I was asked last night, “Who are you voting for?” Good question. Here are some other questions I’m asking myself, and for you to consider, as Election Day nears: First, if everyone’s vote was made public, how would that change our fellowship within our church? Evangelicals are divided on Hillary and Donald. Would our lack of agreement impede our lo...Keep Reading
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How can God justly forgive you? The theological answer: it’s not the relative badness of one’s sins that matters, but the worth of the sacrifice given by God, for the forgiveness of sins. Leave in place the badness of what Bundy, Duch and you have done. Do not minimize it for a moment. But Jesus, the perfect Son of God, God in flesh, was an even greater, infinitely more valuable sacrifice, more valuable than even the worth destroyed by all the murders of the whole world. ...
There are three common characteristics of Community or Discipleship Groups or friendships that are faithful and useful and healthy over the long-term: • Deliberately Gospeled • Attentive Friendship • Consistently Missional:...
We want happiness; we are ever in search of it; a current book written by a Briton describes how we Americans can’t find it. Perhaps we are more prone to search harder for happiness; its pursuit is built-in to our founding document and character. Or turn on PBS and you’ll hear about “mindful awareness”, an eastern practice that’s the en vogue ...Keep Reading
Resurrection Bible Church is located in Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine and is comprised of 45-50 attendees and about 20 children in Sunday school. They have a fierce desire to see more Ukrainians hear the good news of Christ and worship the one true God. Pastor Oleg Kalin is a longtime friend of Pastor Jed’s, they met in 2007 through a mutual mentor. In Ukraine, ...Keep Reading
William Cowper’s (pronounced “Cooper”) life rings with lessons for us, about depression, and about moving towards others in love, even when we know not what we should say or do. Cowper lived in the 1700’s, was a friend of John Newton (Newton was his pastor for a time), and wrote poems and hymns that are still valued today. Martin Luther King often q...Keep Reading
When we listen to a sermon, the stakes are high - Jesus said in the parable of the soils that covetousness is always ready, looking to snatch the Word from us and make us unfruitful, or from becoming Christians (Matt. 13:22). The moment of the sermon is a battle. The battlefield is our hearts, because the location of the “root” of faith (13:21), and the locatio...Keep Reading
We Americans have had a twisting relationship with ambition. Alexis de Tocqueville observed about us: “There are no Americans who do not show that they are devoured by the desire to rise, but one sees almost none of them who appear to nourish vast hopes or to aim very high. All want constantly to acquire goods, reputation, power; few envision all these things on a g...Keep Reading
At any given moment, you are to be about . . . what? All the time, you and I are to live, give or serve as a representative. Live, give, representative. Live: Much of life is just, well, living. In order to feed one’s family, one either needs to work, or go to the grocery store or garden. The car ride or working or shopping or picking is just life. But I am to live ...Keep Reading
In all the Psalms Jesus meets with us, identifying with our weaknesses, having compassion on us, and graciously meeting us with help in our time of need. But he does not always help us on our terms, the way we would devise. Sometimes we call out for him for grace and mercy, but he meets us first with more wounds, more hurt. Psalm 50 pictures such a time. We must keep humbl...Keep Reading
Recently I heard someone say that their Community Group lacked purpose. I was disappointed to hear that, but I think I understand the malaise. I want to make three comments to clarify and perhaps inspire us in the purpose of Community Groups.First, remember that God has sovereignly, deliberately placed us in geographic proximity to other real people. Therefore, one of your...Keep Reading
In the process of change, we often miss a vital step. If you miss this step, you miss something vital for going to where you want to go. You want life, real life. And your/my next step for finding life is often one of two things: “Stop doing that,” or “Just believe.” Both are good ...Keep Reading