Brody Holloway
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Posts in Personal Worship
Democracy by God, under God

I am so grateful to live in a country with a democratic process. This is a huge blessing and just as big a responsibility. Yet even in that responsibility, I have complete confidence in the sovereignty of God in the appointment of governments and leaders.

Romans 13:1 says that God institutes leaders:

"...For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."

Paul says this concerning governmental authorities. The most incredible thing to me is that he wrote this when the emperor Nero was in power. This man killed tens of thousands of Christians, yet Paul trusted firmly in the divine plan of God to somehow use even a narcissistic maniac to bring about his purpose for the Church. So God is in control of nations, and the United States is under God.  From Washington to Lincoln and from Roosevelt to Obama, God remains sovereignly seated on the throne of heaven and is always working toward his kingdom. Like us, our leaders will answer to God.

Regardless of who our leaders are at a given time in history, we do well to remember that Christ has called us into a Kingdom that is much greater than this one. Our task in this life, as aliens and sojourners, is to labor for the Gospel and for the future Kingdom. Let's labor while there is time!

Yeah, we have a duty and obligation to vote and to be active in the legislative process. Our voices should be heard. Men have died for our right and our voice. But I believe it was Jesus Christ who once said to an earthly ruler who seemed in the moment to be "in charge:"

"My kingdom is not of this world..."

Let's remained focused on the Gospel work and the Kingdom that is already, but not yet, and that will last forever. Our hope is not in man, or men, or elections or nations. Our hope is in The Lord.

The joy of biblical community

"Behold, how good and pleasant when brothers dwell together in unity." —Psalm 133:1

Every year in September the full-time, year-round staff at SWO heads to Cades Cove in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park for a monster camp-out. We spend three nights just decompressing from the crazy summer routine and gearing up for the busy fall and winter. One of the things that has always set SWO apart from a lot of ministries is the bond the staff members have with one another. It is so biblical to honor and serve each other, but it is also vital to ministry effectiveness to ENJOY one another. The Church needs more than an occasional Sunday afternoon dinner-on-the-grounds, as good as they are. We need to drive toward unity and pleasure in fellowship. Most churches that I speak in are empty within fifteen minutes of the closing “Amen." It is almost like we don’t really like each other.

Slow down, and enjoy the brothers and sisters Christ has died to reconcile not only to Himself, but to one another. Let’s move beyond toleration to enjoyment.

Thanks SWO crew for an awesome week and an even more awesome reminder!

Not another textbook.

Fall is one of the most enjoyable times of year for my family and for the staff at SWO.  We maintain a pretty busy schedule at camp, but the groups have a different dynamic.  We  get a lot of Christian schools bringing students in for fall retreats.  These groups pose a unique challenge because the students have a lot of knowledge of the bible, but often are numb to the life-transforming power of the Gospel.  I have been challenged a lot lately from 1 Corinthians 2 to understand that, no matter how great of a knowledge I have of the bible, the Holy Spirit must give me discernment and bring conviction to my life.  Otherwise, the Bible is just a textbook.   This explains how even nonbelievers can have a pretty good knowledge of the bible and be unmoved by it’s power. I want to surrender to the authority of the Scripture and receive the discernment of the Holy Spirit.  The bible is NOT a textbook.  It is life and revelation and power.  Submit to it.

Who Wants Ice Cream?

I was riding down Main Street here in my little town of Andrews the other day. I had the kids sitting in the back of the teeny van and was feeling pretty Clark Griswold-ish, when we drove past Party Time. Now, if you don’t know about Party Time, then you have probably never been through Andrews. It is like Cold Stone, Little Caesars, and Blockbuster had a baby, then gave him steroids. It is THE destination for ice cream, pizza and movies in Andrews. But really it is all about the ice cream. I have four words for you… Extreme Moose Tracks Avalanche, baby. Oops, I think that was five words. So as we drove by I yelled out “Who wants to go to Party Time?!” In unison, my three kids yelled “ME!” Duh. Did I really need to ask that question? I already knew the answer. But I just wanted to enjoy sharing the moment with them. I love to hear their hearts ‘desires. Is that not why we pray? I mean, God really already knows what we are going to ask, even before we ask. Jesus said so. But it is more about pouring out our hearts to our father. It is about intimacy. He already knows, but he wants to HEAR from you. Go ahead. Talk to God. He wants to hear what he already knows. He loves us!