Peruse Bible teachings and church happenings

Peruse Bible teachings and church happenings


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He Will Carry You Through

Sunday, June 23, 2024

“I don’t like change.” “I don’t handle change very well.” “Change is always hard.” “I’m just not wired to do change very well.”

Life changes whether we like it or not. Ecclesiastes 3 says there’s a time for everything that happens under the sun; sometimes one thing, and sometimes its exact opposite. It’s just part of life.

In business, it’s brought on by demands of the market, needs of the workforce, unexpected expenses, employee turnover, and a gazillion other things. In families, it’s brought on by growth and aging, by health, by shifting income levels, by new time constraints or new freedoms, and a gazillion other things. Political powers change. Friendships change. Fashions change. We grow better and get worse at times. Even known weather patterns change. It’s just a part of life.

So why, if it’s definitely going to be part of our lives, do we struggle with it? I think it’s ultimately because things are out of our control.

When we sense change approaching, we often fear that something or someone (maybe ourselves) will lose or ruin something good. And we know we often can’t always prevent that. And so we fear that the change will be a net loss in our lives.

Now, to be sure, there is an element of wisdom to being consistent and unchangeable in some ways in our lives. But hopefully as God’s people, we have the spiritual and emotional maturity to realize that even though things will change around us and in us, God will stay side-by-side with us and see us through those things. The key to getting all of it right is to put our trust fully in God through the whole of life. As the hymn says, “He will carry you through.”

- Dan Lankford, minister

Living Life Skillfully

Monday, June 10, 2024

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.

That bit of wisdom, attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, is engraved in the marble on the walls in the Library of Congress. It’s a reminder of the wholeness of someone who wants to live life skillfully. It’s good wisdom for anyone, and especially for Christians, who want to live life skillfully according to God’s wisdom for all cultures and times.

Reading is an important spiritual discipline for the child of God. When we allow it, God’s word will saturate our minds with divine truth, love, and wisdom. It gives us the vision to see the world, ourselves, and others as we truly are. It lets us hear from God himself.

Conversation—what Bacon calls “conference”—is also an important spiritual discipline. It’s in conversations that we practice articulating the truths of The Faith so that we become more prepared to “make a defense to anyone who asks” about the hope that gives us purpose (1 Pt. 3:15).

And when it comes to communicating doctrine correctly, I find that writing helps me achieve clarity more than anything else. Writing encourages us to choose words that are just right for the occasion, for the audience, and for the subject matter. With a subject matter as important as the Gospel, shouldn’t we want to communicate it with accuracy and care?

The skill with which we walk thru life will be greatly enhanced by these three disciplines. These are elements of how many of God’s faithful ones have lived with wisdom for millennia. Let’s learn from their wisdom and from God’s to do the same things today.

- Dan Lankford, minister

Tense Conversations & Wise Words

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

In the past 10 days, I’ve been involved in or overhearing close friends in conversations on the following topics: Pride Month, atheism-vs-Christianity, modesty, depression, Christians and martial struggles, Catholicism-vs-Biblical Christianity, and the current state of the Israel-Hamas war. I know I’m stating the obvious here: any conversation on those subjects has the potential for argument, tension, and hurt feelings. They are all places where emotions run high and opinions grow strong.

The combination of all of those has reminded me of the importance of our words. When we speak as Christians, we are called to always speak graciously, with words “seasoned with salt,” so that we have the wisdom to answer each person appropriately in a given situation (Col. 4:6). We’re told that having the thoughtfulness to say the right thing at the right time is like giving the gift of fine jewelry (Prv. 25:11-12). We’re told that speaking the right word at the right time will bring us joy (Prv. 15:23), and that refraining from speaking when it’s right to do that will help us just as much (Prv. 21:23). In any and every situation, Christians are called to be thinking people, so that we will answer in a way that gives true benefit to everyone who hears it.

I’ve been encouraged by the Christians that I’ve heard in these conversations this week. I’ve heard believers speak their convictions, respect the convictions of others, admit mistakes they’ve made, and resolve conflict in healthy ways. I’ve heard them speak up for the truth to others who were holding to spiritual and religious errors. I’ve heard them have the humility to say, “This is what I think, but I could be wrong” when it came to some of the topics listed above. I’ve been encouraged by their examples to speak with wisdom all the time.

