekly favorites to this site on Fridays. In other words, "If I had it my way, West Franklin peeps would read these." Thus the title "'If I Had It My Way' Friday." Consider Friday a day to come and get some pastoral (web) recommendations on what I believe will help you in your walk with Christ.

10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Southern Baptists by Russell Moore

The name “Southern Baptist Convention” can confuse people who assume that this means we are limited to the states below the Mason-Dixon line. That was true at our founding, but isn’t true at all now. There are Southern Baptist churches in all 50 states. That’s why you might be surprised to meet a Southern Baptist from Portland, Oregon or Portland, Maine who doesn’t say y’all or like sweet tea.


Will Southern Baptist's Back Russell Moore's Call to Remove the Confederate Flag by Adelle M. Banks

Does a Southern Baptist leader’s call for the Confederate battle flag to come down mark a sea change in the views of evangelicals about a symbol long wrapped in both support for slavery and regional pride?

Or will conservative white Christians in the South resist change even as a growing number of Republican leaders — including S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley — from the region call for the flag to go?

“The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire,” Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, wrote in a widely noted blog post on Friday (June 19).


Inside Out, Right-Side Up: The Roots of Real Joy by Marshall Segal

The message of Inside Out says that joy in this life can be real even when mixed with darker, harder memories and experiences. The film creatively and effectively protects us from thinking life is meant to be easy, fun, and care-free. True joy, the kind that survives suffering and endures pain, is not cheap or easy. It’s laced — woven through and through — with sadness. So it is with Christ in an even more profound way. We are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10), and our joy is all the deeper and more enduring because of the grief.

The hope for Christians, though, is that there is even better news than real-life, down-to-earth, grounded-with-grief joy in this world. The joy Riley experienced before her family’s move — a child-like, uninhibited, uncontaminated happiness — is not so far off from the hope of heaven. The full and forever happiness we will have with God in his presence will not be ruined by sadness or distress or disgust, but enriched by them. One day, God will wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4) — no fear, no sadness — and amazingly we will be eternally better for having cried.

Our joy, then and there, will be truly free, fearless, and full — childlike, but untouchable.