2016 RESOLUTIONS? YOU NEED A TIPPING POINT!

By Johnnie Godwin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

Johnnie Godwin

Johnnie Godwin

You will never amount to more than you do right now unless a “tipping point” revolutionizes your life! In other words, your New Year’s resolutions and other resolutions are as futile as trying to keep all the Law to get saved. You’ll never get saved by trying to keep endless laws because salvation comes only “by grace through faith” when a person “repents” (Ephesians 2:8-10; Mark 1:15; John 3:1-18). That’s why one cliché stands out with truth: namely, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” As human beings, “inertia” is our spiritual nature: We tend to stay the same or change!

What I’m really writing about is repentance with the most literal meanings from its Greek word: which is “change of mind.” Until there is a change of mind so radical that it is like getting born again, we will likely keep on with old habits and old ways and the direction of all mankind cycle on till death. But besides the eternal tipping point of trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and getting saved by grace through faith, other tipping points can and have to occur if we change and move toward our potential. [Read more…]

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SOUTHERN BAPTIST?

By Johnnie Godwin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

Johnnie Godwin

Johnnie Godwin

I recently performed the wedding ceremony of a granddaughter, who is also a marathoner. Both bride and groom had just completed serious courses on what Christian marriage means. In their ceremony of covenant marriage, here’s what I said: “Marriage is a marathon — not a half-marathon or a trial run in an ‘iffy’ thing called “a relationship.” Then the couple made their own vows to affirm the kind of life and death covenant commitment Paul described in Ephesians for church and marriage.

So what does it mean to be a Southern Baptist? Ask that same question to any one of almost 16 million Southern Baptists today, and you likely won’t get a specific, clear, accurate New Testament answer. As the name “Southern Baptist” has eroded in my lifetime, so has the general understanding of what it means to be a Southern Baptist. I know what it means to be a Southern Baptist historically and in covenant relationship with a local church. I was born into a Southern Baptist home 78 years ago, was saved at age 7, surrendered to preach at age 15, was licensed to preach at 16 and was ordained to the ministry at age 21. Since then I’ve gotten three degrees from Baptist schools. I served as pastor of Southern Baptist churches for 11 years and did many interim pastorates. I worked for an SBC agency for 22 years. I’ve taught the “Baptist Faith and Message” many times. I’ve written what it means to be a Southern Baptist. Now, like Paul, I’m not bragging; rather, I’m challenging all who wear the name Southern Baptist to know what it means both in belief and behavior. [Read more…]

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The ‘Can-Do’ Christ in a ‘Can’t-Do’ Society

Johnnie Godwin

By Johnnie Godwin
Contributing Columnist, B&R

“We can do it!” greeted me from every mobile that hung from the ceiling of a fast-food chain. It was their motto, and I loved it. So I located the manager and told him I wanted to buy one of those mobiles. His reply? “We can’t do that!” I told him his store’s motto said they could. But policy and procedure wouldn’t let him do that.

Recently I located a double-file drawer on casters for sale in an office store chain. It fit my needs and measurements exactly and was listed for $79.99. I told manager John I wanted that filing cabinet and had the money and my truck right then. John said, “I can’t do that!” He told me he couldn’t sell me the store’s floor display, and the cabinet was available only online. So later I went online to order the freight-free item. Online it cost $89.99 with freight-free included. I did an online chat with a rep of that chain store. The store chatter told me the sales team sets the price, which often varies online from the price listed in the store. You surely get the “Catch-22” I faced. [Read more…]

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