I hope and pray that I’ve handled the conversations where I was involved with the grace and wisdom that I should have. And I pray that for all of us—that our speech will always be the kind of gracious, wise, truthful words that Christ himself would speak.

- Dan Lankford, minister

"I Just Don't Know What Else To Do"

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Surely we’ve all experienced the frustration of doing things right and not seeing positive results from it. We pray for someone but don’t see the prayers answered. We eat healthy and exercise but the number on the scale doesn’t seem change. We take to heart a new batch of marriage advice, but the tension stays in our relationship. We train and re-train someone on the job, but see no change in their work. And here’s one of the big ones: We discipline and teach our kids, but they just don’t seem to be getting any of it and growing into the people they should be.

In cases like that, our frustration with lacking results often leads us to look for new methods. We look for the newest diet fad, the latest marriage advice, the latest psychology of training, or yet another new parenting book. And eventually, after many methods, we look back over our efforts and think, “I just don’t know else to do.”

I think that there’s a subtle, but important fault in that thought process. It’s that we’re looking for something else to try, instead of continuing in what is known to be good.

Now, that principle is a truism in lots of areas of life, but since today is Mother’s Day, here’s how it applies to parenting: Let’s focus less on new ideas for parenting and increase our commit-ment to the old wisdom from God for raising them. The list of passages given below will help us stop looking for what else to try and to stay committed to what works. Is that tough? Yes. Perseverance is harder than novelty. But by our faith in God’s grace, we can do it, and we’ll be better off for it in the long run of life and eternity.

- Dan Lankford, minister

Deut. 6:5-7, Prv. 22:6, Prv. 19:18, Prv. 23:19, Prv. 29:17, Heb. 12:5-8, Eph. 6:4, Col. 3:21

Stand In the Gap | One Voice To Teach Masculinity

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

There’s some serious confusion around manhood in our culture. If you turn to any number of different outlets, you’ll receive any number of conflicting views about how to become a man, what’s wrong with men, and what makes a good man. So how can we know which one is right? How can we know what masculinity is really supposed to be like?

The key is to block out all the noise and listen only to one voice. A voice that will tell us the truth. The voice of God.

The word of God has many glimpses of the same things we see wrong with men in the modern world. In the Bible, we see weakness in places where men should have been strong. We see oppression and abuse where men should have been kind and accommodating. We see men who oppress women and children, who are unfaithful to their wives and families, whose foolishness ruins the lives of others around them, and whose godless arrogance destroys them.

And yet… There are examples of godly masculinity that repeatedly shine as bright lights out of that darkness. There are men who embody gentleness, wisdom, strength, meekness, care, and righteousness… all at the same time. Are they perfect? No. All of them, except for One, fail in some way. And yet they showed us how to strive for the ideal.

This coming Sunday’s sermon will be for men. We’ll talk about the way that godly men should be characterized by humility. We’ll talk about how humility drives both tenderness and toughness, how it helps us know when to speak and when to keep quiet, how it helps us to step up for those who need us, and how it manifests in our habits of self-control and self-discipline.

God told Ezekiel that he was seeking “for a man to stand in the gap” (Ez. 22:30) to do the right thing before God and others. We want to be the godly men who can do that when God calls upon us. So this Sunday’s lesson will give us a little bit of guidance toward doing that better than we ever have before.

- Dan Lankford, minister

Entertained And Misaligned

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

What do you most like to watch, listen to, or read? Does it fit with your being a sincere Christian?

Christians need to be intentional with the entertainment choices that we make. Streaming shows, books, movies, and social media videos that promote ungodly attitudes and sinful behaviors aren’t the kind of things that ought to characterize our habits. The things that we fill our minds and hearts with—the stories and thoughts to which we ascent—have a profound impact on us. Likable characters warm us up to their way of life, which is really problematic when that way of life is ungodly.

So let’s ask ourselves: Are we choosing to be entertained by senseless or careless violence? Is the loss of human life downplayed in our favorite stories, as though it were unimportant? Are we being led to laugh off certain sins? Is foul, sinful, cursing language used as though it were harmless? Are the things that we find entertaining attempting to make it unclear whether someone doing evil is a good guy or a bad guy, eroding our discernment about what’s right and wrong? Is sexuality portrayed in unholy ways that go beyond the proper love of husband and wife? Are things which God has declared sinful being portrayed as happy, freeing, pleasant, and good?

