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Posts by Jerry Witham

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Bible Reading: John 6.35

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life, he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." John 6.35 One of the unique features of the book of John is the "I am" statements. As you may know, when Moses encountered the Lord in the burning bush and asked the Lord what to tell people as His name, the Lord replied "I Am Who I Am" (Exodus 3:...

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Bible Reading: 1 John 5.3-12

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the wat...

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Bible Reading: 1 John 4.7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God; and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and se...

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Bible Reading: 1 John 3.7-8

Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3.7-8 As a father speaks to his children, so God speaks to us in these two vers...

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Bible Reading: 1 John 2.28-29

Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 2.28-29 I love the scene at a race where the runners are running with spectators on the side cheering them on as they near t...

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Bible Reading: 1 John 2.12-14

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name's sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who ...

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Bible Reading: 1 John 1.1-4

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you ...

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Bible Reading: James 5.12

But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath;but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. James 5.12 James here calls for simple, straightforward and honest speech. People of integrity have no need to swear by elaborate oaths to convince others of their truthfulness. Nor should they s...

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Bible Reading: James 4.2-5

You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to ...

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Bible Reading: James 2.13

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2.13 Mercy is victorious over judgment. That is truly the great victor cry of the redeemed in Christ. As we look forward to future grace we know that when we see the Lord, mercy will reign for believers and judgment becomes a time when eternal rewards are given, for our judgm...

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Bible Reading: James 2.1-4

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say ...

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Bible Reading: James 1.12

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1.12 James has already exhorted us to consider it all joy when we face all types of trials. Now he speaks of happiness belonging to one who sticks with their commitment to Jesus under the trials of life. Jam...

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Bible Reading: James 1.2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1.2-4 Trials are a reality of life. We can't avoid them, but instead should expect various trials. James had in mind all sorts of trials...

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Bible Reading: James 1.1

James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings. James 1.1 Could you imagine being the earthly brother of Jesus? That was the case for James, but for James it was of most importance to declare that he was a bond-servant of Jesus. What they were in the flesh was not what James purposed to know, but instead...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 24.18-25

2 Samuel 24.18-25So Gad came to David that day and said to him, "Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." 19David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the Lord had commanded. 20Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the ki...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 23.24-39

2 Samuel 23.24-39Asahel the brother of Joab was among the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of G...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 23.8-23

2 Samuel 23.8-23These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was called Adino the Eznite, because of eight hundred slain by him at one time; 9and after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 22.31-51

2 Samuel 22.31-51 "As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. 32"For who is God, besides the Lord? And who is a rock, besides our God? 33"God is my strong fortress; And He sets the blameless in His way. 34"He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me on my high places. 35"He trains my hands for battle, ...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 19.24-43

2 Samuel 19.24-43 Then Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25It was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, "Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?" 26So he answ...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 19.1-7

2 Samuel 19.1-7Then it was told Joab, "Behold, the king is weeping and mourns for Absalom." 2The victory that day was turned to mourning for all the people, for the people heard it said that day, "The king is grieved for his son." 3So the people went by stealth into the city that day, as people who are humiliated steal away when they flee in battle. 4The king covered his f...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 18.1-18

2 Samuel 18.1-18 Then David numbered the people who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2David sent the people out, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, "I myself wi...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 15.30-37

2 Samuel 15.30-37 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went. 31Now someone told David, saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "O Lord, I pray, make the counsel of ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 15.1-12

2 Samuel 15.1-12 Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him. 2Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, "From what city are you?" And he would say, "Your servant is from one of t...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 12.24-25

2 Samuel 12.24-25Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved him 25and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the Lord's sake. I love the simplicity of the words of this hymn that speaks of God's grace, Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace ...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 12.15-23

2 Samuel 12.15b-23Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah's widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17The elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18Then it hap...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 12.7-15

2 Samuel 12.7-15 Nathan then said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel, 'It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8I also gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you m...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 12.1-6

2 Samuel 12.1-6Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said,"There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. 2"The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. 3"But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of h...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 9.1-13

2 Samuel 9.1-13 Then David said, "Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" 2Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, "Are you Ziba?" And he said, "I am your servant." 3The king said, "Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom ...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 7.1-17

2 Samuel 7.1-17 Now it came about when the king lived in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, 2that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains." 3Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you." 4But in the same nigh...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 6.1-11

2 Samuel 6.1-11 Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim. 3They placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it f...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 3.1-5

2 Samuel 3.1-5Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; and David grew steadily stronger, but the house of Saul grew weaker continually. 2Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3and his second, Chileab, by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah, th...

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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 1.1-16

2 Samuel 1.1-16Now it came about after the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, that David remained two days in Ziklag. 2On the third day, behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes torn and dust on his head. And it came about when he came to David that he fell to the ground and prostrated himself. 3Then David sai...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 31.1-13

1 Samuel 31.1-13Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2The Philistines overtook Saul and his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua the sons of Saul. 3The battle went heavily against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was badly wounded by th...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 28.1-25

1 Samuel 28.1-25 Now it came about in those days that the Philistines gathered their armed camps for war, to fight against Israel. And Achish said to David, "Know assuredly that you will go out with me in the camp, you and your men." 2David said to Achish, "Very well, you shall know what your servant can do." So Achish said to David, "Very well, I will make you [my bodygua...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 25.43-44

1 Samuel 25.43-44David had also taken Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives. Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim. One thing I love about scripture is that it hits both the highs and lows of people's lives. No doubt when you mention King David most people think of David's victory of Goliath that ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 25.43-44

1 Samuel 25.43-44David had also taken Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives. Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim. One thing I love about scripture is that it hits both the highs and lows of people's lives. No doubt when you mention King David most people think of David's victory of Goliath that ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 25.1

1 Samuel 25.1 Then Samuel died; and all Israel gathered together and mourned for him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. This is a sad note to begin a new chapter Samuel dies. Life is short. We are not promised 70 years or even tomorrow. So, what will we do with our days that God has given us? Samuel lived a f...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 23.15-29

1 Samuel 23.15-29Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God. 17Thus he said to him, "Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel and I will be next to y...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 18.20-30

1 Samuel 18.20-30Now Michal, Saul's daughter, loved David. When they told Saul, the thing was agreeable to him. 21Saul thought, "I will give her to him that she may become a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him." Therefore Saul said to David, "For a second time you may be my son-in-law today." 22Then Saul commanded his servants, "Speak to D...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 18.10-19

1 Samuel 18.10-19 Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul's hand. 11Saul hurled the spear for he thought, "I will pin David to the wall." But David escaped from his presence twice. 12Now Saul was afraid of...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 18.1-9

1 Samuel 18.1-9Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. 2Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father's house. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gav...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 17.1-58

1 Samuel 17.1-58(click to be taken to scripture text) The battle was not just the little guy, David versus the big guy, Goliath. There is much more going on. David calls Goliath, an uncircumcised Philistine (17.26). God had ordained a sign of His covenant with His people back in the day of Abraham. Circumcision would be a constant sign of remembrance that God had entered i...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 16.1-11

1 Samuel 16.1-11 Now the Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons." 2But Samuel said, "How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me." And the Lord said, "Take a heifer...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 14.36-46

1 Samuel 14.36-46Then Saul said, "Let us go down after the Philistines by night and take spoil among them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them." And they said, "Do whatever seems good to you." So the priest said, "Let us draw near to God here." 37Saul inquired of God, "Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You give them into the hand of Israel?...

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Bible Reading: Matthew 28.16-20

I wanted to take this first week of the New Year and share with you verses that have stirred my mind and hearts for years and have impacted my life greatly. JerryBut the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority...

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Bible Reading: Matthew 24.14

I wanted to take this first week of the New Year and share with you verses that have stirred my mind and hearts for years and have impacted my life greatly. JerryThis gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24.14I remember the first time this verse landed on my heart. I was in college...

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Bible Reading: John 10.27-30

I wanted to take this first week of the New Year and share with you verses that have stirred my mind and hearts for years and have impacted my life greatly. JerryMy sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 1.20-21

I wanted to take this first week of the New Year and share with you verses that have stirred my mind and hearts for years and have impacted my life greatly. JerryAccording to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me...

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Bible Reading: Isaiah 26.1-10

I wanted to take this first week of the New Year and share with you verses that have stirred my mind and hearts for years and have impacted my life greatly. Jerry In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: "We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security. "Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful. "...

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Bible Reading: John 1.14-18

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was ...

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Bible Reading: Revelation 12.1-5

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept...

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Bible Reading: Luke 11.27-28

While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed." But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." Luke 11.27-28 What is greater those who hear the Word of God and obey or being the mother of Jesus? Accordin...

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Bible Reading: Luke 10.38-42

Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her...

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Bible Reading: Luke 10.30-37

Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Sa...

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Bible Reading: Luke 10.25-29

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." And He said t...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 10.9-16

1 Samuel 10.9-16 Then it happened when he turned his back to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that day. 10When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. 11It came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now wit...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 7.7-17

1 Samuel 7.7-17Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered to Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8Then the sons of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to cry to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines." 9Samuel ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 2.27-36

1 Samuel 2.27-36 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the Lord, 'Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house? 28Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me; and did I not give to the house of...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 2.22-26

1 Samuel 2.22-26 Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 23He said to them, "Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? 24No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the Lord's people circulating. 25If one man ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 2.12-18

1 Samuel 1.12-18 Now it came about, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14Then Eli said to her, "How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you." 15But Hannah replied, "No, my lord,...

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Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 1.1-11

1 Samuel 1.1-11Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man would go up fro...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 150

Psalm 150 Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. 2Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.3Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. 4Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. 5Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resoundi...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 135

Psalm 135Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; Praise Him, O servants of the Lord, You who stand in the house of the Lord, In the courts of the house of our God!Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely. For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own possession. For I know that the Lord is great And that our Lo...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 128

Psalm 128 How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, You will be happy and it will be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine Within your house, Your children like olive plants Around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord.The Lord bless you from Zion, An...

