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Posts By Rev. Jay Barfield


Finding Peace On Sleepless Nights

Dreading Sleepless Nights I had a tough night last night. I’m sure you’ve probably had a similar night yourself. I was up at least three times during the night, just walking around the house. Going back to bed. Up again a couple of hours later. You’ve probably heard of Restless Legs Syndrome? While my legs were pretty restless, I don’t think that was my problem. My restlessness was in my heart. Reasons for Sleepless Nights We’ve probably all had nights like that at one time or another. On the surface, the reasons may vary, but as you probe deeper, they. . .
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Plant the Gospel in the Lives of Your Children

A Child Rearing Garden Child rearing has often been described using the metaphor of tending or growing a garden. However, it seems that we don’t always think fully about all the applications of gardening principles to the child raising enterprise. In fact, it’s entirely possible that if you implemented your actual child discipleship practice to your gardens, you would probably starve. In my own family, I know that most of the energy and effort (particularly in the early years) was heavily tilted in the direction of building fences. We were very concerned with implementing borders and protective measures from external. . .
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Like Father, Like Son

Understanding Our Sons It is a constant test of our patience that some people just don’t broadcast on the same wavelength as the rest of us. They seem to be AM people in our FM world. I like to think of myself as a pretty astute observer of people, and my respective careers in sales and pastoral ministry have given me a lot of training and experience in observing and analyzing different types of folks. My desire is to learn what motivates people to think and act the way that they do. However, I have a friend whose son I. . .
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3 Ways We Let Worry Rule Our Future

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow Man is the only created being that not only functions in time, but also attempts to control it. More specifically, man worries about the future. While squirrels may harvest nuts for the winter, and bees make honey for future consumption instinctively, Man tends to go beyond provision, seeking to control or escape the future. This is a clear violation of Jesus’ exhortation not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 5:25-34). Three Ways We Worry Planning for the future—that is biblically wise, as is walking by faith. However, here are three harmful ways to consider the future,. . .
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Waiting on the Lord While Your Story is Written

Waiting on the Lord Between Life’s Chapters When you read a novel, it is pretty rare that the story progresses seamlessly as one chapter ends and the other begins. There are legitimate demands made upon the reader to assume elements within the narrative that aren’t mentioned. Scenes change, time passes, the plot thickens—but these aren’t the highlights or exciting parts. That’s why few stories include the protagonist or hero of the story simply sitting around. Each chapter in a story indicates a new or changed direction in the progression. This doesn’t mean, however, that nothing has occurred in between the. . .
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Party On—Life in the Body of Christ

Community in the Body of Christ If you were like me growing up, you probably had your milk doctored up by your parents so that you would drink it without complaining. This additional doctoring included chocolate. If your parents were the particularly conscientious sort, it was the chocolate milk mix that added “loads of vitamins and minerals,” so that they wouldn’t feel so bad about loading your milk with sugar. Who would have thought that good nutrition could be so fun? Unfortunately for many, obesity and diabetes wasn’t as much fun. As a culture, we have a hard time thinking. . .
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Drop the Cheetos & Exercise Your Spiritual Gifts

All Christians Have Spiritual Gifts In Romans 12, Paul mentions a series of spiritual gifts as part of his exhortations to the church in Rome. The gifts mentioned in this particular list are prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, and mercy. If you move to 1 Corinthians 12, there is some overlap, but among the additional gifts mentioned are knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. If we are Christians, filled by the Holy Spirit, we will be gifted in some form or fashion along the lines mentioned in Scripture for service to the Church. None of. . .
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Live Faithfully in a World of Temptation

Temptation in the Garden of Eden It is interesting to note when looking at the account of Adam and Eve in the garden that, before the fall, they had only one temptation to deal with. ONE. Don’t eat the forbidden fruit. Now, we know that the fall had more to do with eating fruit. In fact, one could make the case that pretty much all of the ten commandments were violated either directly or indirectly in that one sin. Summed up, they didn’t care for the limitation placed on them by their Master, and made themselves slaves to another one.. . .
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What Do We Do in Times of Judgment?

