Topic | Church

Posts Categorized: Church

Selling Jesus

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We’ve all been there, either at the giving or receiving end of a sales pitch. Giving it, we’re convinced the prey will never buy and on the receiving end, we’re convinced that the hunter will never leave us alone. No one wants to be sold something they don’t want. And if perchance we purchase, we’ll forever somewhat resent that person who “convinced” us we needed that product or service. And yet we love to buy things. Put a soft red sweater on display on a long wooden table with rock music playing overhead and we’ll gladly pass you six crisp. . .
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A Great Offense is a Good Defense

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  Do you understand the temptation of good things? As we walk through our Christian life, most of us agree that we are often tempted. As a “mom of many,” I struggle with the temptation to be angry and not patient and kind. I struggle with a temptation to be lazy in discipline, selfish, and critical. We agree that these sins are all wrong, bad for ourselves, our husband, and our children. But the greatest temptation I face day-in and day-out is the temptation to do good things. If I may point out a personal strength, I am a fairly. . .
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God’s Ecosystem

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I was writing to a friend recently encouraging her in her distress by stating that the Church needs the needy like the oil that lubricates the machine. Without someone to serve the Church dries up. She would rather not be at the mercy of others’ largesse at this point in her life but that’s where God has her. It’s humbling to be the one the Good Samaritan has to rescue. But she is as vital to the work of the Church in her situation as those who are stepping in to meet her needs. My children are really interested in. . .
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In Defense of Simple, Godly Men

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On a wall in my house hangs a matted and framed charcoal rubbing of the cornerstone of the old Syrian Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Without the background of why that particular piece graces my wall, it seems rather odd and out-of-place in the rural country home of a southern boy. The coarse engraving is not hung because of the aesthetic value it adds to the room, but for the story it has to tell. It prompts our visitors to inquire, and to ask why. Our story involves heroes. Heroes are not only the notable people that have gained notoriety through great campaigns they. . .
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It Takes Community

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Everyone has emotional baggage, bad habits, a deficit of wisdom and knowledge, learned behaviors that need to be unlearned, and personal issues that need addressing. We have been marred by sin, our sins, and by the sins of others but the good news is that our good and gracious God is into healing and loves all of His people. In thinking about all of this out loud with some friends, I shared with them my observation about the supposed juxtaposition between that of Biblical imperatives “(Do this, not that Put this on, put that off Don’t think that way—focus on. . .
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Koinonia

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Two weeks ago fourteen-year-old Karthik Nemmani won the Scripps National Spelling Bee. This caught my attention as I breezed through the news and reminded me of an incident that occurred during my own childhood. When I was growing up and attending public school, our junior high classes gathered one day to have a spelling contest where everyone had to participate. As I recall we were given little to no preparation for this exercise in which each one of us had to take a turn standing up front before everyone, be given our mystery word, and then attempt an accurate spelling.. . .
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The Many Faces of Mission

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The Church looks upward when she worships God, inward when she seeks to build up the Christian community, and outward when she seeks to draw others into the Church. When we talk about this outward mission of the Church, we tend to talk the most about evangelism and international missions, which are certainly essential and important parts of the Church’s commission to disciple the nations. But these aren’t the only ways that the Church interacts with those outside. When we limit our understanding of mission to evangelism and missions, we run the risk of leaving certain good works undone and. . .
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It Was Our Turn

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Sunday, April 8; I’m gearing up to watch the Masters golf tournament which is my favorite sporting event of the year. This is only relevant to know so that I’ll look great after you read the next sentence. Lindsay has been feeling poorly having just fought off a nasty uterine infection following the birth of our son Ceallaigh Patrick. She thinks the infection has returned. Her fever spikes to 103.5, the pains have returned We head to the emergency room with the little boy as well. The doctors are concerned. Her white blood cells are off the chart. An infection. . .
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Fishing for Men

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“Follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus’ first call to discipleship in Mark’s Gospel compared His ministry to the work Simon, Andrew, James, and John knew very well. He saw fishermen at work and made a ready comparison. But this call also connected what Jesus was doing to the Old Testament hopes found at the end of Ezekiel’s visions. The prophet had foreseen God’s people returning from exile and rebuilding the temple to restore right worship. Out of that rebuilt temple flowed a river of life and Ezekiel 47:10 talked about fishermen standing beside. . .
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Community Life is Painful