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Disaster Relief Update

Thank you to everyone who brought goods and supplies out yesterday and today.The convoy will be heading out at 5 am Tuesday. There are 5 trucks with 4 trailers heading down to Magnolia. Pray for their safety and for each one going. Big thanksto thesewho are heading down there and have done so much to organize this. Thank you for helping Magnolia and the people in the ...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 122

Psalm 122 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord." Our feet are standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that is built As a city that is compact together; To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord An ordinance for Israel To give thanks to the name of the Lord. For there thrones were set for judgment, The thrones of the ...

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Disaster Relief

Hurricane Harvey's impact on the Gulf Coast has been catastrophic. The storm has affected millions and will continue to for weeks and months to come. We recognize that this area is going to need help long term and will be continually praying and discovering ways to help serve and show compassion to those who have had such great lost. How Can We Help? PRAY For first resp...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 119.121-128

Psalm 119.121-128I have done justice and righteousness; Do not leave me to my oppressors. Be surety for Your servant for good; Do not let the arrogant oppress me. My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation And for Your righteous word. Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness And teach me Your statutes. I am Your servant; give me understanding, That I may k...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 119.49-56

Psalm 119.49-56 Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope. 50This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. 51The arrogant utterly deride me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law. 52I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, And comfort myself. 53Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, Who forsake Y...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 116

Psalm 116 I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!" Gracious is the Lord, and ri...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 107

Psalm 107 (Please read scripture text from bible.) God is good. There are many reasons of why we could say this and agree with this. In this psalm, the unknown writer gives reason upon reason of why we should praise God. We should praise God for His goodness and love that endures forever. Those who have been redeemed by the Lord should especially be thankful for the Lor...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 98

Psalm 98 O sing to the Lord a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. 2The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation ...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 80

Psalm 80 Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth! 2Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your power And come to save us! 3O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. 4O Lord God of hosts, How long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people?...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 71

Psalm 71 In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed. 2In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me. 3Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. 4Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the w...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 63

Psalm 63O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,In a dry and weary land where there is no water.Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,To see Your power and Your glory.Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,My lips will praise You.So I will bless You as long as I live;I will lift up my hands in Your name.My...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 56

Psalm 56 (Please read scripture from your bible.)Over the last 14 years a verse in this Psalm has been quoted more in our home than any other verse in the bible. Often at night over the years one of my four kids will say they are scared when they are between 2 and 4 years of age. When they were afraid we would go in and share with them that the bible tells us, "When I am a...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 46

Psalm 46God is our refuge and strength,A very present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should changeAnd though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;Though its waters roar and foam,Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,The holy dwelling places of the Most High.God ...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 42

Psalm 42As the deer pants for the water brooks,So my soul pants for You, O God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;When shall I come and appear before God?My tears have been my food day and night,While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in pro...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 34

Psalm 34 (Text not provided. Please read from own bible.) This is one of my most favorite psalms. David invites the Israelites to come and "magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together" (34.3). The foundational and guiding principle to living for the glory of God is focused on by David as he is teaching those with him, maybe even those younger, surely a ri...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 33

Psalm 33 (Text not provided. Please read from own bible.) "Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones." The psalmist calls us to praise the Lord for His upright Word and faithful work. God's Word is dependable and His works are righteous and good. The psalmist assured his readers of this and because of that we should praise the Lord for who He is and what He has done....

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Bible Reading: Psalm 32

Psalm 32Blessed is the person whose lawless acts are forgiven.Their sins have been taken away.Blessed is the person whose sin the LORD never counts against them.That person doesn't want to cheat anyone.When I kept silent about my sin,my body became weakbecause I groaned all day long.Day and nightyou punished me.I became weaker and weakeras I do in the heat of summer.Then I...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 27

Psalm 27The LORD is my light and my salvation;Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the defense of my life;Whom shall I dread?When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.Though a host encamp against me,My heart will not fear;Though war arise against me,In spite of this I shall be confident.One thing I have asked from the LOR...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 22

Psalm 22 (Text is not provided, so please read from your own bible.) Have you ever been at the spot in life where you felt like the Lord was not hearing you or that maybe He had forgotten you? Sometimes during times of suffering, persecution or when we face the unjust wronging of others we might feel this way. David felt this way and lets us know right out of the gates in...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 15

Psalm 15O LORD, who may abide in Your tent?Who may dwell on Your holy hill?He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,And speaks truth in his heart.He does not slander with his tongue,Nor does evil to his neighbor,Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,But who honors those who fear the LORD;He swears to his own hurt and d...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 8

Psalm 8O Lord, our Lord,How majestic is Your name in all the earth,Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established [b]strengthBecause of Your adversaries,To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,The moon and the stars, which You have [d]ordained;What...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 2

Psalm 2Why are the nations in an uproarAnd the peoples devising a vain thing?The kings of the earth take their standAnd the rulers take counsel togetherAgainst the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,"Let us tear their fetters apartAnd cast away their cords from us!"He who sits in the heavens laughs,The Lord scoffs at them.Then He will speak to them in His angerAnd terri...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 1

PSALM 1How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,Nor stand in the path of sinners,Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!But his delight is in the law of the LORD,And in His law he meditates day and night.He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,Which yields its fruit in its seasonAnd its leaf does not wither;And in whatever he does, h...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 13.11-14

Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13.11-14 The church is one body made of many d...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 11.7-15

Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge? I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept mysel...

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Bible Reading: Isaiah 26.1-10

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: "We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security. "Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful. "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. "Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. "For H...

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Bible Reading: Romans 12.1-2

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12.1-2 Paul is ...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 4.6-9

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 3.10

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Philippians 3.10 What if this was our desire this New Year? This was the Apostle Paul's desire. In fact, he counted everything a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Jesus, his Lord. Let us begin the New Year with the same prayer. As John th...

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Bible Reading: Isaiah 65.17-25

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind."But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicingAnd her people for gladness."I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people;And there will no longer be heard in herThe voice of weeping and the sound of cryin...

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2016 Advent

It is always good to get our life fixed on what is most important, especially during the Christmas season. This advent season we will do just that as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We will look at the person and work of Jesus through the book of Hebrews. The recipients of this great letter were tired and weary in their faith. They needed strengthened to stand firm in their fait...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 10.1-6

Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of ChristI who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according ...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 8.7-15

But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, ...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6.11-18

Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. Now in a like exchangeI speak as to childrenopen wide to us also. Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what har...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 5.1-10

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we d...

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People of Hope (No Matter What Happens Tuesday)

As we have been taking our journey through the book of Acts this year, I have been continually encouraged and challenged by the passionate heart and ministry of the Apostle Paul in such immoral and idolatrous cultures. We are called to be witnesses of Jesus just as Paul was because the gospel is truly the only prevailing force over the sin and darkness in our culture. As C...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 3.12-18

Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But t...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 1.23-24

But I call God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth. Not that we lord it over your faith, but are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm. 2 Corinthians 1.23-24 Paul loved the glory of God and found it his great joy in life to live for the glory of God in all he did (1 Corinthians 10.31). We exist to enjoy...

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Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 1.8-11

For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver...

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Bible Reading: Titus 3.12-15

When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them. Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful. All who are with me greet you. Greet...

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Bible Reading: Titus 2.9-10

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. Titus 2.9-10 We must remember the importance of our influence through how we relate to authority. In 2.9-10 Paul is addressing to Titus the relationship ...

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Bible Reading: Titus 2.9-10

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. Titus 2.9-10 We must remember the importance of our influence through how we relate to authority. In 2.9-10 Paul is addressing to Titus the relationship ...

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Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3.1-5

Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to...

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Bible Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2.5-11

Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mout...

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Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5.25-28

Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Thessalonians 5.25-28 Attitude is everything. Paul ends his letter with encouraging the church at Thessalonica to have an attitude of grace. He longed for the church to be loving like Jesus...

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Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, wil...

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Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2.17-20

But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short whilein person, not in spiritwere all the more eager with great desire to see your face. For we wanted to come to youI, Paul, more than onceand yet Satan hindered us. For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1.1-4

Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, kn...

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Bible Reading: 2 Peter 2.10-16

Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be d...

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Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1.2-8

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of t...

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Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1.1

Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1.1 The Magna Carta written back in June of 1215 is noted as one of the greatest constitutional documents ever written. It stood for peace and liberty. Though the attempt at such were not su...

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Bible Reading: Jude 1-4

Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was o...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 24.1-15

Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel and for their heads and their judges and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 21.1-45

Now the family heads of the Levites approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the other tribal families of Israel at Shiloh in Canaan and said to them, "The LORD commanded through Moses that you give us towns to live in, with pasturelands for our livestock." So, as the LORD had commanded, the Israelites gave the Levites the following towns and past...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 19.17-39

The fourth lot fell to Issachar, to the sons of Issachar according to their families. Their territory was to Jezreel and included Chesulloth and Shunem, and Hapharaim and Shion and Anaharath, and Rabbith and Kishion and Ebez, and Remeth and En-gannim and En-haddah and Beth-pazzez. The border reached to Tabor and Shahazumah and Beth-shemesh, and their border ended at the Jo...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 15.21-63

Now the cities at the extremity of the tribe of the sons of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were Kabzeel and Eder and Jagur, and Kinah and Dimonah and Adadah, and Kedesh and Hazor and Ithnan, Ziph and Telem and Bealoth, and Hazor-hadattah and Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), Amam and Shema and Moladah, and Hazar-gaddah and Heshmon and Beth-pelet, and Hazar-shu...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 13.1-14

Now Joshua was old and advanced in years when the LORD said to him, "You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed. This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and all those of the Geshurites; from the Shihor which is east of Egypt, even as far as the border of Ekron to the north (it is counted as Canaanite); the...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 11.16-23

Thus Joshua took all that land: the hill country and all the Negev, all that land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland from Mount Halak, that rises toward Seir, even as far as Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them down and put them to death. Joshua waged war a...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 9.1-15

Now it came about when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country and in the lowland and on all the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, heard of it, that they gathered themselves together with one accord to fight with Joshua and with Israel. When the inhabitants of...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 8.30-35

Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. He wrote there on the stones...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 8.18-29

Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand." So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire. Whe...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 7.16-26

So Joshua arose early in the morning and brought Israel near by tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken. He brought the family of Judah near, and he took the family of the Zerahites; and he brought the family of the Zerahites near man by man, and Zabdi was taken. He brought his household near man by man; and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe ...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 7.1-15

But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel. Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them,...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 4.15-24

Now the Lord said to Joshua, "Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony that they come up from the Jordan." So Joshua commanded the priests, saying, "Come up from the Jordan." It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord had come up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up to the dry gro...

