The Bible tells us to “give thanks to the Lord, for God is good” (Ps. 107:1) As we come up to that special holiday set aside for giving thanks, what are you thankful for?
Joe LaGuardia column
Joe LaGuardia column
Joe LaGuardia column
Joe LaGuardia column
Another October is almost over, and I can’t help but be excited about Halloween coming up in several weeks. It’s one of my favorite holidays. There’s something about the fun and fantasy, the candy and candlelight, the storytelling and lure that gets me as giddy as my 5-year-old around this time of year.
For now, I’m sure that many churches can’t help the generational divides that exist in their communities. With a concerted effort and some intentional faith sharing, however, I am confident that we can grow closer to one another and together grow closer to Christ even when it is difficult to do so.
Every October marks pastor appreciation month. It is a time when many parishioners wrestle with that all-important question: “What do I get my pastor?” Well, I’m glad you asked.
In an article in The Atlantic Monthly, author and editor-at-large Jonathon Rauch recalled a time he attended a dinner party and was asked about his religion. Rauch, a self-proclaimed atheist, considered what to say and realized that atheists were no different than theists in that both sets of people try to convince others of their beliefs, seek converts, and build ideological communities.
All of us have our own image of Christ ingrained in our imagination or our spiritual mind’s eye. It’s the image that confronts us when we close our eyes in prayer. It’s the one representing He whom we worship when moved by a particular hymn or praise chorus.
On the first day of school over a month ago, I did what I always do every year and walk each of my children to their classes to personally drop them off.
I’ve spent a lot of time with Jeremiah these past couple of days. You know him. He’s the prophet whom God called to declare judgment upon Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, around 600 BC. He’s the prophet who faced traumatic adversity, house arrest, and exile. He is the one known as the “Weeping Prophet.”
The extraordinary and history-making cold spell we experienced several weeks ago reminded me of a time that one of my good friends posted on Facebook that, with all this cold weather, human-induced climate change is certain to be a hoax.
A recent report released by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution (as told by The Christian Century) shows that the religious landscape of the United States is quite diverse and will shift in fundamental ways over the next two generations.
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of talking theology with a Christian who is in the Reformed tradition. Actually, he asked me questions pertaining to theology, and I tried to keep up the best I could by fumbling through answers and trying to remember what I learned in seminary.
Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have been catching up on the classic “Back to the Future” trilogy. We haven’t seen the movies for quite some time, and its been a real treat to see how that DeLorean time machine brings all kind of trouble.
When I heard the call to ministry in my teenage years, I wanted everyone to know that I wanted to be a pastor.
JOE LAGUARDIA: Spiritual hero didn’t take sides in ministering to those on both sides of the racial divide
One of the greatest pieces of advice I received in seminary came from a veteran pastor who told us to have some good heroes and mentors. He knew that vocational ministers get lonely at times and that we need people to look up to who understand our profession.
We Baptists love our sermons. In our churches, the pulpit takes center stage. We spend lots of money paying good preachers; and, for many churches, the sermons keep getting longer.
Rejoice in the confidence that God has a purpose for your life. Have you ever confronted a Scripture verse that makes you wonder how to live up to God's Word?
In last week's column, I mentioned that a team of us from Trinity Baptist went to New York for a mission trip.
Trust God, he'll lead you to the right path. Proverbs states, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding" (3:5).
I am not a fan of change. I like my routine, and I like the predictable, boring and mundane.
JOE LAGUARDIA: Retiring St. Pius pastor Father John Kieran leaves legacy of integrity, devotion to community
Retiring St. Pius pastor Kieran leaves legacy of integrity, devotion. Psalm 133 joyfully declares, "How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!"
Like so many churches in the South, our church still has a time of invitation after the sermon every Sunday.
Paul's first letter to the Corinthians informs us that love is patient (1 Cor. 13:4).
A few weeks ago when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the youngest brother of two suspects, was captured for bombing the Boston Marathon, a public debate erupted about the type of rights he was afforded.
Pets provide comfort, encouragement not unlike a pastor.
Everyone's life deserves some recognition when it's ended. What seems like a boring list to us was very meaningful to the ancients. Even the lists of ancestral names in the New Testament -- like those found in the gospels recording Jesus' ancestry -- carried great meaning.
This April marks the 50th anniversary of one of the best treatises written during the Civil Rights movement: Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter from the Birmingham jail.
Easter clothes us in the love of the Lord. Like most ministers, I look forward to Easter every year at church.
This weekend many churches will observe Palm Sunday and sing the classic hymn, "Glory, Laud, and Honor," penned by Theodulf of Orleans. It is a high-church, soaring hymn that lifts hearts heavenward and voices aloft.
Several months ago, an article by M. Craig Barnes in The Christian Century caused a stir when he asserted that it is impossible for pastors to befriend parishioners.
I am convinced that every pastor needs to do the custodial duties in his or her church for a few weeks.
Putting the least first like Jesus might save some marriages. One of the most controversial issues in church and culture is that of divorce.
Every February, Baptist Women in Ministry encourages churches to celebrate women ministers and invite women clergy to preach. It is a time to recognize that women and men alike, equal in partnership, are critical in spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lent began this week in the life of the church. It is a time of preparation and penitence, a time for deep reflection in the depth of winter's cold.
For the last two weeks, I've spent a significant amount of time at the Cokesbury Christian bookstore in Decatur.
Paying attention is a spiritual discipline. When my wife, her family and I lived in South Florida, we teased my mother-in-law about the fact that she claimed to have seen "white goats" at the nearby on-ramp to Interstate 95.
In 1942, the Second World War was raging throughout Europe. During that time, the villagers of a little town of Le Chambone, France, decided to re-define who their neighbors were and save Jewish refugees from Nazi genocide.
I've been writing columns on spiritual disciplines this month.
The Bible assures us that, "If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Last autumn, I held a respectful yet heated email and snail mail debate with a family member who saw the importance of taking a stand on certain divisive social issues relevant to the election season.
I hope that you're reading this. If so, that means that the end of the world didn't happen after all.
Last Sunday, Trinity began its annual Christmas liturgy, which includes Christmas music and sermons related to Advent and Christmas.
At the writing of this column -- on the eve of the election -- I do not have any clue who will win the presidential race.
Be faithful to God and you will rise with Jesus Christ.
JOE LAGUARDIA: Whether worship is traditional or contemporary, your relationship with God is most important
It seems that a church's worship style determines congregational attendance these days.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is a good time for advocacy, support, education, and remembrances of survivors and victims of breast cancer.
Aside from some of my favorite times during the Christian year, such as Pentecost and Advent, we here at my church practice another event that has become a favorite: Christival.