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
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A flattering mouth works ruin.—Proverbs 26:28

A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.—Proverbs 29:5

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?—Galatians 1:10

A few years into my pastorate, I noticed something about myself I didn’t like.

After I...

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Recently, a variety of people have approached me to ask my opinion on the rising interest in multiplying home church models. While Francis Chan is not alone in advocating such a model, he is one of the most prominent voices pressing the agenda today. As an aside, Chan is a remarkable man whose...

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Monday, 21 May 2018 15:10

Slay Sin by Savoring Christ

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One day, as a young boy, I was surprised to remember that I had a pet toad. Faced with the mounting responsibilities of a 5-year-old in the early ’80s, I simply forgot about it. Days (weeks?) later, I remembered and ran outside to the bucket by my back steps. With all the zeal a 5-year-old...

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Monday, 21 May 2018 15:05

A Better Way to Boast

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Have you ever stopped to consider what it is that you boast in? It’s not often something we think about, yet our answer to the question is crucial. People boast in the things they perceive as valuable. In other words, one’s boasting is an “affections barometer,” continually...

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Sunday, 20 May 2018 15:45

When Confession Goes Wrong

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The greatest temptation in Christian communities is to avoid confession altogether, to maintain the facade, the uneasy stasis of staying right near the surface and never getting too deep, too real, too honest with each other. But on the other side, another temptation, perhaps not as great but just...

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The church needs men and women who make growing old look good.

The more I pastor and the older I grow, the more I am convinced that we need men and women who grow old well. Ones who grow old hopefully and joyfully, and model adulthood to our younger generations.

Aging well is essential in the...

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Sunday, 20 May 2018 15:00

Links For The Church (5/21)

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Walking In The Faith We Have, Not The Control We Don't 

Instead of living life under a cloud of "shoulds," Lore Wilbert encourages us to look to Jesus and ask him to give us our daily bread.

The Pastor's Schedule: 7 Priorities

Nathan Rose shares what would be beneficial for a pastor to have in...

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Saturday, 19 May 2018 15:15

Marvelous Lovingkindness!

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"Marvellous lovingkindness."-- Psalm 17:7

When we give our hearts with our alms, we give well, but we must often plead to a failure in this respect. Not so our Master and our Lord. His favours are always performed with the love of his heart. He does not send to us the cold meat and the broken pieces...

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I have pastored two churches. I have also been a candidate for two pastoral vacancies during my ministry.

I was not a part of the search process of the first church I served. My name was submitted for nomination from the floor during the call meeting. The congregation unexpectedly selected me as its...

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Some have commented on some gray hairs they supposedly see on my head. I usually tell them I’m sorry they are going colorblind. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about race.

And I’m asking you not to be colorblind.

Instead, celebrate it.

Nikki and I...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 15:15

One Word Christian Leaders Should Stop Using

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Every group you're a part of has its own language. Whether you're a marathoner, a stay-at-home mom, a video gamer - it doesn't matter. With each one, there is a separate kind of vernacular you learn to speak as you get deeper and deeper into that particular subculture.

The same is true with...

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2 Samuel 11-12 recounts the horrible tragedy of David and Bathsheba. It’s one of the most famous stories in the Bible. The righteous King David saw the beautiful Bathsheba bathing, purifying herself from her uncleanliness. Jonathan Edwards writes about the event: 

It was probably...

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 15:05

The Gospel and Your Recreation

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Many Christians do not enjoy rest and recreation because they cannot. A host of factors contribute to this. For some, material excesses force them to work nonstop to pay the bills. For others, an overdone drivenness pushes them to work too much—compromising their health, family, and spiritual...

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018 15:05

Believe God's Word!

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It seems an odd thing to call pastors to believe God’s word—isn’t that what we spend our lives calling other people to do? And yet the reality is that sometimes those who are in vocational ministry are the ones who struggle the most to believe what God said. 

Take me for...

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Recently, our church engaged in its first practice of church discipline. After several meetings with the unrepentant members, we brought the matter to the entire church for consideration. We moved slowly and allowed for questions and prayer before the official decision was rendered. With tears,...

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Monday, 14 May 2018 15:15

The Gospel in 2 Cups

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The great exchange of the gospel is played out with two cups.

These are two cups mentioned by Jesus, both on the same night. These two cups represent two great aspects of what happens when Jesus Christ saves his people. This has often been spoken of as the "Great Exchange," where Jesus takes our...

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We can fail to notice what is gloriously beautiful, even when it’s right in front of our eyes. On January 12, 2007, a man emerged from the Washington, DC Metro station at L’Enfant Plaza and positioned himself next to a trash can. The young man wore a T-shirt, jeans, and a...

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"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."– Galatians 6:2

Once upon a time I had to sign a conduct form as part of an application for health care from a Christian "insurance" co-op plan. On the form I filled out every year to renew membership was a list of unhealthy...

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Sunday, 13 May 2018 15:05

Teach Them How To Study

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Imagine, for a moment, a small, curious, and energetic child. What if you told that child, daily and emphatically, “Go ride your bike,” but never actually taught her how? Well, maybe you at least showed her the bike. Maybe you even bought her several different models of bikes. You...

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Sunday, 13 May 2018 15:00

Links For The Church (5/14)

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Gratitude Without Comparison

Barnabas Piper writes on the distinction between gratefulness and gratitude, and how to instill this in children.

Character: The Key To Leading For The Long Term

In this article for pastors, Ed Stetzer shares what leaders ought to strive for, and how to grow in godly...

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Saturday, 12 May 2018 15:15

Are You Crying Today?

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"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."-- Psalm 30:5

Christian! If thou art in a night of trial, think of the morrow; cheer up thy heart with the thought of the coming of thy Lord. Be patient, for

"Lo! He comes with clouds descending."

Be patient! The Husbandman waits until he...

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Thursday, 10 May 2018 15:05

The Pastor’s Burden

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When I was twenty-six I began my ministry at First Baptist Church in Covington, GA. I was single, and I was moving to a town where I knew no one to pastor the 185-year-old First Baptist Church. In so many ways I had no idea what I was walking into, and no idea what I would learn. I was...

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Thursday, 10 May 2018 15:05

Humility Before God

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The first two years of life are all about the struggle of learning to walk and talk. These are the basics at this age. Learning to talk is rather cute and harmless. Learning to walk, on the other hand, can be a bit treacherous. My oldest son cut his eye open doing so. My other son kept a knot in...

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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 15:15

What are "Sound Words"?

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Words matter. Words have power. Words can build up, and they can tear down. Words can launch wars, and they can inaugurate peace. A single Tweet can trample down governments or demolish reputations. Words also communicate ideas, beliefs, emotions, and more. Whether we use them well or poorly, we...

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Wednesday, 09 May 2018 15:10

The Busy Critic and the Simple Church

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How busy is the most spiritual person you know?

Honestly, when I think of people I look up to spiritually, they don’t seem frazzled. They are active, they accomplish things within the kingdom of God, but they aren’t overcommitted and in a frenzy of activity. In fact, they seem to know...

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