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Bible Reading: Joshua 1.1-9

Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying, "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as ...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 6.17-18

From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen. Galatians 6.17-18As we wrap up Galatians I want to ask the following questions So, what is your life obsessed with? Does the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ dominate your thoughts, feelings, time and life? I pr...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 5.25-26

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5.25-26 Have you ever bought something and never used it? We are all guilty of probably doing this at one time or another. I have done that with books. I can get excited about a book and purchase it, but then never read it. The book is...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 5.22-24

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5.22-24If we our honest Christianity is a daily battle. It is a joyful battle, but a battle nonetheless. It is a b...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 5.16-21

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorali...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 4.21-31

Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. These things are being taken figuratively: The women repr...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 3.19-25

Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart ...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 3.10-14

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LI...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 1.13-24

For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His gra...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 1.1-5

Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), and all the brethren who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according t...

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Bible Reading: Colossians 4.7-18

As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number. They will inform you a...

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Bible Reading: Colossians 4.5-6

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4.5-6 Paul has encouraged us to pray for an open door for the gospel to be shared. When the opportunities come for us and others may we pray that we ...

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Bible Reading: Colossians 2.8

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2.8 What captivates you? Maybe it is looking at a breathtaking sunset or a star filled sky on a clear, dark night. What has that effect on you where you are carr...

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Bible Reading: Colossians 1.24-29

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which...

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Bible Reading: Galatians 5.1

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5.1 Paul has been defending the grace of God to the Galatians. The grace of God has been under attack by erroneous teaching. At the center of this heresy is man and what he can do to earn favor before God. Paul has come holding up th...

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Bible Reading: Colossians 1.15-20

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authoritiesall things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and...

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Bible Reading: Colossians 1.9-12

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all ...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 4.15-23

You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. But I have received everythin...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 4.2-3

I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4.2-3 These women, Euodia and Syntyche seem to not be able to get along. These two...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 2.9-11

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2.9-11 CS Lewis writes, "In the Christian story God des...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 2.5-8

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a...

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Bible Reading: Philippians 1.9-11

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1.9-11 Paul loved the chur...

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Bible Reading: Psalm 19.1-6

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, which ...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 6.14-17

Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 6.4

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6.4 By God's will marriage is for having children. We see this in Genesis 1.27-28, "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them; 'Be fruitful and multiply, an...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 5.15-21

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody w...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 4.17-24

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the pract...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 4.1-6

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your c...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 3.1-7

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other gener...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 1.22-23

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1.22-23 I love what these two verses mean for the church. Paul is praying for the church and as we read yesterday he is asking for three things for our eyes to be opened to: "to know what is the hope...

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Bible Reading: Ephesians 1.1-2

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1.1-2 Year's ago before the digital photograph a picture was captured at the moment the camera's shutter opened, permanently being set into the film, yet it still had to ...

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Bible Reading: Romans 16.17-27

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; ther...

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Bible Reading: John 8.21-30

Then He said again to them, "I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come." So the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, 'Where I am going, you cannot come'?" And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said t...

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Bible Reading: Luke 24.44-53

Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third...

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Bible Reading: Luke 22.14-23

Now when the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles joined him. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell y...

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Bible Reading: Mark 11.1-11

Now as they approached Jerusalem, near Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs it and will send it bac...

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Bible Reading: Romans 13.8-10

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love i...

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Bible Reading: Romans 10.5-13

For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, 'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down), or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)." But what does it say? "THE...

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Bible Reading: Romans 9.6-13

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. For this is th...

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Bible Reading: Romans 8.1-4

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the req...

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Bible Reading: Romans 7.7-13

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET." But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart fr...

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Bible Reading: Romans 6.8-11

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. ...

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Bible Reading: Romans 4.16-25

For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God...

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Bible Reading: Romans 2.25-29

For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the le...

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Bible Reading: Romans 1.18-23

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood t...

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Bible Reading: Romans 1.1

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God. Romans 1.1 Today we begin a journey through the Apostle Paul's letter to the church in Rome. Paul was most likely writing this letter to small groups of Jews who became Christians. He wanted them to know the truth of the gospel and his doctrine, which is inspired by the Holy Spiri...

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Bible Reading: Acts 28.23-31

When they had set a day for Paul, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening. Some were being persuaded by the things spoken, but others would not believe. And when th...

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Bible Reading: Acts 26.19-32

"So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. For this reason some Jews seized me in the temple and tried to put me to d...

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Bible Reading: Acts 25.1-12

Festus then, having arrived in the province, three days later went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the leading men of the Jews brought charges against Paul, and they were urging him, requesting a concession against Paul, that he might have him brought to Jerusalem (at the same time, setting an ambush to kill him on the way). Festus then answered th...

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Bible Reading: Acts 22.22-30

They listened to him up to this statement, and then they raised their voices and said, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he should not be allowed to live!" And as they were crying out and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust into the air, the commander ordered him to be brought into the barracks, stating that he should be examined by scourging so that he m...

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Bible Reading: Acts 21.37-22.5

As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, "May I say something to you?" And he said, "Do you know Greek? Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?" But Paul said, "I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg...

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Bible Reading: Acts 21.1-14

When we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara; and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload its cargo. After looking up...

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Bible Reading: Acts 19.28-41

When they heard this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia. And when Paul wanted to go into the assembly, the disciples would not let him. Also som...

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Halloween, time change and more...

Halloween. I often get asked the weeks leading up to Halloween what I think about it. My simple answer is redeem it. That is what we have practiced the last few years and it truly has become a blessing for my family. Think about thison one night 150-200 people come to your door. Is there anything better than that? How do we redeem Halloween? We set up tables on the front ...

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Bible Reading: Acts 17.16-21

Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were...

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Bible Reading: Acts 17.1-9

Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul's custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaimi...

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Bible Reading: Acts 15.22-35

Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and BarnabasJudas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, and they sent this letter by them, "The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, gree...

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Bible Reading: Acts 13.44-52

The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unwort...

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Bible Reading: Acts 12.20-25

Now he was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and with one accord they came to him, and having won over Blastus the king's chamberlain, they were asking for peace, because their country was fed by the king's country. On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. The people kept c...

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Bible Reading: Acts 12.1-5

Now about that time Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of sol...

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Bible Reading: Acts 10.44-48

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the w...

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Bible Reading: Acts 10.9-23

On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, and there were in it ...

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Bible Reading: Acts 9.26-31

When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples;but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. And he was ...

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Bible Reading: Acts 8.34-40

The eunuch answered Philip and said, "Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?" Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with...

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Bible Reading: Acts 8.9-13

Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magicand amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. All the people,from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, "This man is the power of God that is called 'Great.'"And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. But whe...

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Bible Reading: Acts 7.54-60

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." But they cried out with a loud voice...

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Bible Reading: Acts 6.1-6

Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefor...

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Bible Reading: Acts 5.1-11

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, d...

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Bible Reading: Acts 2.42-47

They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were shari...

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Bible Reading: Acts 1.1-5

The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things ...

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Bible Reading: Malachi 3.7-12

From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you", says the Lord of hosts. "But you say, 'How shall we return?' Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of...

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Bible Reading: Malachi 1.1-5

The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the Lord. "Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." Though Edom says, "We have been ...

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Bible Reading: Philemon 1-7

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 16.15-24

Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors. I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have supplied what was lacki...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 14.34-40

The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? If anyone thinks he is a ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 14.26-33

What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and le...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 14.20-25

Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, "By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me," says the Lord. So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 14.13-19

Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place o...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 14.1-12

Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifi...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 11.23-24

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 1 Corinthians 11.23-24 At the beginning of this chapter, Paul praised the church at Corinth for some things they were do...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 11.7-16

For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. However, in the Lord...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 11.2-6

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her h...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 5.15-18

But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my re we case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 7.39-40

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 7.39-40 As you have walked through this chapter on marriage, divorce and remarriage you must see the underlying iss...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 7.17-24

Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the kee...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 7.10-11

But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife. 1 Corinthians 7.10-11 Today Paul is directing his God inspired words to those who are married. Real simply he is telling husbands ...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 5.9-13

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 3.16-17

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Corinthians 3.16-17 The church is important to God. I of course am not referring to a building where people meet in on Sunday mornings, but am talking about God's peop...

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Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 1.1-3

Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthia...

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Bible Reading: 1 Peter 4.12-19

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because t...

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Bible Reading: 1 Peter 3.1-7

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely externalbraiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden pers...

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Bible Reading: 1 Peter 2.9-12

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, aholy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strange...

