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

Thursday, 28 May 2020 17:03

Entertained or Edified?

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Recently I watched an intriguing YouTube video by bass player and composer Adam Neely called “Learning to Like Contemporary Christian Music (the music I hate).” Adam takes us on a interesting journey as he studies the style and form of some of the big names in modern contemporary...

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Wednesday, 27 May 2020 17:03

Bearing the Yoke in Your Youth

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Armchair sociologists are already calling them “Generation C.” A recent article in The Atlantic, put it this way: “Generation C Has Nowhere to Turn: Recent history suggests young people could see their careers derailed, finances shattered, and social lives upended.”1 The...

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020 17:03

How the Church Works

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Can you guess what my favorite television program was as a child? Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood! I appreciated how he spoke in a gentle, patient manner and focused on thoughtful, reassuring conversations. One of my favorite parts of the program was the occasional trip that he’d take to a...

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By every indicator, historic, mainstream fundamentalism is a shrinking movement. Churches are shrinking. Fellowships are shrinking. Mission agencies are shrinking. Schools have closed and those that remain are scrambling for students.

Furthermore, the churches are producing fewer young people who...

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Sunday, 24 May 2020 16:44

In Praise of Selfless Sacrifice

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One of the noblest characters in scripture is Saul’s son Jonathan. He is an example of the spirit of self-sacrifice that we honor on Memorial Day.

A brave soldier.

The story of Jonathan attacking the Philistine encampment in 1 Samuel 14 is Medal of Honor type bravery. It demonstrates not only...

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As churches across the country resume in-person meetings, faith leaders have more to fear than people in their congregations getting sick.Houses of worship could soon face reopening-related lawsuits. Some hope Congress will act quickly to mitigate this risk.“It’s important to ensure...

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On Friday, President Trump said churches and houses of worship are “essential” and called on governors nationwide to allow them to open this weekend. If they don’t, Trump said he would “override” governors, citing forthcoming guidelines from the Centers for Disease...

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President Trump announced Friday he’s deemed churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship to be “essential places that provide essential services” that can reopen this weekend.Trump said during a brief news conference he had directed the Centers for Disease...

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Thursday, 21 May 2020 17:03

The Problem of Psalm 91, Part 2

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In part 1 of this post, we introduced the interpretive problem of Psalm 91 and examined some less than satisfactory answers to that riddle. In part 2, we will discuss how Jesus’ own life, death, and resurrection helps us to interpret Psalm 91.

However, before we get there, we must build some...

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imageHow much bigger and more extended must this war on Christians become before the West considers it a “genocide” and acts to prevent it? The day after Christians were beheaded in Nigeria, Pope Francis admonished Western society. About beheaded Christians?

Source: Christians Beheaded for...

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020 17:03

The Problem of Psalm 91, Part 1

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Psalm 91 is arguably one of the most beautiful chapters in all of the Bible. I remember being drawn to it as a kid when I heard it read publicly at our church. More recently, I was drawn to Psalm 91 after the Coronavirus outbreak. I even preached a sermon on it a couple of months ago. After all,...

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Tuesday, 19 May 2020 17:03

Praying for an Understanding Spirit

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When you’re not sure how to pray for other Christians, you should follow the example of Paul by thanking God for them (Eph 1:15-16). You can also follow his example by asking God to give them a spirit of understanding (Eph 1:17). That is what he did when he “mentioned” them to God...

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Monday, 18 May 2020 17:03

In the Valley of Trouble: A Door of Hope

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Please click here for an audio version of this message.

What will you do when trouble comes? How will you confront health calamities and career calamities? The 2020 pandemic is putting pressure on all of us. How are we to have merry hearts, which are like a good medicine, in these dark days?

These...

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Friday, 15 May 2020 08:00

Gathering Again is a Serious Choice

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Churches are starting to meet again.  Some began last Sunday, for us it is this weekend, and others in the coming weeks.  Courts have ruled that worship cannot be limited.

So now it’s a wisdom matter, not a legal matter.  However, it is a very serious wisdom matter and no pastor...

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Thursday, 14 May 2020 17:03

Opportunities for the Overwhelmed

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Author’s Note: I published this on my blog about seven years ago. It seems timely for us to revisit this psalm. – JO

Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm...

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Wednesday, 13 May 2020 17:03

The Unexpected Road

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An unexpected crisis, a frustrating detour, or a messy stumbling-block, can send us into a tailspin. Things like pandemics really play havoc with our 21st Century sensibilities. Our autonomous lifestyle rebels and shouts that this should not be happening to us. The present Coronavirus intrusion...

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Tuesday, 12 May 2020 17:03

What will be left when the dust settles?

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At the outset of the present quarantine, everything was bizarre, electric, and controversial. People filled their time arguing over lethality, R₀ rates, and balancing lives with dollars. But the shock, the novelty and the drama are wearing off now. What about when quarantine just turns into a...

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Monday, 11 May 2020 17:03

Can You Do ALL Things?

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How many times have you heard someone say this about the word all? “All means ‘all’ and that’s all that all means?” While this is true (the word all does mean “all”), the word all doesn’t always mean every possible thing all at once. While this may...

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Sunday, 10 May 2020 14:02

Thank God for First Generation Believers

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I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt...

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Thursday, 07 May 2020 17:03

“We” or “Me” in Church?

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Americans have always placed a premium on individualism. But, in the Coronavirus pandemic, we have carried individualism to a new level. To avoid going out, some people are trying to get “off the grid” by generating their own power, planting their own gardens, or doing anything else...

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Tuesday, 05 May 2020 17:03

Steward Your Stimulus Check Wisely.

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Many Americans received their stimulus checks last week.1 If you haven’t received yours yet, it will be arriving soon. What will you do with this money? Invest in the stock market? Finish that home remodel project? Buy a nicer TV?

As Christians, we understand that everything we have belongs to...

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Monday, 04 May 2020 17:03

Glory vs. Shame

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How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? Selah. (Psalm 4:2)

Have you ever heard of “The Teabag Principle?” Here’s how it works: When you are in hot water, the “real you” will come out! Your...

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Regretting transgenders, victims of abuse, PTDS sufferers, anyone feeling damaged in mind and body—this passage of scripture is for you.

It’s Isaiah’s message of hope to the eunuchs of the captivity (Isaiah 56:4-5).

The practice of the Babylonians was to take the best and brightest...

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image“I am the bomb…”

—C.S. Lewis,Spirits in Bondage: A Cycle of Lyrics

I’ve been slowly working my way through Letters of C. S. Lewisand in these letters, Lewis discusses his first book, SpiritsinBondage: A Cycle of Lyrics. He wrote to his father in 1918 about how he had...

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Wednesday, 29 April 2020 17:03

It’s Time for Revival

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When we consider the state of our world — full of fear, frustration, overreaching government, faithlessness, clamoring media, vicious politics, neighbors set against neighbors, restrictions, job losses, illness, and deaths — would you say we might come away a little defeated? Many...

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