Bob Bixby is one of my favorite bloggers. Recently he wrote an article on the Religious Affections Movement that takes a puritanical approach to music and art that drips with condescension and snobbery. I wish I could have put a response to their arrogance with as much eloquence and aplomb. Read it HERE.
Archive for Links I Recommend
If you are for traditional marriage and like your dollars to follow your values, HERE’s something to thing about the next time you want the Venti Latte…. How’s that tolerance working for you, Starbucks? Oh, I see….it’s only for leftists. smh
You simply HAVE to take a minute and watch these interviews from the recent Democrat National Convention held in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. The issue of Abortion is a very important and very personal issue for me and I frankly do not care if someone is offended by my discussion of it from any angle. This video shows you the lack of intellectual integrity the “pro-choicers” have when it comes to the slaughter of innocent children in their mother’s womb. It would be humorous were we not talking about racist, xenophobic genocide.
View it HERE.
Several years ago, during a time in my life when I was under huge stress, had been betrayed by several close friends and members of the staff from the large church where I was the pastor and was trying to figure out what God was going in my life, I became acquainted with the ministry of The Institute of Biblical Leadership. Usually when I had previously been involved with an organization regarding leadership, I was interacting as a colleague or even as a lecturer or an officer. Now, for the first time in my life, I was in need of someone to help me find order in the chaos of my own life and leadership. It was IBL that helped me refocus and regain my footing in what was some of the darkest days of my professional life.
It was the beginning of a relationship that has recently included an opportunity to join the Board of Directors. Ironically, (or perhaps, providentially) it is located in the same tiny mountain community where we have a family retreat. Lake Lure, North Carolina is located in the foothills and first mountains of the Blue Ridge chain near Asheville and Hendersonville. It’s “old” North Carolina and sits along side a beautiful and historic lake. It is there that leaders from all over the world have visited to unload some of their baggage, re-energize in a beautiful setting and receive Godly counsel from IBL Founder, Dr. Russ Lloyd and Executive Director, Dr. David Phalen.
But coaching and counseling are just the beginning of what IBL does. In addition, they train church lay leaders on how a church should be structured with Biblical Leadership. (A service, had I utilized it when I was a Lead/Senior Pastor, would have saved me hours of aggravation and problems.) Internationally, they train national pastors around the world. The produce training materials for local churches and similar ministries. They do crisis intervention with people in the ministry who have experienced failures or struggle with weaknesses. Finally, the provide consulting for churches seeking to make internal changes in leadership or organizational structure, including those who are in interim situations and without pastoral leadership.
IBL fills in gaps that are not not being filled anywhere else or by few other organizations and they do it with a servant’s heart and a Biblical foundation. They are supported by churches and individuals who understand the need for Biblical leadership and structure in the local church and ministry organizations and who also know that many times pastors have no one to whom they can turn with confidence that they will receive Biblical support while acknowledging the unique pressures and circumstances around being a ministry leader.
So as my own personal ministry and journey have taken multiple unexpected turns in the last four or five years, the leadership IBL have been counselors, mentors and now colleagues. I look forward to investing in a ministry that stood in the gap for me on a personal and professional level and which provides support and encouragement for ministry leaders at every level. From someone who felt like no one was or could understand what was happening in his life at the time, having the opportunity to meet leaders like Dr. Lloyd and Dr. Phalen was just what I needed as they allowed me to vent, question, challenge and wonder. In response they listened, counseled, admonished and ministered. I want to help them meet and be available to others who might just need that support.
If you are a lay leader seeking information, training or coaching for your church as they form or search for a pastor, if you are a pastor who is in a time of stress, transition or even rebuilding, if you need someone to come and train your team and make them function more Biblically and effectively or if you are looking for a ministry that is worthy of your support, prayers and even gifts during the difficult days of this economic recession, The Institute of Biblical Leadership should be ministry you consider. Take some time and visit their website. If you have any questions, contact me at DLBurrell@Liberty.edu. You’ll be glad that you did!
I’m honored to now be part of the IBL team. Plan on hearing more about this ministry in the days to come on this site.
I’ve been nagging my friend and mentor, Dr. Charles Wood, for years about turning his huge archive of articles that he has written over the years into a blog. For some reason known only to him, he has resisted. To me, it’s been like having a library behind lock and key. Finally, the doors have been opened and all can enter!
Dr. Wood is a “semi-retired” pastor who is still a prolific writer, sometimes guest speaker, occasional adjunct professor, an expert on stamp collecting and one of the few men I’ve ever had in my life who put up with incessant questioning and probing and other flaws and listened, counseled and let me vent. Truly one of the most influential men I’ve had speak into my life during my adult ministry. He is a friend, father figure and a real “hoot” if you hang around him much.
Do yourself a favor and bookmark his blog website and then return to it often. Read the past articles. Send him questions and ideas — he might even write on them sometime. I can’t recommend him more highly — he is truly a treasure!
You’ll find his blog link in my blogroll or you can go to it directly HERE.
I’ve added a new recommendation on my blogroll — Urban Missional – is a blog by Stephen Davis. Dr. Davis is a professor, writer, pastor and is now planting a church in Philadelphia. He’s got an amazing testimony that embodies God’s sovereign grace and his calling is one that is greatly needed in our country. Urban areas will never change without the Gospel. Go by and check out his new blog and list it on your favorites.
Because I’m not General McChrystal (who, in my opinion, should be fired), I have no problem criticizing the way we are executing the War in Afghanistan. As someone who has had friends killed and injured in the “Wars on Terrorism”, I’m not simply a passive critic. My friends tell me of the huge ordeal they must endure to do what would be (in previous wars) and should be (in these) routine exercises in killing the enemy and destroying their hiding places. They are often told that they can’t attack a suspected terrorist/taliban hiding place because it might contain civilians. In at least one case, the soldiers approached it, having been denied permission to destroy it, and when they did, the Taliban fighter opened fire killing one soldier and wounding others. A simple, 60-second missile attack would have saved the life of an American soldier — but it was not politically correct to do so.
Additionally, even those we are bent on “liberating” have a hatred for our faith, our values and our culture that is every bit as extreme as those who crashed planes across our landscape on September 11th, nearly a decade ago. Take a few moments and read THIS article from Mindy Belz at World Magazine. It certainly makes me ask the question, “Why are we fighting to liberate people who despise us?”. I, for one, would have no interest in sending my sons into a battle where their lives would be risked so that those we are protecting could call for the murder of our Christian family.
If we’re not going to fight this war right — then bring the boys home. This is ludicrous!