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Bible Reading: 1 Peter 1.1-2

From Peter, an apostleof JesusChrist, to those temporarily residingabroad (in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, andBithynia) who are chosenaccording tothe foreknowledgeof Godthe Fatherbybeing set apartby the Spiritforobedienceandfor sprinklingwith JesusChrist'sblood. May graceandpeacebe yoursin full measure! 1 Peter 1.1-2 Today we begin to read 1 Peter. P...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 13.23-31

Also in those days I saw the men of Judah who had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod (or the language of one of the other peoples mentioned) and were unable to speak the language of Judah. So I entered a complaint with them. I called down a curse on them, and I struck some of the men and pulled out their hair. I ...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 12.1-26

Nehemiah 12.1-26 Today is a longer reading again and I did not write it for the sake of space, but I do want to encourage you to read it on your own. In Nehemiah 12, we find Nehemiah writing about the event of the return of the priest and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel (We find the account of this also in Ezra 1-6.). Nehemiah does not want us to forget those who cam...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 10.32-39

"We accept responsibility for fulfilling the commands to give one third of a shekel each year for the work of the temple of our God, for the loaves of presentation and for the regular grain offerings and regular burnt offerings, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the appointed meetings, for the holy offerings, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and f...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 9.38-10.31

Now because of all this we are making an agreement in writing; and on the sealed document are the names of our leaders, our Levites and our priestsNehemiah 9.38-10.31 Today is a longer reading and I did not write it for the sake of space, but I do want to encourage you to read it on your own. There have been many important documents in history. When the Pilgrims were abo...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 9.9-15

You saw the affliction of our ancestors in Egypt, and you heard their cry at the Red Sea. You performed awesome signs against Pharaoh, against his servants, and against all the people of his land, for you knew that the Egyptians had acted presumptuously against them. You made for yourself a name that is celebrated to this day. You split the sea before them, and they crosse...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 7.70-73

Some from among the heads of fathers' households gave to the work. The governor game to the treasury 1,000 gold drachmas, 50 basins, 530 priests' garments. Some of the heads of the fathers' households gave into the treasury the work 20,000 gold drachmas and 2,200 silver minas. That which the rest of the people gave was 20,000 gold drachmas and 2,000 silver minas and 67 pri...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 7.8-69

Today's Scripture text is Nehemiah 7.8-69. It is most likely a list of Israelites (exiles and returnees) that Nehemiah speaks of that returned in 537 BC (Ezra 2). Remember Nehemiah is in Jerusalem working on the wall in 444 BC. He uses this list to encourage people to come back to the city. For the sake of space I will not write it out, but want to encourage you to read it...

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Bible Reading: Luke 24.44-53

Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third...

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Bible Reading: Luke 22.14-23

Now when the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles joined him. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell y...

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Bible Reading: Mark 11.1-11

Now as they approached Jerusalem, near Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go to the village ahead of you.As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there that has never been ridden.Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs itand will send it back h...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 6.10-14

When I entered the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined at home, he said, "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you, and they are coming to kill you at night." But I said, "Should a man like me flee? And could one such as I go into the temple to...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 3.1-32

Nehemiah 3 is our reading today. Today's reading is much longer than the other daily readings to this point. I have not written it out for you, but would love for you to turn there and reflect on the text as you read the following thoughts. When we get to a chapter like Nehemiah 3 it can get hard to stay attentive and interested because of all the unpronounceable names. B...

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Bible Reading: Nehemiah 1.1-4

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capital, that Hanani, one of my brothers, and some men from Judah came; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. They said to me, "The remnant there in the province who survived t...

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Bible Reading: 3 John 9-15

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the ...

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Bible Reading: 3 John 1-4

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3 John 1-4 This is the third of...

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Bible Reading: 2 John 1-6

The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth, for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I was very glad to find some of your children walking in t...

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2015 Transformation

Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12.1-2 This ev...

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2014 Advent

The celebration of Advent begins Sunday, November 30. It is always a special season of focus. Advent simply means coming. Our focus centers around three comings of Christ: His arrival in history as a baby born of Mary, His return in fearsome glory at the end of time and His entrance into our own lives. This season we will be encouraged to fix our eyes on Jesus. As we see t...

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Halloween and Time Change: Both an Opportunity

Halloween and Time Change: Both An Opportunity Is there any other time during the year that fifty or a hundred or more people come to your door in a span of a few hours like they do on Halloween? I would imagine the answer would be no for all of us. Halloween is the one time out of the year when the world comes to your front door. So, think through what you could do to en...

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Jonah

This Sunday, we begin a study on the book of Jonah. No doubt you think of a great fish when you hear Jonah mentioned, but this book is really about our great God. Jonah goes through a painful experience to discover the true character of God. As we learn from his experience may God reveal things in our own hearts, so our heart may look more like God's....

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Guarding Your Heart

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4.23 This past Sunday, we learned about the secrets of influencing your culture for the glory of God from Daniel. He truly thrived in Babylon and we can as well. If you were to peel pack the layers of Daniel's life and get to the core of who he is I believe you would find a young man ...

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Bible Saturated Disciples

Jesus says, The Scriptures testify of Me. John 5.39 This past Sunday, I encouraged those who may not be on a Scripture reading plan to take three of Paul's letters (Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians) and read them from now until the end of February. Those letters have a total of 16 chapters. You could take a chapter a day with some extra days left or you could even rea...

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Healing Is In Jesus' Hands

Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven. Matthew 9.2 As we have been walking through Matthew over the last 3 ½ years, we have learned that Jesus has authority over all things. We see in Matthew 9 with this man who is paralyzed, that Jesus has authority over disease, the physical and over sin. Jesus heals this man of his sin first before He heals him of his physic...

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A Purposeful Aim

Quick Update: Thank you for your faithful giving this Advent season. Currently $68,900 has been given and we have $13,100 left to reach our goal. If you still plan to give before the end of the year you may do so online, by mail with a postmark before January 1 or swing by the church office. Do call before you come by the office to make sure someone is there [(972) 492-460...

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Advent Giving: An Opportunity to Give

It is hard to believe that we have crossed over the halfway mark of December. Before you know it we will be ushering in a new year. As we enjoy these final days of December and this last full week of Advent, I wanted to remind you of our Advent giving. Our Advent giving goal is $82,000. $52,000 goes toward our regular monthly needs for December and then $30,000 goes towar...

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Devotional to Use: Seeing Jesus with The Shepherds

Seeing Jesus with The ShepherdsLuke 2.8-20 2.8: In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. The same region Near Bethlehem, which is called the city of David (2.4). This is where Joseph and Mary were to go and register due to the census decreed by the Roman government. The prophet Micah declared hun...

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Sunday Services Canceled

Dear Church Family, Due to the inclement weather, road conditions and parking lot conditions, we have decided to cancel our Sunday services. Since we won't be able to gather as a corporate body, we do want to encourage you to gather as a family or even with neighbors to worship. It might be a great opportunity to put some hot chocolate and coffee on and have some neighbor...

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Jesus' Desire for Us

This past Sunday, we saw just a part of the interaction around the Last Supper, but there was much more that happen around the table and much more said by Jesus to His disciples. Tuesday night I shared with our men Jesus' closing words at the table that night and the desire He has for us through a prayer that He prays to the Father. The prayer to the Father is in John 17 a...

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Advent, More of Jesus and Less of Me

Advent: More of Jesus, Less of Me And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospe...

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Advent, a holy remembrance

The celebration of Advent begins Sunday, December 1. It is always a special season of focus. During this time we focus on three 'comings' of Christ: His arrival in history as a baby born of Mary, His return in fearsome glory at the end of time and His intermediate entrance into our own lives. As we look back at the coming of Christ and expectantly look forward, this season...

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Revisiting the Parable of the Talents

There are times after I preach that I have much more to say or some points thatI want to emphasize. This Sunday was one of those where I would have loved to have an hour long discussion with some question and answer time to talk through this great parable. So, I thought I would write some more thoughts and make some points of emphasis, as I revisit the parable of the talen...

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Do Not Forsake

Let us not forsake our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10.25 This past week, I had a sister in the Lord say something that has caused a phrase she said to come back to my memory often. She had asked about a brother in the Lord and I had shared that he had fallen out ...

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Render to God as Abram Did

And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said to Him, 'Caesar's.' Then He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's". Matthew 22.20-21 As we heard this past Sunday, we have an obligation both to government and God, as those part of the kingdom of God. Faithful and obedient followers...

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Impacting the Next Generation on Sunday and Beyond

For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100.5 God is truly faithful from one generation to the next. I can attest to that from Him taking a middle school student who you thought was not listening on the back row and putting him in an unreached area of the world that you can't even mention due to security rea...

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A Good Reminder for The Summer: Don't Grow Weary of Doing Good Part 2

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6.9 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3.13 Paul knew we would be weary living in this fallen world, but he warned us when it came to being tempted with growing weary of doing good. We are called to persevere, overcome and endure ...

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A Good Reminder for the Summer: Don't Grow Weary of Doing Good

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6.9 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3.13 Paul knew we would be weary living in this fallen world, but he warned us when it came to being tempted with growing weary of doing good. We are called to persevere, overcome and endure ...

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The Joyful Blessing of Suffering

But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4.13-14 When we are persecuted for our faith we are facing the same kind of suffering that Jesus...

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Plans for Sunday Due to Fire

God is truly good. We have experienced His goodness as a body this week. As most of you know, this past Sunday night we had a small fire in our electrical room inside the Gathering Place at our Josey location. The fire caused the sprinkler in that area to go off and as a result around 200 gallons of water spread across parts of the Gathering Place, a back restroom, the ele...

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Special Notice: Small Fire

As we know God is good even through times of adversity. Last night around 9 pm, we had a small fire in the electrical closet inside the Gathering Place at our Josey location. We believe the fire started in the main electrical panel. The fire set off the smoke alarm and the heat set off a sprinkler head. By the time the fire department arrived around 200 gallons of water we...

