Istoria Ministries Blog Posts

  • The 3 Attitudes that Transform Any Organization

    Oct 10, 2018 | 08:03 am

    The 3 Attitudes that Transform Any Organization Years ago my father, Paul Burleson, taught me three principles that he required his church staff to follow. I have found these principles to be invaluable in keeping working relationships healthy, whether it be in business, personal relationships, or ministry.The reasons I value them is because, in hindsight, I can see how implementing these principles have enabled me to avoid many pitfalls. In addition, any organization will thrive in its mission where these principles guide the attitudes and actions of its employees. There may be some who wrongly think these principles apply only to Christian people, but I would propose that because[…]

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  • Oklahoma's Football Coach a Pulitzer Prize Winner

    Oct 3, 2018 | 12:47 pm

    Oklahoma's Football Coach a Pulitzer Prize Winner This Saturday, October 6, 2018, the #7 ranked Oklahoma Sooners will play the #19 Texas Longhorns in the Red River Rivalry Game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.I've been attending this game since 1974, and Rachelle and I will be going again this year. I've written about my familial connection to it before, and if one loves football (as I do), the game is a highlight of the collegiate season.Invariably, Texas fans will make jokes about the ignorant Sooner fans, and the Texas band will stop just long enough in their marching to chant "Beat the hell out of OU,"[…]

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  • Brett Kavanaugh's Problem of Proving a Negative

    Sep 27, 2018 | 05:49 am

    Brett Kavanaugh's Problem of Proving a Negative Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images fileTime magazine declared that the denial of my motion to track sexual predators who work as clergy in one of America's largest Protestant denominations "one of the top ten most underreported stories in America" in 2008.Holding accountable perpetrators of sexual assaults and giving support to victims is a decades-long desire of mine.I believe it is high time that America wakes up to the problem of sexually predatory behavior and strengthens the laws that hold perps accountable. In other words, I laud the work done in the Bill Cosby court case.But read carefully the[…]

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  • The Difference Between My Church and His Church

    Sep 19, 2018 | 07:40 am

    The Difference Between My Church and His Church The other day I went to a fast-food restaurant and ordered a couple of salads. It was my turn to do dinner, so I did it the easy way. After arriving home, I realized the restaurant hadn't given me the condiments for my salads (dressing, nuts, etc.). I got back in the car and took my second trip across town, back to that same fast-food restaurant. Arriving home the second time, I realized that the condiment packets didn't have what should have been in them.Argghh. Frustrating.I didn't get what I wanted. I felt poorly served. Nobody at the restaurant recognized[…]

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  • Authoritarianism, Fundamentalism, and Religious Leaders Who Control Those in Front of Them

    Sep 11, 2018 | 07:31 am

    Authoritarianism, Fundamentalism, and Religious Leaders Who Control Those in Front of Them Mariam Ishag, a Christian woman in Sudan, was hanged by fundamentalist religious leaders for 'apostasy.'In Sudan, there is no difference between 'civil' authority and 'religious' authority. The civil authorities in charge of Sudan believe it a crime to be a Christian.Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa sentenced Mariam to death with these words: "We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death."The Sudanese judge believes himself to be God's authority over this woman's life. He sentenced Mariam 'to death' because he believes he possesses his power and authority from the Divine. When the[…]

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  • Abraham Lincoln Converted to Christ at Gettysburg

    Sep 5, 2018 | 14:51 pm

    Abraham Lincoln Converted to Christ at Gettysburg I recently came across a post I originally shared 10 years ago. It's the story of how President Abraham Lincoln consecrated his life to Jesus Christ while walking the battlefields of Gettysburg.  My heart was warmed as I read the story as originally shared by D. James Kennedy, the former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.   Dr. Kennedy preached this message more than once during the course of his ministry at Coral Ridge, and I understand why. History books do not portray Lincoln's faith. It's a story, however, that needs to be repeated at least once a decade. TEXT: "Therefore being justified by faith, we[…]

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  • Patterson, Pressler, Cole, and SBC Fundamentalism

    Aug 29, 2018 | 06:56 am

    Patterson, Pressler, Cole, and SBC Fundamentalism I am the son of a Southern Baptist pastor, grandson of an SBC evangelist, and have pastored the same SBC church for over a quarter of a century. I'm an SBC insider.And I feel like the Southern Baptist Convention has dodged a bullet. Fundamentalism.In 1979, at the beginning of the SBC Conservative Resurgence, I was about to enter my senior year of high school in Fort Worth, Texas, but I remember my parents coming home from Houston ecstatic that Adrian Rogers had been elected President of the SBC. My family was friends with the Rogers' family, and Adrian's election was "a surprise"[…]

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  • Criticism Willingly Given and Freely Received

    Aug 27, 2018 | 07:10 am

    Criticism Willingly Given and Freely Received A few years ago I came across an article in the National Review called The Duty of Harsh Criticism.The National Review has a tagline "Where intellects collide," so most National Review articles are intended to be read by intellectuals.The Duty of Harsh Criticism was written in 1914 by a twenty-one-year-old woman named Cicely Isabel Fairfield (picture left), who wrote under the pen name Rebecca West.Rebecca believed that was the duty of free-thinkers to listen in a disrespectful manner.In her mind,  criticism should be the norm.And, according to West, critical thinking has become a lost art which is in need of recovery. Listen to just[…]

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  • Baptist Blues and the Interior Life of Chuck Kelley

    Aug 24, 2018 | 07:47 am

    Baptist Blues and the Interior Life of Chuck Kelley Dr. Chuck Kelley speaking at NOBTS, August 21, 2018In the first fall chapel service for the fall of 2018 at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Chuck Kelley, Jr., President of NOBTS, spoke to seminary students.Dr. Kelley's words can be heard for yourself in the video posted below. Dr. Kelley, who has been president of NOBTS since 1996, began working at NOBTS as professor of evangelism in 1983. Thirty-five years of service to the SBC and NOBTS. Dr. Kelley is the brother of Dorothy Patterson, Dr. Paige Patterson, former President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, is Dr.[…]

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  • Reasons Church StaffStop Attending after Leading

    Aug 22, 2018 | 09:39 am

    Reasons Church StaffStop Attending after Leading Carey Nieuhof writes an interesting blog about leadership. Cary is an author, motivational speaker, and former pastor. He recently wrote an article on why vocational church pastors and staff (e.g. "those who once drew a salary from the church) have a hard time attending church once they've been involved in leading one. I found his points interesting and replicate his post in full below: 9 Reasons It’s Hard To Attend A Church Once You’ve Been Involved In Leading OneCarey NieuhofKind of a strange to even say it, isn’t it?Why on earth would pastors and church leaders have a hard time attending church of[…]

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