I recently heard a preacher note that when we allow ourselves to be entertained by something, we’re aligning our hearts with that thing, if only a little bit. There’s a small amount of conforming with its ideals that happens. And thinking about the danger of that reminded me of these words from Proverbs: “My son, if sinners entice you... my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths…” (Prv. 1:10-16) It’s a good reminder not to align ourselves with the world and their ways. Like the Spirit said through Paul, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rm. 12:1)

The reality of living in a fallen world means that we won’t be able to put a full stop to the immorality that we see and hear about. The day-to-day world is full of it, and it finds its way into our lives in so many ways. But there’s a big difference between seeing immorality and seeking it. There’s a big difference between hearing of sins committed and honoring them as entertaining. There’s a big difference between knowing that sin is sinful and wondering if it’s sensible. The problem is not only what we see; it’s what we choose. Let’s make sure that we’re honestly trying to glorify God in everything that we do.

- Dan Lankford, minister

Me & The Screen | Parenting with Screens

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Many Christians have a pessimistic outlook on raising kids. We believe it’s a risk, saying things like, “We shouldn’t want to bring kids into a world that’s gotten this bad. It’s worse than it’s ever been. It would just eat them alive, destroying their faith.” But the world has always been evil. I doubt that “the world is worse for our kids than it’s ever been.” Perhaps, though, the world’s wickedness comes closer to them, thanks, at least in part, to the presence of smart devices.

One of the unique challenges of Christian parenting in our day is handling screens wisely in our families. So, here’s some advice to Christian parents for helping our kids serve Christ when surrounded by screens.

  • Regulate their time on screens. Encourage intentional, tangible activities like conversation, engagement, reading, work, and generosity. Set a whole-family ‘fast’ from your tech once in awhile.
  • Set parental blocks. Gateways on your wifi routers, blocked-out apps, time limits, etc.
  • Unapologetically invade their privacy for the sake of spiritual accountability. There isn’t anything unbiblical about doing that, so long as it’s truly for their good and not justification for us to be on a power trip. Check their browsing histories, texts sent and received, downloads, and apps. Let them know from the outset that this kind of accountability will be standard procedures with your family.
  • Finally, talk openly about what you’re doing as a parent and why. Caveat: be wise enough with in those conversations not to accidentally tell them how to find ungodliness (a mistake that I’ve heard preachers and parents make more than once), but for older kids, do let them know the purpose behind your decisions. Remind them that you’re trying to foster a true, abiding love for God in their hearts.

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” (Mt. 6:22-23) Parents, let’s be wise and diligent to keep our families’ hearts full of God’s light.

- Dan Lankford, minister


[images sourced from]

Me & The Screen | Taking Responsibility For Ourselves

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Screen devices are amoral things. They aren’t good or bad of themselves; they are tools that can be wielded in good ways or bad. And that means that responsibility falls on us. How can we be smart and spiritual about what we see and hear with them?

First, let’s just occasionally look away from screens and engage with the people most immediately in front of us. Sometimes, we simply use them too much, and we need to learn to ignore them in favor of a meaningful personal connection. With family and friends, at work or in worship, and especially when doing personal devotions, refusing to let a screen interfere will help us focus on the moment’s purpose.

Second, let’s learn to control what we see. Last week’s post talked about ‘the algorithms’ populating our screens with things we don’t want there. But there are settings that can be changed and blocking services that can be employed to stop a lot of that. So let’s be aware of the options that we have and use them. Filtering software and parental controls are widely available if we look.

More than that, let’s make ourselves accountable to regular check-ins with a more mature Christian—a place to confess a sin, talk about a temptation and the way of escape from it, or thank God together for a milestone amount of time that we’ve endured temptation.

Third, let’s just set ourselves some time limits so that we know when enough is enough. Maybe we shouldn’t put screens beside us when we go to bed. Maybe we should keep them out of arm’s reach during meal times. Maybe we should make a house rule for no ‘small screens’ after a certain time in the evening. In general, let’s build in some responsible time barriers where we’re training our minds not to need the screens.

