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.
In last week's column, I mentioned a question my daughter asked before her great-grandmother's funeral.
Several weeks ago I had the honor of officiating a memorial service for a dearly beloved friend and churchgoer.
If you were to ask me what religious denomination is growing in the United States, I would have guessed the Pentecostals.
There once was a guy named Jairus. He was a real faithful churchgoer and leader in his community.
When was the last time you hosted a tea party and invited a bunny, a doll, a witch, stuffed bears, and your younger brother?
Every now and then I find myself in the office listening to a person who has just passed through a crisis of faith.
Trying to find a new church can be a daunting, overwhelming, and exhausting task. Whether a person is new to the area or simply searching for a new place to worship, finding that "perfect" community takes time and prayer.
Rockdale readers: My guess is that not many young people from the middle and high school crowd read the newspaper, so I need to ask you a favor -- please pass this along to a young person nearest you.
Last week, many communities in the South saw droves of people turn out for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.
Throughout the school year, I order my life around the Christian calender. That calendar begins with Advent and ends with Holy Trinity Sunday.
Although parents get tired of hearing it, a child's cry is a miraculous way God helps us figure out what he or she wants.
When I was trying to think of something patriotic to write about for the Fourth of July week, I couldn't think of anything specific.
In the shadow of some recent deaths of important figures in Christendom, such as theologian John Hick and prisoner-turned-prison reformer Chuck Colson, some seasoned saints have been writing about what God has in store for those who are facing the second half of their life's ministries.
For those who follow the Christian calendar, this day stands between Ascension Sunday (Acts 1:1-11) and Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21). It is a time of anticipation and change, a moment between the old life in Jerusalem and the new Commission to go to the ends of the earth.