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The Journey of Grace

As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now ha...

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Holy Week is Coming

We are redeemed with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1.19-21 This Sunday is the...

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Praying for Open Doors

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Colossians 4.2-4 We began our 6 week By Name challenge l...

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By Name Prayer

Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers. - Sidlow Baxter As a church, our mission is to be disciples, who make disciples for the glory of God. Part of being a disciple and making disciples is praying for lost people and asking God to bring the kingdom of God to hearts were it doe...

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Most Important

This Sunday, we wrap up our series on prayer. In my conversations with those in the body over the last couple of weeks it has been encouraging to hear how God is challenging you and encouraging you during this series. My prayer is that we would not put prayer on the shelf when the sermon series is done. Instead I pray that this series fuels us for the days ahead to obey Je...

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Thankful for Seeds

The seed is the word of God. Luke 8.11 I love the word of God and pray that love would grow deeper and deeper to reflect the love the Psalmist speaks of in Psalm 119. I love the Scriptures because they tell us who God is and what He desires for us. As others have said regarding the Scriptures, it is God's love letter to us. As followers of Christ we are called to share th...

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Christ Exalted in Life and Death

According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1.20 Not sure if you have heard of the name Charles Poland yet, but he is the brave and heroic bus driver who was killed while trying to keep a man from ente...

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Prayer Series

I wanted to draw your attention to a new sermon series coming up in a couple of weeks. On Sunday, February 10 we will begin a four week study on prayer. The series will end on Sunday, March 3. During that time we are inviting everyone to join a LIFEgroup beginning on Sunday, February 3. That first week will be a time of connection and fellowship. Then the next four weeks i...

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Change and The Means of Grace

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6.7-8 As we talked about Sunday, you can change. This is the hope of the gospel. Maybe you have struggled to change former hab...

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Deeper Wonder

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was light of menAnd the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1.1-4, 14 The...

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It Takes a People

This is something God has been teaching me over the last year and really landing on my heart these last few weeks. We have heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. I have learned that it takes a people to adopt a child. Since being matched with a very brave birth mom and anxiously awaiting next Tuesday when our new daughter will be born, I have been refle...

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Advent Giving 2012

As we discover, celebrate and enjoy the gospel this season my prayer is that it would compel us to abandon all things for Christ and lay our life down on a daily basis. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5.14-15 says, The love of Christ controls us (compels us)so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. I p...

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Advent

Advent Gatherings: Sundays, December 2, 9 and 16 at 9 and 11 amSunday, December 23 at 10:30 amMonday, December 24 at 5 pm The celebration of Advent is always a special season of focus. During this time we focus on three 'comings' of Christ: His arrival in history as a baby born of Mary, His return in fearsome glory at the end of time and His intermediate entrance into ou...

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The Mission of God: Elders and Ownership

We have learned over the last few weeks about the mission of God and how God has set apart the church to live out His mission. Significant to the church living out and growing up in the mission of God is the joyful labor of its elders. Elders have been called to gladly and eagerly shepherd the members of the church, so that they will grow up in Christ and live out His miss...

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Living a Sent Life

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth. Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. Matthew 28.19-20 The focus of our church is to be disciples and make disciples fo...

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A Good Communication System

We have learned over the last five weeks what God says about marriage. We have been invited to get in sync with God about marriage. Sunday, we closed our series with looking at the importance of having a good communication system in marriage. Besides our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, nothing else is more important to the development of genuine oneness than co...

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God's Heart for Marriage

So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate. Matthew 19.6 This past Sunday, we heard God's heart for marriage. God has ordained from the beginning that marriage be between the two different sexes (male and female), that they would leave their former lives of dependence on their parents, enter into this new relati...

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A Missional Halloween

I heard a story yesterday at a conference I was at that I wanted to share with you. This lady shared how she was once a missions director at a church, but now a full-time mom. As a full-time mom she has not stopped living a life of mission. In fact, my take was that she was being more missional now. She shared how three Halloweens ago her family decided to stay at ho...

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This is Christianity, not super-Christianity

Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Matthew 18.21-22 How often are we to forgive someone who sins against us? Rabbis in Jesus' day misinterpreted the Old Testament text in Amos 1.6 teaching that o...

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Awake to God's Order

We need an awakening in the church, in homes and in marriages to God's order and the unique roles He has given to marriage. We need to stop grieving the Holy Spirit and take heed to the words of the apostle Paul (Ephesians 5.14-18). As Christians, we must rise up from the dead ways of our old sinful life and awaken to the new life that God through Christ has awakened in us...

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Created to Display

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34.3 King David invited the people of Israel to join him in glorifying the Lord with him. David desired for others to join him in living out the very purpose for which they were created for. What is the purpose of man? This of course has been a question asked throughout time. Scripture testifies the f...

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Disciple Your Children With Shaving Cream

As mentioned Sunday, our children receive take home material each week from their classes. This material is great to use for your family devotionals during the week, for times in the car or for dinner time. This week you could really have fun with the lesson your child learned about how God saved the Israelites from Egypt by using shaving cream. My kiddos got the bigges...

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Getting in Sync with God about Marriage

The apostle Paul defined the church as the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3.15). As the body of Christ it is our most critical task to uphold and proclaim the truth of God. This affects every area of our lives, but over the next five weeks I want to focus on the truth about marriage. It is not new to you that the sanctityof marriage in our day is being tarni...

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Taking Holiness Serious

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery ...

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A Heart of Humility

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I said to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18.2-4 I wanted to take you back to a portion of Sunday's message. Reflect on the text and t...

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Parents and Disciple Making

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and ...

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The Word and Preaching

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season an...

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I Will Give You The Keys

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Matthew 16.19 This past Sunday we learned the following about the church from Matthew 16.13-19: The church are redeemed people People become the church by the revelation of the FatherJe...

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Elder-led Prayer

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15.5 As a church we must come to a conclusion that without Jesus we can do nothing. I believe when we understand this we will see the importance of prayer. When we pray we are acknowledging that it is by God's Spirit, not our abilities o...

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Go

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28.19-20 Earlier this week, Jee-Young (Pastor of Nahnum Church) and I were reflecting on this passage together. What did the word ...

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Love Never Fails

Paul says to the Corinthian church that love never fails (1 Corinthians 13.8). What did Paul mean by this? I believe Paul meant that love never fails in the sense of falling away when the physical and temporal things on which affection rests pass away. The type of love he was talking about outlasts temporal things. In fact, this type of love will never end, but will last f...

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Jesus Wants Your Heart

This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. Matthew 15.8 As I reflect on the message from Sunday there is one big thing I conclude. Jesus wants our hearts. The heart is the center of who we are. It is the center and seat of spiritual life. The heart is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purpos...

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Prayer

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. Matthew 9.36-38 Jesus wants His disciples to pray. Obviously He did on the above occas...

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Intentional Summer

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest. Matthew 9.36-38 Summer officially begins June 20, but in reality it started when the k...

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Remember Those Who Led You

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Hebrews 13.7 Today is a sad day, but also a day filled with joy. This morning a great man of faith passed from this earth into Paradise to be with His Savior.Dr. Wayne Allen who has served as the Pastor Emeritus of FBC Carrollton left this eart...

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Contentment

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learn...

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The Church's Generosity

For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack." 2 Corinthians 8.13-15. ...

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Real Love

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7.12 (ESV) I was sitting and watching Nightline Wednesday night with Annette and the top story was the news of the reversal of President Obama on same-sex marriages. There is a lot to say about that, but I think the thing that stuck out the most for me was so...

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The Dinner Table

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24.3-4 The desire of my wife and I is that wisdom would fill our home just as Solomon speaks of. Though we desire it to be a thread through the fabric of everything we do there is one place in particular that is sacred...

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Internalizing the Word (Psalm 119.9-16)

Psalm 119 is a beautiful poem of celebration and complexity. It is a lengthy work praising not the Scriptures, but the Author of the Scriptures. C. S. Lewis compared it to a piece of embroidery, done stitch by stitch in the quiet hours for the love of the subject and for the delight in leisurely, disciplined craftsmanship (Reflections on . . ., pp. 58-59). The second se...

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Firstborn

It is important as followers of Christ that we continue to grow in our knowledge of Jesus. It is not merely for intellectual exercise, but to grow in our love relationship with Him. One thing about Jesus that we don't talk about much, but need to understand is the thought of Jesus being the firstborn.What does that mean? On Palm Sunday, we looked at Jesus' entry into Je...

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Maundy Thursday

I am looking forward to tonight and hope to see you there. It is always a special time to gather on this Thursday of Holy Week. This day is called Maundy Thursday. What does Maundy mean? Great question! Maundy Thursday, gets its name from the Latin word mandatum, which means commandment, remembering Jesus' words to the disciples during the Last Supper, "A new commandmen...

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Don't Be Like The Crowd

As we learned this past Sunday the setting and context of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was most intriguing. It was Passover time, and Jerusalem and the whole surrounding neighborhood were crowded with pilgrims. William Barclay records that nearly 2.5 million could have been in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. John MacArthur says nearly 2.6 million. They both share the...

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Holy Week 2012

This Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week with what the Christian church calls Palm Sunday. It is the day that the church remembers Jesus' beginning movements to the cross, the grave, the resurrection and eventually His ascension with it all starting with His entry into Jerusalem. I want to invite you to join us for our Holy Week gatherings. Below is a snapshot of them. ...

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Morality Kills

Morality has sent, is sending and will send people to Hell. That is why the words of Williams Tyndale are so fitting when he cries out to God, Deliver us from morality. Morality is not Christianity. Morality is the conformity to rules of right conduct or behavior. It is the vain effort of seeking to be good and righteous without Jesus. This is why the overchurched, unchurc...

