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

Out of the Ordinary - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 18:38

Book Review: Refresh

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Shona Murray is inviting us to step back and look at our lives. In her book Refresh, co-written with her husband, David Murray, she encourages us to live a grace-paced life. In conjunction with her husband's book, for men, Reset, Shona has chimed in with this excellent word for women. It's an...

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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 18:00

Doctrine Matters: Imputation

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For decades as a Christian, I was taught and believed that Jesus got me in the door, but the rest was up to me. This was terrifying. I remember crying as a child wondering if I would have the courage to be a martyr for Christ, and wondering if I would lose my salvation if I failed. I remember...

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Wednesday, 01 November 2017 18:30

Testing, Testing

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. . . you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV).I knew a...

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Wednesday, 18 October 2017 19:00

Think on These Things

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The ease and speed of communication are wonderful things. When my daughter went on a trip this summer, I could track her flights in real time and expect an email on her arrival. There was no waiting for weeks on end for a letter assuring me she had safely crossed the ocean. Just a few clicks was...

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 19:41

A face I won't forget

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I've told this story before on my personal blog, but I'm too lazy to go looking for the original text. It's a story I will never forget, so it's not hard to remember details.When I was in 8th grade, I was bullied by a group of kids in my grade. I was not the only one. That same crowd of kids...

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Tuesday, 10 October 2017 08:14

We have a new winner!

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Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway for Closer Than a Sister by Christina Fox. We had 86 entries, and Marilyn C. won the random draw!Thanks to all for your continued interest in our blog!

Authors: Deb Welch...

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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 18:30

The Hole in the World

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There’s a hole in the world tonight.
There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow.
The night my husband died, these words from the song by the Eagles kept running through my head. His death left a big hole that will be forever unfilled, at least in this life.He left a young son to grow through his...

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Friday, 29 September 2017 02:19

Closer Than a Sister: Review and Giveaway

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Closer Than a Sister: How Union with Christ Helps Friendships to Flourish by Christina Fox, Christian Focus, 2017, 191 pages. Release date: October 6, 2017.The desire for real friendships is part of what it means to be human, made in the image of God, and something with which many of us struggle. I...

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Monday, 25 September 2017 21:59

And the winner is....

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Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia. We had 43 entries, and the winner is Madel CThank you for your continued interest in our blog!

Authors: Persis...

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Wednesday, 20 September 2017 19:00

Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia: Review and a Giveaway

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Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia, John Dunlop MD, Crossway, 2017, 207 pages.Dementia is a word that can strike fear in our hearts. Over 6 million Americans have dementia, and that number is only going to increase. One-third of seniors will die from this disease. In the face of these grim...

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017 19:07

We have a winner!

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Thank you all so much for your interest and response to our Journey into God's Word giveaway. There were 53 entries, and our lucky winner is Ann Snider!Thanks all so much for your interest in the giveaway and the blog!

Authors: Kim Shay...

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 19:49

Journey into God's Word - Giveaway

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Last summer, I read and reviewed Journey into God's Word. I've read quite a few "how to" Bible study books, and I believe this is one of the best. You can read the review here.Fall is upon us, and people are getting back into regular schedules, whether it is school, ministry, or study. In...

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Tuesday, 01 August 2017 19:00

Layers of Context

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This summer, I have been going through the bookInductive Bible Study, by Andreas Köstenberger and Alan Fuhr. While it is not a beginner's book, it is worth the effort to read. Köstenberger looks at biblical interpretation through a triad: history, theology, and literature. I find the...

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017 19:00

Even If He Doesn't

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It’s been almost a year since I last posted. I have so much to say, and so much I can’t say. It’s a strange combination that makes blogging difficult.Ministry—along with life in general—can break your heart. The soft-focus promos for small group curricula don’t...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 19:00

For Weak and Weary Pilgrims

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One of my favorite Christian books is Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. I first read an abridged version when I was young, and I was enthralled by Christian's journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. It was an exciting adventure complete with hair-raising escapes...

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Identity & the Gospel in Judges 19Difficult Passages for Women Series
Whenever speakers or expositors read the passage in Judges 19, they invariably take great care to caution their listeners about the horrific events contained therein. Such is the depth of the concubine’s...

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Wednesday, 05 July 2017 18:30

Letting Go and Letting God

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My children are all grown now, and there are many joys that come with this. There have been wonderful sons and daughters-in-law added to the family, and grandchildren, too. I am reaping welcome rewards for the many years I spent rearing my children.
But I will also admit that this is the hardest...

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017 19:00

Expendable

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I recently finished J.I. Packer's excellent book Re-discovering Holiness. It was convicting. There were many occasions when I was forced to point a finger at myself. One such moment was while reading the chapter "Growing Strong: The Empowered Christian Life."Packer discusses things we should be...

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017 19:00

Begun in grace and perfected in glory

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The coming of Christ has been on my mind of late. Part of it is because my pastor has just finished preaching a series on Revelation. The other part is the lingering sorrow that has been weighing on my heart. I am not a melancholy person by nature, but I can't seem to shake this undercurrent of...

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017 23:10

Three Faces of Redemptive Friendships

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     Anyone who has ever had a two-faced friend will probably wonder how on earth redemptive friendships could have three faces? These three metaphorical faces of redemption have little to do with our physiognomy or the physical presentation of visages. Rather, what I’m...

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Monday, 12 June 2017 19:00

Our favorite books of the Bible

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Rebecca:
My favorite book of the Bible is Hebrews. It was while studying Hebrews that I began to get a handle on the true relationship between the old and new covenants, something that had previously confused me. The writer of Hebrews put it all together: The old covenant was ineffectual. It...

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Wednesday, 07 June 2017 18:30

The Rhythm of the Christian Life

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Right now, as I write this, I am sitting in a big rocker on the front porch enjoying the morning sunshine. One of my sons is in the driveway tinkering with his car, and another is in the vegetable garden, nailing together the box for a raised garden bed. I can hear the next-door neighbor, too,...

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017 19:28

What is Inductive Bible Study?

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My introduction to inductive Bible study occurred in 1996, and came through Precept Ministries. I took the training offered, and taught Precept studies for a few years with a friend, and I also attended many. But Precept did not "invent" inductive Bible study, and you don't have to use Precept...

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017 19:00

Comfort in Revelation

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There was a time when the book of Revelation was my least favorite book of the Bible. I thought its main message was to foretell all the horrible things that would happen before Jesus comes back, and those horrors would be my fate unless I achieved a certain level of spirituality whereby God would...

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017 18:30

When It All Started

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What is the root of the story of Christianity? Why is there a story of the Christian faith in the first place, especially one that unfolds over two thousand years—so far?In 2000 Years of Christ’s Power: The Age of the Early Church Fathers, Dr. N. R. Needham answers these questions by...

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