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Posts Categorized: Community

The Church is a Place of Wonder

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We Find it Hard to Believe The older we get, the more it takes to fill us with wonder. This is because it becomes increasingly difficult for us to believe in wonder-full things. Believing is easy for the heart that can hope anything is possible. But when certain possibilities have been chased away and certain glimmers doused, faith suddenly has to be worked at, and belief has to be practiced, and hope has to be memorized. Where do you go to practice something so sacred? To the brightest, most brilliant, spot of light you can find. Darkness might keep your. . .
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Loving Others the Way God Loves Us

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Loving Others the Way God Loves Us

The Love of God for David Throughout the Old Testament, a phrase or concept repeats itself over the course of the history of Israel. It almost serves as a frame or guiding principle for how God interacts with Israel, both in good times and in bad times. The phrase is this: For the sake of His servant David. God’s actions, in times of blessing as well as times of judgment, were all taken in light of His love for, and His covenant with, David. His covenant promises to David, and His love for His flawed but faithful servant, extended for. . .
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So, You Thought Philippians 4:8 Was About the Arts?

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Girl looking at painting. (So, You Think Philippians 4:8 is About the Arts?)

This article was originally published in Every Thought Captive magazine. Subscribe today!   Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.—Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Do you have art problems or do you have heart problems? Do you have philosophical concept problems or do you have personal conflict problems? Philippians 4:8 is a well known verse. For many years in my mind, it was the “Christian art” verse. “In Philippians 4:8, Paul tells Christians directly what to pursue in art. . .
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What if I don’t fit in at church?

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Woman & baby with fake mustaches. (What if I don't fit in at church?)

The following article is from a recent issue of Every Thought Captive magazine. Subscribe Today!  I am single, I attend worship regularly and want to be involved in my church, but I don’t fit in. Ministries are focused on parents, children, husbands and wives. It is difficult to connect with other church members. What should I do? You Are Not Alone Be assured that you are not the only one who feels out of place in church. When your life has taken a different turn than many of your peers, it is easy to get discouraged. You want to be. . .
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Let Us Journey Together

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Begin a Journey They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. That first step for me was listening in as my old friends R.C. Sproul Jr. and Laurence Windham held a powerful conversation on the subject of worldliness. That conversation, recorded as a Basement Tape, was the push that I needed to make a rather large step that began my journey. But to what exactly? Journey to Where? It has been a journey to something and away from something. A journey to the life spelled out in Scripture, that informs the motto of Highlands Ministries: to. . .
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Party On—Life in the Body of Christ

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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

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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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Acting Like the Church

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Does Socialism Ever Work? Years ago, during a job interview — strangely enough, for a job at Chilis — even stranger, I was asked if the tenets of socialism would ever work. I replied that it would work only in a purely voluntary context as in the days of the early church where in Acts we hear of those in the church with more giving eagerly to those with less and a sharing of all things. In this context, and especially when taken within a purely Christian context man is still faced with the reality that God is ultimately the. . .
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Sacrificial Living — A Sad Story

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Sacraficial Living — A Sad Story

Have I told you this story before? It is a sad story so if you are not in the mood then perhaps you might want to read this later. I truly do not want to spoil your day. Are you still here? Well then, here is my sad tale. Every so often I travel somewhere to do something, usually to speak to others about living like a Christian. This is a subject, by the way, that I am quite good at. There are times when my wife, Angela, accompanies me. We both like to travel and everyone who knows her. . .
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The Salt Talks: Planting in Good Soil, part I

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Salt Talks: Planting in Good Soil

There are two basic types of church planting. The first is when an ordained minister is commissioned to begin a “new work” in a particular location. The second type is when small group of folks desire to start a new church centered around particular distinctives that they feel that the churches around them are lacking. These distinctives are so cherished and thought of as necessary to preserve and propagate a chosen lifestyle, that honorable attempts are made to begin a sustainable congregation. Both endeavors are usually very hard and, along the way, the successes can be as tough to deal with as the failures.

In this Salt Talk, Rev. Laurence Windham has a conversation with three couples who were the founders, the church planters, of what is now a thriving church. They generously take us on that long and difficult journey of humble beginnings, false starts, heartaches, wonderful lessons learned, and ultimately great joy. The journey is often called the reward itself and you’ll find yourself inspired and moved as they take you on theirs.

Basement Tape #139: When is it Time to Leave?

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The state of the church being somewhat in decline (at least here in America) it may occur to us that it’s wise to take our families where there is more salt and more light. May we? Should we? Must we? Join our conversation as we work through a few scenarios, acknowledging that wherever we go, there we are. And if we must go screaming “life, life, eternal life!,” or leave as friends, or stay, we need to do so while honoring those in authority over us and using wisdom to inform all these important decisions.

Basement Tape #138: The Errs of Our Ways

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We worship the same God. We read the same Bible. Some of us share the same confessions of faith. Why is it then that our lives are so very different? Why do we seem to have so much trouble agreeing? Shouldn't the plain teaching of Scripture lead to common understanding and similar application? Join our conversation as Dr. Sproul, Rev. Windham, and their friends discuss the errs of our ways.

Basement Tape #125: Friends

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“And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them.”

Join us as we talk about friendship, about our friends, about our former friends and about our greatest friend.

 

We Don’t Understand

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We spelled this issue [kuh-MYOO-ni-tee] to emphasis the point that we Christians today don’t understand what this is. We know what activity is. We know what fellowship is. We even know what love is all about some of the time. What we fail to comprehend is the wonderful, challenging, painful, joyful world that exists within a Christ-centered community. I speak as one who didn’t understand and even today has a difficult time fully embracing it. I didn’t understand it when I joined my church, Saint Peter Presbyterian, in 2005, but it is what caused me to not only join that. . .
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Eternity In Our Hearts

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CLOSEOUT—Get them while they last!

What sort of vision leads a budding Christian writer, teacher, and thinker to move his wife and young family from the city of Orlando, Florida to the hills of southwestern Virginia? Why would he leave behind one of the bustling capitals of the evangelical community in favor of a rural setting? R.C. Sproul Jr. did exactly that. In 1996 the Sprouls settled in rural Southwest Virginia, and founded the Highlands Study Center (now Highlands Ministries). This book shares the vision.

Basement Tape #102: Edenic Language

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How we speak to one another within the church body not only determines the peace and purity within but is a large part of the salt and light that we are to project outward. Are we inclusive, do we draw each other in to ourselves, even when admonishing, or do we use our words to excommunicate?

Basement Tape #68: That Thing We Do

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In this discussion we talk not only about the things we do, but why we do them. In this discussion we look at the good life, a life abundant in grace and infused with joy.

Basement Tape #51: Hospitality

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Audio: Hospitality (Basement Tapes #51)

Welcome to our conversation, a conversation on making others welcome.

Hospitality is just simple enough, just separate enough, just deliberate enough, that we have missed the boat. We think life consists in the things we are busy with, when we are called to be busy about the things of life, of eating, drinking, conversing with our friends, our neighbors, and those who don’t know Christ. We would rather impress our friends when we are entertaining than put them at ease, and then we wonder whatever became of community. Join us, and invite others to join you as we visit together for a little while.

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