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Weeds

And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and theworry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13.22 As I have been walking and running in the morning this week I have been keenly aware of the weeds overtaking yards in my neighborhood. In fact, the other morning I saw...

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Empowering Grace

We need the empowering grace of God. We need the gospel. This is true both to save us and make us morelike Jesus. It is at times though in our Christian walk we function with a 'try harder' belief. We also are prone to a 'list based' religion with our will power being the force behind us. Such living is what is called morality or even legalism. These two things are not Chr...

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Be Still and Know God

Psalm 46 has been a great refuge for our family the last few weeks. My wife broke both her feet and had surgery Thursday on the right foot. The left foot will be operated on in about three or four weeks. The family and I are so thankful to everyone for your prayers, the meals, help with the kiddos and more. We are truly blessed by your abundant generosity. Psalm 46 is a...

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Josh's Story

This past Sunday Josh Wetstein was baptized in the 11 amservice. It was a great joy to hear hiswords from the waters as hewas baptized. I thought you would be interested in ready more of hisstory, especially if you were unable to witness this. Here it is... I was born and raised in a Catholic home. I grew up believing thatby doing good, I would get into Heaven. Due to t...

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God's Faithfulness, the Church's Generosity

Before I went to India (January 16) our home study for our adoption was approved. We were not expecting this to be completed until the last week of January. Then while I was in India our adoption agency called saying that there were two birth moms who fit our profile and they wanted to show our adoption book to them. Annette took our book and the money we had at the time t...

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William Carey

(This was taken from Randy Alcorn's writing on William Carey in both his book, Why Pro-Life?, and his online writing as well. Some changes have been made. Thank you to Randy for showing us that William Carey is a man we should imitate. Fresh back from India I am so thankful for William Carey and the seeds he planted in that land for the gospel. Oh how sweet the fruit is to...

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Vertical and Horizontal Adoption

To steal a line from Randy Alcorn, I could teach the Bible and stay away from talking about issues like abortion, but the reality is I could not live the Bible and stay away from it. The issue of abortion and fighting for the life of the unborn is a human issue, a moral issue, a Sovereignty of God issue, a biblical issue and a great commission issue - calling us to blow th...

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What is faith?

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2.20 As we heard Sunday, the crucified life is lived by faith in Jesus Christ. This Monday I was sitting and reflecting on the message with pastor Jee-Y...

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The Thread of Prayer

The mission of God is big. He has called us to spread His name, His gospel and glory to those who are hopeless. This is humanly impossible. Jesus' disciples learned this truth in Matthew 17.14-21 when Jesus pointed out to them that the humanly impossible could be done if they had faith like a grain of mustard seed (17.20). Jesus had commissioned the disciples to do this...

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I Want You God, This Much

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73.25-26). These words penned by Asaph speak of a hunger for God. Asaph, the writer of this Psalm, was a musician and song writer who God inspired to write His Word. His words here reflect an intens...

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How much do we want God?

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73.25-26). These words penned by Asaph speak of a hunger for God. They reflect an intense appetite. Do you have a hunger for God like Asaph? Do you have a strong desire for the glory of God? As we begin...

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An Awakened Hunger

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73.25-26). These words penned by Asaph speak of a hunger for God. They reflect an intense appetite. Do you have a hunger for God like Asaph? Do you have a strong desire for the glory of God? As we begin...

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News at The Ridge

What a joy the past few weeks have been to fix our eyes on Jesus and who He truly is. I pray you are enjoying this advent season as you behold Jesus. This week we continue our advent celebration as we look at Jesus and His second advent. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday and also for our Christmas Eve and Day gatherings. Christmas Eve: 4:30 and 6 pmChristmas Day: 1...

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The Compassionate and Approachable Savior

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy ...

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2011 Advent Giving

Once a year the elders put forth a special offering goal to the congregationduring the advent season. This advent season the elders have put forth an offeringgoalof $80,000. In years past, you have given above and beyond to help fund the work of the gospel both locally and globally. We want to invite you to pray and join in doing the same again this year. As you pray let...

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Who is Jesus

advent, jesus, isaiah, wonderful counselor, might god, everlasting father, prince of peace, sovereign king, the ridge church, jerry witham...

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Advent 2011

This time of year is filled with many things. For some it is a time filled with traditions and family. Some may go with their family and cut a Christmas tree down. There are others who might have the yearly white elephant gift exchange. Some will make trips to see family who are out of town. There are others who will be filled with pain and sadness during this season. This...

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Debriefing and Not Forgetting

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked ...

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Your Witness at Work

Your Witness at Work Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect (Titus 2.9-10). When I was in college I worked during the summer months for a local restaurant. While there I grew frustrated over s...

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Members of One Another

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10.23-25 Lately, the thought of the church and how ...

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God Glorifying Service

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus, to whom belongs the glory and dominio...

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Missional Community

God is on a mission. He is on a mission to spread His glory throughout all the earth. He is spreading His glory through His creation, as Psalm 19.1 says, The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. He created the heavens, the earth and all that is in it to tell of His glory, but not only that. He created mankind to be ...

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Missional Community

God is on a mission. He is on a mission to spread His glory throughout all the earth. He is spreading His glory through His creation, as Psalm 19.1 says, The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. He created the heavens, the earth and all that is in it to tell of His glory, but not only that. He created mankind to be ...

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Living in Purity (Psalm 119.9-16)

How can you and I live in purity? How can our lives be pure? God's Word tells us in Psalm 119.9-16 how one can keep his or her life pure. The anwer is the word of God. The word of God shows us what a pure life looks like and helps us maintain that life. The word of God is God's truth and this is what God uses to sanctify His people (John 17.17). So, what does the Ps...

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Missional Community

God is on a mission. He is on a mission to spread His glory throughout all the earth. He is spreading His glory through His creation, as Psalm 19.1 says, The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. He created the heavens, the earth and all that is in it to tell of His glory, but not only that. He created mankind to be ...

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Get and Give Wisdom

Wisdom is supreme so acquire wisdom, and whatever you acquire, acquire understanding (Proverbs 4.7). This past Tuesday night I challenged our men to get wisdom and give wisdom. I believe this is the theme of Proverbs. I wanted to encourage you with the same. So, what is wisdom? We are not looking to get a higher IQ. We are talking about Divine Wisdom. It is how God view...

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Engaging the Membership Process

It is with great delight that I write to you. Over the last four to five months we have been praying along with our brothers and sisters at Trinity Valley Church about the potential of our two local bodies becoming one. On this Sunday, October 23, the potential of what could be is now becoming a reality. I echo what King David proclaims in Psalm 133 saying, How good and pl...

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Fear God

Fear God. Ecclesiastes 5.7b This exhortation is found throughout the Scriptures. All people are called to fear God. We don't speak of this as often as generations before did. But, we are called to fear God. At our First Tuesday gathering this week I asked the men if they wanted the blessing of the Lord in the different spheres of their life? The Scriptures tell us that b...

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Not Forsaking Bible Study

The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than go...

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Unity at The Ridge

This week we are going to take a break from our study of Matthew's gospel and launch into a new series on unity. Biblical unity is a precious thing to Jesus. So much so, that Jesus prayed to the Father asking Him to make the church one as He and the Father are one. Jesus' goal for such unity is so that the world may know that He is the Son of God. So, the church must seek ...

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Remember

This Sunday marks a day somber remembrance. September 11, 2001 was a day we will never forget. For most of us we remember where we were at. For some we were at home and others at work. Some were at school and even one in our congregation that I know of was actually at ground zero. As we remember this day, it no doubt makes us realize the depths of the depravity of mankind...

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Enjoying God (Psalm 119.1-8)

Psalm 119 is a beautiful poem of celebration and complexity. It is a lengthy work praising not the Scriptures, but the Author of the Scriptures. C. S. Lewis compared it to a piece of embroidery, done stitch by stitch in the quiet hours for the love of the subject and for the delight in leisurely, disciplined craftsmanship (Reflections on . . ., pp. 58-59). The Psalmist ...

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The Amenity-Less Church

Do you like amenities? I do. I like going to a hotel and having a place to workout (not that I always use it), a pool for the kiddos and breakfast. I like the amenities in my neighborhood as well. But what about amenities as part of the church environment and experience? Amenities are great features that provide comfort and convenience with the goal of giving a delightful...

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Taking Advantage of the Summer with Our Children

The Summer allows for most parents to spend more time with their children. With the break from school and most likely later bed times the opportunity to have time with our children increases. With this in mind I want to encourage parents to take advantage of the increased time you have during the Summer with your children. Jesus definitely models for us throughout the New...

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Summer

Well it is Summer, even though it is really still Spring for a few more days. The kids are finally out and I am jazzed! There always seems to be a concern that I get around this time of year. It is the concern of the Summer blah setting in. The Summer blah can be when boredom sets in, along with laziness, complacency and inconsistency. This might seem passive or mild, but ...

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Do you have this hope?

Do we have this hope that Paul speaks of? Paul says, But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we also believe, therefore we alsospeak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you (2 Corinthians 4.13-14). Do we have the same spirit of faith that Paul is spea...

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Servant to All

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 2 Corinthians 4.5 You and I are called to make disciples in a culture that is perishing due to the blinding of their minds by the enemy. We are called to reach those that are unbelieving with the light of the gospel even though now they might not see it. There wil...

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Resurrection Hope

Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4.13). Where does the Christian's hope lie? Easter makes hope available to all. As we look at the resurrection of Jesus Christ we see that life on Earth is not the end. In fact, death is just the beginning. This life is a vapor,...

