In case the Lord ever forgets me

“The righteous will be remembered forever” (Psalm 112:6).

What do you suppose would happen if the Father in Heaven ever got Alzheimer’s?

After all, He’s really, really old, right?

Okay. Not going to happen, of course. My whimsy gene is just asserting itself today.  Scripture makes it plain that “He knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19).

But it did start me to thinking….

What if the Lord really ever were in danger of forgetting me?

Well, the good news is He has these memory aids, mnemonic devices they are called, to guarantee that He doesn’t lose track of any of us.  And no, I do not mean God ties a string around His finger.  Something far better.

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Think God can’t use you? Think again.

“And Moses said, ‘Who me, Lord? I’ve not been to seminary. I didn’t even finish college. The other preachers won’t respect me. Pulpit committees won’t have anything to do with me. There’s a bounty on me back in Egypt. I stutter a lot, and tend to freeze up in front of groups. You’ve clearly dialed a wrong number, Lord.”

“And God said, ‘Shut up and listen.'” (My rather free version of Exodus 3-4.)

“The Lord can’t use a nothing nobody like me.”

Ever heard that? Ever said it?

Repent, sinner.  You underestimate God! (And you might be overestimating your own importance in the equation.)

The Lord delights in taking nobodies and doing great things with them.

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Should the preacher confess his doubts?

“If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ behold, I should have betrayed the generation of Thy children” (Psalm 73:15).

Some questions need to be handled in private and not made public.

A friend who had not been to church in a while ventured back recently only to be slapped in the face by the sermon.

The guest preacher chose the Noah story from Genesis 6-8 for his sermon.  My friend said, “He informed the church that he does not believe that story.  He said it was impossible for Noah to have carried food on the ark for all those animals for a period of 90 days. And imagine the waste those animals would have produced!”

“He said the story was made up by old men to teach people that God punishes those who do not obey Him.”

One wonders what conditions prompted the leadership of that church to invite the enemy to fill the pulpit.  That is precisely what they did and it’s who he was.  Anyone undermining the faith of the Lord’s people in the Holy Scriptures is no friend.

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What if we believed Jesus really did abolish death?

“Who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).

You are going to love this.

If death has been abolished, then to most of us, what we have seems to be a “dead man walking.”  The corpse appears to be very much alive and well, this grim reaper who persists in continuing to mow down a fair to middlin’ number of victims every day.

“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” said Paul in I Corinthians 15:26.

So, has death been abolished or not?

I’m indebted to a couple of old books for some insights worth their weight in gold. One is a biography of J. B. Phillips and the other is a quote from a book Mr. Phillips wrote.

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Heresies inside my church

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine….”  “Preach the word….with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2,3).

For a pastor, the way to deal with bad theology in his church is always to preach the Word.

Just hang in there, year after year, teaching and preaching God’s unchanging truth.  The changes in your people will come as you remain faithful.

The word “orthodox” means “right thinking.”  Straight shooting. Sound doctrine. Solid reasoning.

We think of heresy as something the bad guys do, the “spiritual gift” of cults, and the aberration of the rebellious. After all, aren’t all heretics nuts? (We interrupt to recommend a book. A half century ago, Walter Nigg wrote “The Heretics” to establish that the great heresies in church history were the result of some pretty smart people with real grievances, and not ‘nuts.’  Reading it was life-changing for me. I checked and just now. A used copy or two is available, and new reprints are expensive. However, this is a great investment and the book will be a keeper.)

As Walt Kelly’s comic strip ‘possum Pogo once noted, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

There is enough heresy inside the walls of your church to start twelve new cults by breakfast.

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Four pursuits of a lifetime

“Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, and faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).

Let’s say you are a mama trying to get your children ready for church on Sunday morning. The first one is finally bathed and dressed, and you are working on the second and third ones.  Suddenly, you notice that the first one–the child ready for church, decked out in his Sunday best–is heading out the back door to play in the yard.

You call him back.  You warn him as sternly as you can against going there and doing that.