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I was perturbed and couldn’t ascertain the reason at first. All day I’d been in a funk and with just a little reflection, the truth was revealed. I was angry that some news had penetrated my world and for the umpteenth time, my peace was broken. It wasn’t the right reaction but a common one for me as part of a close-knit community of believers. The first thing to know when you are seeking to become a part of a community of believers is that you are greatly increasing the number of people who can ruin your day. When you. . .
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Does Commuting Kill Community? (pt. 2)

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Life is simpler when you live where you worship and work where you live. Geographically separating these three strands of life introduces all sorts of complications that take a great deal of common sense and godly wisdom to untangle. Instead of arbitrarily settling on work or home or church to be the center of your life, or choosing on the basis of convenience or high-minded principles, Proverbs 27:23 encourages us to “know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.” The people in your household matter most. If they are flourishing even in the wild ride. . .
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Basement Tape #181: Raised in the Church

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Raised in the Church (Basement Tapes #181)

It is a great blessing to be a second or even third generation Christian. Our children are standing on our shoulders, reaching greater heights. And yet we need to be diligent to still preach the gospel to them. We should not give them over to the “process” of the church life, but be about discipling them daily.

Finding a Family Ministry

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Can your family find ways to serve together? Should we be individualistic in how we pursue ministry opportunities? What are the benefits of all the age groups in the family ministering together? How do the family and the church relate to each other in the context of ministry.

Freedom & Tyranny in Your Small Town

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The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. As Christians we know what true freedom consists of—freedom from the effects and consequences of our sin. Earthly freedom is of far less importance. A godly man can enjoy a free spirit though imprisoned, as our brother Paul aptly demonstrated. But of course, freedom of speech, of movement, of assembly, are a great blessing and one which we should desire for ourselves and our neighbors. And that is where involvement in the political systems of our towns comes to bear. Someone will be given the authority to make laws, to retract laws, to. . .
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The Spirit of the Age is Alive & Well in the Bible Belt

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I have lived in Tate County, Mississippi nearly all of my life. Tate County is made up of small Southern towns and rural communities, totaling just fewer than 30,000 residents. In terms of belief system, Tate County is predominately Southern Baptist. Politically, it is overwhelmingly made up of Reagan Conservatives and “blue dog” Democrats. Nearly every student attends public schools. Tate County is a typical Bible Belt county, which is a sign of strength and weakness. It is certainly more like Mayberry than Babylon. Nonetheless, it and communities like it are not free from the spirit of the age rooted. . .
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Why Community Fails

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Community Pool People have funny ideas about what “community” is. Some think that it’s formed by a list of rules like the sign you first see at a pool that states clearly: No Running, No Diving, No Alcohol. Just keep the rules and you can stay. Break the rules and you just might lose your pool privileges. Others think of community as being in the pool together; this is what they have in common. They are all in the water and they are all wet. Some pools have memberships and the members have the entrance codes to the gate and. . .
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Why Christians Hate Each Other

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Firing Shots at Fellow Christians I remember this time when this friend of mine had a disagreement that turned into a fierce argument. We both shot at each other with bursts of sarcasm attempting to win what had moved from discussion into a contest. Problem was, this sad and disturbing display was semi-public, it was at the place where we worked and all around us were people who we had been witnessing to for some time. One of them addressed us in shock, “The two of you are fighting?!” That gave both of us pause, we stopped the verbal and. . .
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Balancing Home & Church

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How do you balance the constant pulls for time from church activities with a healthy family life? How do you build routines that work for your family and don’t neglect the fellowship and ministry of the church? Does being at home with your kids mean that you are not doing “ministry”? Remember that during different seasons in your family life your involvement in ministry activities may look very different.

Does Commuting Kill Community?

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“The church has never really come to terms with the invention of the internal combustion engine.” Carl Trueman You can choose where you live. You can choose where you work. You can choose where you worship. Sometimes those choices converge, but usually balancing those poles of a life means commuting. Either you live close to your job and commute to church, or you live close to your church and commute to your job. Sometimes both. The time spent commuting can easily be redeemed, but it is much more difficult to counteract the de-stabilizing impact of a commute on a lifestyle. . .
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