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Biblical Mom

Today the importance of motherhood is downplayed, minimized and belittled. So much so, that there seems to be a trend of wives and mothers leaving their husband and kids, either because it is harder than they thought, they don't feel fulfilled, or it is not as much fun as they thought it would be. This is not just happening with unbelievers, but with professing believers a...

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In the Beginning

We read in Genesis that God created the world and everything in it (Genesis 1.1). He created both male and female as creatures, dependent on God, their Creator and with personhood and freedom (Genesis 1.27-28, 31). God put Adam, the first man, in the Garden of Eden, heaven on earth (Genesis 2.7-8, 15). Then, God gives Adam a command and a tool (Genesis 2.16-17). He gave h...

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Jesus' Present Kingly Reign

Do you ever have those days where you feel like God is not present? You may feel that He is absent, whether due to circumstances or maybe a certain attitude you have one day. These times are real. Even though we may feel like this, for the Christian it is a reality that He is present. There are also those times when we feel that God is not in charge of things here on Earth...

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God's Terms of Peace

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! Luke 19.42 The Jews in Jesus' day missed it when it came to God's terms of peace. They were looking for this material and external kingdom. They believed they would see it and know it when it was here. They were looking for the ...

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Holy Week

What a special week we are approaching, as we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Holy week begins this Sunday, April 17 with Palm Sunday and culminates Easter Sunday, April 24. It is what this week remembers and celebrates that gives the Christian hope. I want to invite you to join us for this week. It is always a special time and we would love to share...

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Ekklesia

And He (the Father) put all things in subjection under His (Christ) feet, and gave Him (Christ) as head over all things to the church, which is His (Christ) body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1.22-23 According to the New Testament, the word church is the Greek word ekklesia, which means the called out ones, or the sent out ones. The church is Christ...

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Our Purpose: The Glory of God

Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory!" Exodus 33.18 This past Sunday we begin looking at Our Purpose and Focus as a church. Over the next few weeks we will look intently into our focus. Sunday as we looked intently into our purpose I pray that you were encouraged to do all that you do for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10.31). This is why you and I exist. We exis...

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Necessary

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 1 Corinthians 12.14 Paul, what about the pinky? You will notice...

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Yes, Lord

I remember in my college days jumping at every opportunity to serve. As I was growing in the Lord serving became a joy of mine. The Lord taught me that my answer to whatever He wanted was always yes. In 1998, I was at a conference in Austin. For the first time I heard taught Isaiah 26.8, which says, Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we eagerly wait for You, for...

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The Cry of a Generation

Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we eagerly wait for You; for Your name, and renown are the desires of our hearts. Isaiah 26.8 This verse is part of a section in Scripture where Isaiah is looking forward to when Christ comes and establishes the millennial kingdom. He pictures himself with a remnant standing in the redeemed land singing a song of praise to God....

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Creekview Parent Gathering

Creekview HS Parent Gathering, Thursday, March 24, 2011Our church has partnered with LINC, a church planting organization, which works in the local schools as one as their initiatives. Currently, Coleman Ford, our student pastor, is teaching nearly 200 students at Creekview HS every other Friday. Coleman's teaching provides a relationship building opportunity for him and f...

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Test the Spirits

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4.1 As we heard Sunday, we are to test leaders and teachers to make sure they are from God. In this world there are many false teachers and leaders. So, we must be aware and examine every spirit as the apostle John s...

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The Small Gate

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7.13-14 More and more it is evident that we live in what many call a post-Christian society. Pluralism is all around us. Though it...

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Treating People Biblically

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7.12 How do you want people to treat you? The implication in this verse is that we would want to be treated biblically. That is the emphasis here on how one is to treat another and how they would want to be treated. Treating people biblically is a ...

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Being Diligent in Spiritual Growth

I was grateful for Coleman's sermon Sunday. The Scriptures encourage us to take an active role in our spiritual growth just as we were encouraged Sunday. In fact, 2 Peter 1.5 says, apply all diligence to your spiritual growth and practice of the faith. Not that we gain God's approval by such a work, but it is certainly fruitful qualities of one who has truly been called an...

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Self Sacrificing Love in 2011

In Sunday's sermon we were challenged by the words of Jesus to be distinct from the culture with a self sacrificing love. My prayer as we enter 2011 is that The Ridge would be marked by such a love. It is tough to take insults or to receive hurts from others. We want to repay them, seek revenge and retaliate. Jesus calls us to a different standard though. Retaliation is ...

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Today

We live in a culture where there is a great deal of attention placed on Christmas and Easter, not to mention other holidays. We must be careful with how we view such observances. The Apostle Paul speaks about our observance of certain days in Romans 14.6 saying, He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Whatever the celebration may be, I believe Paul's main point ...

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Trading A Charade for Something Real

God grants to us Kingdom practices or forms, so that we would seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. It is not something that comes natural to you and I. Remember we are born into this world as those who are not righteous and who do not seek God (Romans 3.10, 11b). In fact, our sinful flesh wages war against such a desire or pursuit of seeking first the Kingd...

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Marriage: Simply Try

Matthew 25.14-30. I ask that you read this section of Scripture. Jesus is using a parable here to speak of the kingdom of heaven and what it is like here on earth. Jesus says that those who are part of the kingdom of God will be given a mission from God. It implies that everyone who is part of God's kingdom has tasks here on earth to make God's name known by living for His...

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The Holidays: Relationships and Anger

Relationships are tough, but we were created for them, so we can't run from them. People were given to us, yes even family, to help us be what God created us to be. This is where impatience flares up, anger brews, and conflict rises. It is with people that we learn and put to practice what is right. It is not easy though, especially around the holidays it seems. So, what ...

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Giving

But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6.3-4 This Sunday we heard the call of Christ to identify with the poor and afflicted helping them in their distress. We are to give to those in need in secret. It is no...

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Strangers at the Door

Last night as we were about to sit as a family and do our Advent reading together the door bell rang. I opened the door and at the door were three teenagers and two adult men. I did not know them. I immediately said to them, Are you caroling? They said, nope. We are actually at the wrong door. My family joined me at the door to see what was going on. I said to our stranger...

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Be a Trader

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealthBut seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6.24-33 Don't waste your life. That is one of the messages I hear from Jesus in Matthew 6. Matthew 6 is our ...

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Committing to Church Membership

As shared from Sunday, we live in a day when many people struggle with commitment phobia. We are afraid to commit to one thing because we are afraid that we might miss out on something else. We also believe this one thing that I commit to might cost me more than something else might, so we don't commit. So, what you have is simply the wisdom of our day, which is KEEP YOUR...

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Advent Giving

What are you willing to trade in this season to give financially to God's work? Is it the daily runs to Starbucks? Is it changing your spending habits this Christmas season? As part of our focus on giving this season, the elders have put an Advent giving goal before us. The goal for this year is $70,000. Our monthly budget requirements are $40,000. Our desire is to reach t...

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Advent 2011

What if Christmas looked different this year? What if it wasn't about all the gifts, going to the mall or the rushing around from here to there? We want to invite you to rethink Christmas with us this year and to experience it for what it was meant to be. On Sunday, November 28 Advent begins. Advent is the anticipation-filled season of celebrating Jesus' birth and His com...

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The Salvation Army and Something Funny

Today Annette and our kiddos when to the store. As they were walking out my children put quarters in the Salvation Army money can. The man ringing the bell was not standing by the money can, so my youngest, Pierce, went over to where he was standing after he put the quarter in and took the bell out of the guys hand and starting to ring it. I think Pierce thinks we are payi...

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Filled with Thanksgiving

Though this time next week I will be filled with turkey and all the other trimmings I am filled this morning with thanksgiving. Why?Psalm 118.21 says, I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, and You have become my salvation. God has answered my deepest and greatest need. He saved me and I am so thankful. God by His Sovereign grace and will saved me. Not beca...

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Graphically Portraying Abortion

There are some good resources out there addressing abortion and the graphic reality of it. One great resource is http://www.abortionno.org/. I do want to warn you and let you know that it includes a very graphic video of abortions, but we need to see the reality of it. Here are some stats that The Center for Bio-ethical Reform have released: WORLDWIDENumber of abortions p...

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Looking at Sunday Morning Practically

At The Ridge, Sunday mornings is when our main worship gatherings are (9 am and 11 am). Sunday mornings can sometimes be hard. It can be times of hustling around to get out of the house in time, as we struggle to get there on time. In the fast and furious movement of the morning we can get frustrated at those in our family. Then the ride to meet with the church to worship ...

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Thank God for October 31, 1517

Today is a great reason to celebrate. Martin Luther at the age of 33 nailed his 95 thesis to the Wittenberg Church door 493 years ago on this day. We thank God today for Martin Luther because he held up the belief and teaching that salvation is a gift of God's grace and received by faith. He believed that it was God's work from beginning to end. Luther changed the course ...

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Let us press on to know Him

So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. Hosea 6.3 I was encouraged this morning in my devotional readings by a pastor of earlier years, Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter. Here is what he says about knowing God: To know Him must be our controlling desire as Christian believers, even as it was with the Apostle Paul (Philippians 3.8-11). He cannot be known just by hurried snat...

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The Power of Community and Relationships

Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide. You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections. Now in a like exchange I speak as to children open wide to us also. 2 Corinthians 6.11-13 Relationships are important. Paul, along with Timothy, has opened up wide his heart to the people in the church at Corinth. This...

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The Word of God's Lips

As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept from the paths of the violent. My steps have held fast to Your paths. My feet have not slipped. Psalm 17.4-5 This Psalm has been encouraging to me this morning. The Word of God is so important to our lives. With out it we are lost. Romans 10.17 says, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Chris...

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Vertical to Horizontal: Orphan Care

For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven...In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 5.20, 7.12. This past Sunday, I shared how God has been stirring my heart with the call to care for the orphans ...