Then, you sit him down at a table with some books or toys, hoping to occupy him with something good.

After cleaning us up, so to speak  (one verse earlier), the Apostle Paul now says we should avoid those activities that dirty us up again and dedicate ourselves to better things–righteousness, faith, love, and peace.

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Why teaching sound doctrine is not enough

“All Scripture is inspired of God and profitable…” (2 Timothy 3:16).

In previous articles for this website, we have stressed the importance of pastors and teachers feeding their people a steady diet of healthy doctrinal teachings.  IScripture calls it “sound doctrine.”

This cannot be overemphasized. The Apostle Paul said, “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another….” (Colossians 3:16).

Paul speaks of being “constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following” (I Timothy 4:6).

Teaching sound doctrine is a big deal for all believers.

Clearly, that refers to teaching the Bible with a thorough understanding of what that means, where each doctrine fits, how to live its teachings, and so forth.

But there is one huge thing more, without which simply teaching sound doctrine is not enough.

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Since the congregation is made up of all kinds of people, expect anything.

Often, I will post an article on this blog and a few days later, see that some online pastors’ magazine has lifted it (they have our blanket permission) and shared it with 75,000 of their closest friends. That’s when I find out what a bum I am.

Maybe I should not read the comments at the bottom of those articles, but the temptation is just too overpowering.  I end up reading things like:

“What kind of idiot would say such a thing as this?”  “I thought it was a positive article and could not wait to read it. Imagine my disappointment when I found out what the writer was saying.  McKeever is weird.”  “This guy is a Christian?”

It’s all I can do not to respond to such comments, and once in a while I will give in and say something like: “How unkind” or “Such anger,” and leave it there.

Mostly, I read it and go away reminding myself that anyone can subscribe to these online magazines, and often does.  Just as there are some bizarre churches in the land purporting to be Christian, they are led by pastors who tend to be just as off-center.

The point being, don’t let it upset you, preacher.

Not that I am above criticism.  Far from it.  In fact, I love it when someone points out a flaw in my thinking with some well-reasoned evidence or some biblical truth I may have not taken into consideration.  Often, I’ll go back into that “WordPress” program and correct the article.

There is, of course, a lesson for pastors here. And that’s the point of this piece.

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Some people love the idea of work more than its reality

(These are simply stories and not a how-to article.)

“We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work” (John 9:4). 


My grandson Grant might have been 5 years old. Frequently, on my off day that summer, I would pick him up and we would spend the day together. We would go to the park and feed the ducks or head to the playground. Sometimes, we visited the zoo and later the playplace at our favorite McDonald’s.

That day, he agreed to go with me to pick blueberries.

Now, to get from the city–we live in the western part of metro New Orleans–to the country is a drive of an hour minimum.  And to get to Talisheek, Louisiana, added another 30 minutes to the trip.  Grant was buckled into the back seat and we talked all the way. From time to time, he wanted to know, “How much longer?”  I soon decided this might have been a little more than he needed.

Eventually, we arrived at the blueberry farm. It’s a self-service thing where you take a plastic bucket and go in any direction. Later, you weigh up the product and leave money, so much per pound, in a slotted box.

Grant and I got our ball caps on, rubbed on some sun screen, grabbed our plastic buckets, and headed out into the field.

“Grandpa, this is fun.”  I was glad to hear that. The long drive faded in his memory, apparently. That was good because the ride home would be just as long.

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Reminders church leaders need on a regular basis

“Remind them of these things….” (2 Timothy 2:14)

We think of the church leadership as mature, Godly, and self-starters.  They read the Bible for themselves and do not need to be spoon-fed. They know how to pray, have the confidence of the membership, and are able to counsel others.

However, church leaders need something which only the pulpit can give, and that is a regular diet of the staples of ministry. Those staples–the essentials–include the following:

1) Leaders need to be reminded of the holiness of the Church.

The church is the Body of Christ, the Bride of Jesus, and the one institution on earth to which He has committed His gospel.

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