But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Church - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 15:05

Pastor, Who Do You Represent?

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I was introduced to the young man after a worship service. He had recently moved to the city for work and was looking for a church home.

I prayed for him. I also asked him to call my office to set up a time for us to talk. But I was not looking forward to the conversation. I dread...

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Monday, 04 June 2018 15:15

When Your Son Needs Fatherly Approval

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Andy awoke from his nap with a croupy cough. If you’re a parent, you know the strained, barking cough. It’s usually not very serious. The virus causes the airways to swell and makes breathing more difficult. Serious or not, it’s a disturbing thing to hear.

A few hours later, we...

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Monday, 04 June 2018 15:10

Sometimes, Passivity Is Prideful

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There’s a form of pride that can be present in a pastor who seems very humble. He may be the first to admit he’s wrong, the first to apologize for impatience, and the slowest to criticize others. He’s happy to give young, inexperienced men the opportunity to share in ministry...

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Sunday, 03 June 2018 15:15

Growing Old Graciously

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Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.— Psalm 90:12

I have officially entered that season of life where we talk about life having “seasons.” I’m getting old, y’all. I am daily, officially, unceremoniously getting old....

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Sunday, 03 June 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (6/4)

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The Gift of Singleness?

Chris Smith writes on 1 Corinthians 7 and gives a helpful explanation of what the "gift" of singleness really means. 

21 Places Women Emerge Front and Center in Scripture's Storyline

Throughout the Scriptures, women play a vital role in bringing about the kingdom. Eric...

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Sunday, 03 June 2018 15:05

Made In His Likeness

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As a teenager, I avoided standing next to my father when meeting new people because, inevitably, the new acquaintance would say, “You look just like your dad!” And I would groan and mumble something like, “Just what every girl loves to hear! You know he’s a man,...

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Saturday, 02 June 2018 15:15

The Humility of Jesus

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"He humbled himself."-- Philippians 2:8

Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart. We need daily to learn of him. See the Master taking a towel and washing his disciples' feet! Follower of Christ, wilt thou not humble thyself? See him as the Servant of servants, and surely thou canst not be...

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There is something tempting about being a cultural warrior. We jump into battle on social media, in our Sunday School lessons, occasionally in our work.

Our day seems ripe for war. We hear of wars and rumors of wars. There is no shortage of cultural landmines to step on, or ideological trip-wires to...

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Andy Stanley made waves. At the recent Orange Conference, Stanley spoke on John 17 and said that oneness in the faith is “more important than being theologically correct.” The broader context of his remarks was the need for church unity, as seen in this summary:

“He prayed for our...

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018 15:10

Ministering to Coworkers

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Before I was hired full-time at my church, I spent several years as a bivocational pastor, working a regular job with very little glitz or glamor. I wanted to approach my coworkers and customers with an honest, genuine attitude that would provide open doors for Gospel conversations...

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018 15:05

Why is Loneliness a Thing?

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Twentieth century novelist Thomas Wolfe said that the central and inevitable fact of human existence is loneliness. Whether we are introverts or extroverts, married or single, standing on the stage or sitting in the cheap seats, preaching sermons or listening to love songs, we all share the...

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018 22:25

Do the Work of an Evangelist

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In his parting words to Timothy, the Apostle Paul set forth a series of exhortations so that his understudy might fulfill his ministry. As Paul wrote, he faced death, and Timothy faced discouragement. These final words in II Timothy not only strengthened the letter’s namesake but also have...

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018 22:20

The Doubt Within

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Doubt can be a familiar feeling for many of us. Doubt seems to almost have become a constant companion to me. Thoughts such as “I can’t do this” and “why me?” bombard me. I look at the task before me and it seems daunting. On my own, I can’t do what is required....

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Monday, 28 May 2018 15:15

4 Great "Therefore's" in the Bible

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Indicatives and imperatives. You find them both in the Bible.

Indicatives are facts; they are realities. And in the Bible, they are firm and secure because the Bible is the unchanging Word of God.

The imperatives are commands or implications. They are statements of direction, made with...

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We have an insatiable desire for fast results and quick fixes. Over the years I’ve lived overseas, it’s become clear that this yearning has touched our missions methods as well.

As I’ve read books on missions and sat through seminars, I can’t help but sense that we’re...

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Sunday, 27 May 2018 15:30

What to Do When You Meet a Beggar

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C.S. Lewis's stepson Douglas Gresham tells the story of Lewis and a friend walking along the street one day when a beggar approached them asking for money. Lewis's friend kept walking, but Lewis stopped and emptied his wallet, giving the beggar its contents. After rejoining his friend, he was...

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Sunday, 27 May 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (5/28)

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How To Tell If It's A Prosperity Gospel Church

Tim Challies evaluates six criteria presented by Kate Bowler for detecting a prosperity gospel church, and how else these criteria could impact the way we understand other church movements.

"The Law and Glory of Christianity": Loving All People...

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If there is any quality that helps in every area of life, it is being teachable.

Teachable people don’t have to be the smartest to succeed—they seek to learn and grow in any and every situation. Being teachable is a foundational quality for everybody: workers, students,...

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Saturday, 26 May 2018 15:15

Feeling Like a Dead Dog

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"What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?"-- 2 Samuel 9:8

If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David's kindness, what shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our...

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Thursday, 24 May 2018 18:15

Sacrificing Fast and Easy

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It has become increasingly clear that our culture loves convenience. Nearly every new gadget is marketed to somehow make life easier and processes faster. I have found myself saying, in regards to a meal or plans, let’s just do what’s easiest. We wouldn’t want to waste any time or...

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Thursday, 24 May 2018 18:10

Gospel People Stay Behind

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It’s a fact of the faithful life that gospel people say goodbye, some leave the familiar for the unknown as the Lord leads. But not all of us are headed for the ends of the earth.

Some of us are right where we are supposed to be. And we’re going to be here awhile.

That may thrill you...

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When whimpering Gideon hid himself from the Midianites in the winepress while threshing his wheat, the angel of the Lord appeared to him with this striking greeting: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

Man of valor? In Gideon’s mind, nothing could be further from the...

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 15:10

When Preaching Is Big God Is Small

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imageI’ve been a pastor for a long time, which is why it’s so perplexing to me that speaking in front of people still triggers a low-grade fear. It makes no sense. I’m called upon to speak often, so my fear should be long over, but it’s not. Strange fears dance across...

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018 15:05

The Kind of Balance Only God Can Give

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The quest for balance is lifelong and fleeting.

Part of our reckoning with this reality means coming to grips with the fact that we won’t have every question answered before we’ll have to make a tough decision. We’ll not have the right pieces in place for the job or adequate funds...

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018 15:10

The Fearsome God, Our Friend

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Our car speeds through a hazy forest in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. The smog is dense, but the sun breaks through the trees the higher up we go. Suddenly, our bodies jerk forward as our driver slams on his breaks. The dusty road forms a cloud around our windows, and our driver shouts...

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