When Judgment Comes There are few times in my relatively short memory where Christians in the west are in a more introspective time than now. We are in a time of true judgment, despite what Joel Osteen might say on the Larry King Show; our numbers seem to be dwindling; our various economies are in a shambles; our president, along with his administration, is either numb or hostile to most of what we hold dear; and the prevailing sentiment of our culture is that a moderately faithful Christian is a nut. Worse, they believe that a radically faithful Christian is. . .
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How to Turn Your Heart Toward Your Children

New Covenant Promise The fourth chapter of Malachi is a chapter of special promise in a prophetic book that usually only gets referenced during budget time or in the midst of capital stewardship campaigns (using chapter 2 as its text). Chapter 4 primarily sets the stage for the coming of John the Baptist as the herald for the coming of King Jesus. However, it also holds a special promise for families in the new covenant. Malachi promises that: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the. . .
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You Can Live Set Apart & as Salt and Light

Tension in the Christian Life The people of God are known in this day as the church. The church is understood properly by several analogies or descriptions in Scripture — the body of Christ, the ekklesia, the elect of God, the chosen lady, the bride of Christ, and so on. All of these have commonality while describing different facets of our relationship to God as His people, and our relationships with each other. How to Be “Set Apart” One interesting way of describing this relationship is the commonwealth of God. This is a covenantal term, describing a bonding together for. . .
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I Did Not Come to Bring Peace but a Sword

Jesus Talked About Family Conflict We are a people at war. This war is not always fought out in the marketplace, in the broader culture, or in the church. It is often fought in the confines of the family. Jesus, in one of the most uncomfortable of all His uncomfortable sayings, tells the disciples this in Matthew 10:34-39: Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her. . .
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Christian Parenting with Perseverance

Christian Parenting & Sanctification We have just begun preaching from the book of James. In preparing a sermon for the last part of chapter one, verse twenty-five jumped out at me: But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. In particular, I was impacted by the clause, “and continues in it.” While the applications of this verse are manifold with regard to our sanctification, I was struck by its application to us as. . .
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How to Repent

A Story Guide for How to Repent When R.C. asked me to write on this topic, I wasn’t sure whether or not to be pleased. You see, when I am given an assignment, I immediately try and evaluate whether I know very much about the topic. I guess I should be pleased. I am quite experienced on the topic of repentance, having had to do a lot of it in my life. However, doing a lot of it and enjoying it are two very different things hence my corresponding displeasure. I only see one semi-honorable way out. Take the “third. . .
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Contentment in All Circumstances

Learning Contentment Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content; I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13 Paul’s Example of Contentment It is commonly understood and agreed upon that the main theme of Paul’s letter to the saints in Phillippi is that of joy in the Christian life.. . .
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In Defense of Mourning and Dancing

As many of you know, Kim, my bride of almost twenty-four years, passed into glory this April after a relatively brief, but intense, struggle with cancer. Besides myself, she left behind six children, all of whom still are at home. In the months that have passed since then, we have started along the road of mourning and grief that R.C. and his children started just ahead of us. Even though we are still relatively new on this path, I have learned a few lessons. First, it is healthy and necessary to mourn. Denial of grief or pain achieves nothing good.. . .
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The Garden of Good and Evil

It is interesting to note when looking at the account of Adam and Eve in the garden that, before the fall, they had only one temptation to deal with. ONE. Don’t eat the forbidden fruit. Now, we know that the fall had more to do with eating fruit. In fact, one could make the case that pretty much all of the ten commandments were violated either directly or indirectly in that one sin. Summed up, they didn’t care for the limitation placed on them by their Master, and made themselves slaves to another one.As a result, the creation was transformed. . .
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Rev. Jay Barfield

Rev. Jay Barfield.

Jay Barfield is the former pastor of Christ Covenant Reformed Church, Billings, Montana. Jay is a regular on the Basement Tapes and occasionally contributes a column for Every Thought Captive. Jay has six children and lives in Bristol, Virginia.
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