Overall, this comes down to self-control. It’s about making sure that while the screens are lawful for us, we aren’t mastered by them (1 Cr. 6:12). So let’s pray for wisdom and strength to be self-controlled. Let’s put in the effort to protect ourselves from the foolishness and sin that threaten to creep into our lives. Whatever effort and new learning it requires of us, it will be worth it for the sake of our souls.

- Dan Lankford, minister


(images sourced from

Faithful Reading: The Conviction To Lead

Sunday, January 21, 2024

One thing that Christians sometimes neglect to include in their efforts toward spiritual growth is the reading of faithful books. Obviously, the works of uninspired men are not of the same caliber as the inspired word of God when it comes to guiding our spiritual growth. But, just as we listen weekly to godly teachers & preachers who offer their insights into the word of God, there have been many authors down through the centuries who have faithfully expounded the Scriptures’ meaning in some really helpful ways. So, on Sundays in January, these articles will recommend spiritual books that can help us more clearly see God’s plan and our place within it.


The Conviction to Lead, by Albert Mohler, gives 25 principles for leading a group of people with Biblical principles, starting with a simple and powerful truth: those who lead must have some strong convictions about Christ, the Bible, and God’s purposes in the world. As the author says, much leadership talk is about plans, but convicted leadership is about a purpose—a belief in an ideal—that is the guiding light for one’s life and influence on others. As the author says, “The leader is rightly concerned with everything from strategy and vision to team-building, motivation, and delegation, but at the center of the true leader’s heart and mind you will find convictions that drive and determine everything else.” The apostle Paul encouraged the Christians in Thessalonica to know the Gospel in the same way that he himself did: “not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Ths. 1:5).

From that starting point, the author expounds many key principles of leadership, both practical and conceptual. Leadership is all about character; a principle seen in the two main passages about elders’ qualifications. Leaders are managers; a principle seen in the Bible’s repeated admonitions to care for one’s flocks and household. Leadership is stewardship; a principle seen in Jesus’ passing of his kingdom into the hands of men until his return. All of these ideas, plus many very practical pieces of advice throughout the book, have greatly helped me as a leader in both religious and secular work settings.

Spiritual principles and scripture quotes are found throughout the book, guiding readers to think about leadership like the Lord himself would. So , whether you’re a leader in your workplace, here at church, in our community, or in the military; some of these principles (and maybe all of them, to some degree) will be helpful guidance for you. The presence of godly leaders in the world is a blessing from God, and so if more of God’s people can become the leaders that we should be, we can more fully become a channel of his blessings to the world.

-Dan Lankford, minister  

Click here to get it in paperback.

Click here to get it on Kindle.

Me & The Screen | Disconnected and Distracted?

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

How much time do you spend with a screen? Stats on Americans’ average usage are bandied about sometimes. But this consideration isn’t about an epidemic pattern in a group; It’s about YOU. How much of your time is spent with the screen, and which apps are getting the most of that screentime? Your phone’s Settings menu can answer these questions, and it might be worth finding out.

I find that the stats often show a different picture of my life than what I feel. I may feel that I spend a lot of time on good things throughout each day, but then the numbers tell a different story. Chances are that a lot of us are wasting some time with our devices. There are undoubtedly some productive, wholesome, and meaningful things that we do with them; but if we are being wasteful, then we should correct it.

Because wasting too much time on mindless frivolity can’t be a hallmark of a life given to Jesus. Paul warned us to “make good use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:19). And Jesus gave us his example of one who worked on the things of God while the time was right, because he was aware of the preciousness of time and the importance of using it wisely (cf. John 9:4).

Additionally, there’s the whole consideration of whether our device-centric activities get more attention than our relationships. Are we engaged in the lives of our spouses, kids, parents, friends, and others? Or are we checked out, giving our attention and care to a screen?

It might be wise for all of us to check our screentime stats for a clearer understanding of what we’re actually engaged with. Maybe we’ll find that we’re using our time exactly as we believe we should; maybe not. In either case, let’s be aware so that we can make wise choices that glorify God.

And more than that, it might be wise to just occasionally put the phone away and fully engage the people and the moment in front of you. Just exercise the mental muscles of attentiveness, care, and awe. Exercise those often enough, and we’ll find that their strength is a lot more rewarding than the mental weakness that we begin to breed when we are in a constant state of distraction and entertainment from a screen.

- Dan Lankford, minister

(images sourced from

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