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Pray and Watch

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; in the morningI will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5.3 I am reminded this morning to simply trust God. He hears the prayer of the righteous. He gracious waits for us to come to Him and loves when we do. Like a loving Father He loves to answer and give good things. Oh that we would pray, that we would simpl...

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The Fiery Hell

But I say to you everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matthew 5.22 Jesus in His sermon He taught in the hill country goes beyond the act of murder itself when ...

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Prayer

I have mentioned in writing the last couple of weeks, Jesus' parable in Matthew 13.24-30 (explained in 13.36-43), which speaks of the wheat and tares. The obvious point of this parable is that the wheat that sprouted and bore grain is the sons of the kingdom and the tares are the sons of the evil one. Parables though, I believe, have many layers to them. The tares are a we...

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Wheat and Tares

The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have...

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Nails

This past Sunday in the message I shared what the life of sacrifice looked like in the kingdom of God. Here are some verses to encourage you and the quote I shared as well. Be encouraged to live the same life of sacrifice that Jesus lived this week. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14.27 If anyone wishes to come after Me,...

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Remember in Your Fasting and Prayers

Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. Hebrews 13.3 As you pray and fast on Wednesday I want to invite you to remember those who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. From North Korea, China, Somalia, Pakistan, India to Iran, Christians are daily being imprisoned, beaten and...

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Enemies of God: Loved and Punished

I was posed this great question this week: Since God commands us to forgive our enemies, why is he just when He punishes His enemies? My short answer is that it is God's business to punish, not ours (Romans 12.19-21). Here is my short answer explained: God commands us to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, do good to those who hate you, bless those who cu...

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Still Speaking

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks (Hebrews 11.4). God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden where God and life were present. Now they find themselves where sin and death reigned. They have two ...

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Kingdom Rewards, Not Merits

In study today, I was encouraged in thinking through the undeserving rewards that God freely gives His children. The beattitudes in Matthew 5 pronounce blessing after blessing, saying, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; they shall be comforted; they shall inherit the earth; they shall be satisfied; they shall receive mercy; they shall see God; and they shall be called so...

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Coming Into the Sanctuary of God

Until I came into the sanctuary of God. Psalm 73.17 As we saw Sunday, Asaph's thoughts were tangled up as he was tempted by the prosperity of the wicked. This temptation seems to make him question God's goodness and the authenticity of his own faith. God's people, the pure in heart, will face temptation just like Asaph does. The question is, What do we do when the temptat...

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As Every Hunger Pain Comes

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5.6). Though many of us do not know true hunger like the twenty thousand people in the world today know and will die from, we will get hunger pains during our fasting. So, what do we do when the hunger pains do come? Here is whatI would encourage: Think of the Lord Pray R...

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How to Fast Safely

How to fast safely. As you begin your fast, you may hear from concerned loved ones and friends who urge you to protect your health. And they are right. You should protect your health. But be assured that if done properly, fasting will not only prove to be a spiritual blessing, but physical blessing as well. By all means, consult your doctor before you begin your fast. Bu...

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Fasting on Wednesdays

More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us. This is a wonderful benefit to the true disciple who longs to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. We cover up what is inside of us with food and other things.-Richard Foster This past week while studying our Scripture text for the message, [Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for ri...

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Naming God

This is not a new trend, but in our culture and country God's name gets thrown around often. You might think shame on others for using God's name in vain, which I agree, but I am not referring to that. You might be on the other side, thinking, that is great, we want God talked about, which I would also agree with. But the issue I am speaking to is the loose use of God's na...

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An Intoxicating Drug

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5.7 Scott Harrison found himself stumbling home early one morning last June inNew Yorkafter a night of drugs and debauchery in a hotel after a gala film premiere. For ten years Scott had embraced theNew Yorknightlife. He had embraced the so-called American dream called: materialism, selfishness, and social cl...

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Children and Student Ministry

For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations. -Psalm 100.5 God is faithful to all generations. He is concerned about the young and the old. We too must be a people of multigenerational faithfulness. Therefore, our ministry to our students and children are very important. First, we are about to start off a new year in c...

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Sin

Dear Parents, Sunday's message was about our condition of being sinners, how we got this way, what the effects of it are and how we can be changed from being a sinner to a saint. As we have taken some time talking about the topic of sin, I want to challenge and encourage you to continue it. Our children need to understand this and it cannot be done in a 15 or 20 minute s...

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Poor in Spirit in America

This morning as I was reading I came across the gentleman who coined the phrase American Dream. His name is James Truslow Adams. He spoke of it in 1931 as a dreamin which each man and woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are (James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America, Boston: Littl...

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For Theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus came saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4.17). This is great news, but for who? Who does the kingdom of heaven belong to? In Jesus' sermon in the hill country He answers that when He says, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5.3). The kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit. What does this mean? Jesus b...

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The Great Medicine

We want our lives to be better. We want to feel better. The reality is that many don't feel good and constantly want better lives. By God's common grace some things can be cured and changed, but the reality is there is only one solution. In a culture of excessive medication there is a solution. Jesus is that ultimate solution. He brings the ultimate change and redirection ...

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Mourn and Be Comforted

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5.4 Those who are poor in spirit, mourn. What does Jesus mean when He says, mourn? He literally means weep, lament or grieve or as Martin Luther said, the bearing of sorrow. To mourn refers to godly sorrow over one's rebellion toward God. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 7.10 says, For the sorrow that is a...

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Stealing Pickles

Last night my family and I went out to grab some barbeque. Our youngest Pierce asked if he could pray before our meal. So, he began to pray. A few seconds into the prayer he paused. With our eyes closed we waited, but realized he was distracted by something. He was stealing pickles off his brother's plate and eating them.Evidently the eighth commandment, you shall not stea...

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The Kingdom of Heaven

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4.17 I have personally really enjoyed our journey through Matthew. The focus on the kingdom of heaven is challenging me to ask, what must change in my life and around me? It makes me land where Isaiah did during His encounter with the Lord saying, I am ruined - I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of un...

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Everything Must Change

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is hand. Matthew 4.17 God is out to affect everything. He is out to change the entire world. This is what the kingdom of heaven being at hand demands and calls for. He is out to change you, inside and out. He is out to change your family, school, your place of employment, your community and this nation. Do you believe that?How will he do ...

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Kicking and Screaming

Now Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in the boat with Zebedee their father, m...

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Sabbath Part Two

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2.1-3 To continue from last week, let's g...

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Sabbath Part One

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2.1-3 I remember a conversation recently ...

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Avoid the Summer Trap

There always seems to be concerns that I get around this time of year. It is thefear of laziness, complacency and inconsistency. I pray against it for me and for you. It is real easy to get busy withmany things to fill the time this Summer. It is also easy to get in lulls. As a result priorities and disciplines can shift and change often for the worse. Bible Study, communi...

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Pastoral Rest and Recharge

A few months ago the elders prayed about giving me four weeks away from pastoral duties. They have given me the month of July to take off from my regular duties. The elders believe that I should be teaching 44 weeks each year and that I should periodically take personal time to spend with my family. In addition to that I should also have some time to study and prepare for ...

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God with Us

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." Matthew 1.23 The conception, birth and coming of Jesus is the essence of Christianity. Both mysterious and miraculous is the conception of Christ by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. We call this the incarnation, which literally s...

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Whose Son is He?

This is a question that every human being needs to be asked:What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He? Matthew 22.42 This iswhat Jesusasked the Pharisees.The Pharisees responded and said, The son of David (22.42). The Jewish leaders believed the promised Messiah would be a human in the royal line of David, but not deity. Some others at the time of Jesus Christ, ...

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Names of Jesus

The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew 1.1 Matthew begins his gospel writing announcing Jesus as the promised Messiah (Christ), which means anointed One. The prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before looked forward to this saying, The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good ne...

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Part of the Church: Friction and Fallout

I am not a big fan of the negative. I do not like to harp on it, nor discuss it. I am a half glass full kind of guy. So, to voluntarily write on friction and fallout as part of the church is not necessarily a thrilling topic for me, but a necessary one. In fact, Paul writes to the church at Corinth saying, For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear...

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Roll

Yesterday I read a familiar passage in Proverbs 16.3, which says, Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. I had read this verse before, but today realized what the word commit is in the original Hebrew text. It means roll, roll down, roll togetheror roll away. I like this. I picture myself praying and just rolling the days tasks to the Lord. Too o...

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Functional Universalism

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 2 Corinthians 4.5 So, will we imitate Paul? I think we must understand what we are saving people from. We are seeking to win them to the kingdom of God, so that they are saved from the wrath of God. Paul says, Jesus rescues us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonia...

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Glorifying God in My Work

Paul says the overarching priority of a Christian's life is that in Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Colossians 3.17). The phrase, do all in the name, refers to both representing another or being empowered to do so. So, in whatever we do in word or deed it is Jesus we are representing and by...

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Resources for Training our Children

I always love when I come across new resources to help in training my children to walk in the ways of the Lord. I recently have been encouraged by Voddie Bauchum's book, Family Driven Faith. I highly recommed this book. I also highly recommend the two following resources to help with your investment into your children. Resources:Journibles, The 17:18 Series by Rob Wynalda...

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Slavery and The Apostle Paul

While studying for this week's message I have been learning how an ancient context can provide principles for a modern context even though they do not correspond exactly. That is definitely the case in Colossians 3.22-4.1 as Paul addresses slaves and masters. In the ancient context during the first century this would have made perfect since due to the presence of slavery. ...

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Hear, See and Think

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it(Deuteronomy 6.1-9) God has commanded Moses to teach the Israelites the Ten Commandments, and other statutes and judgments, so that they might do them in the land where they are going ov...

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Legalism and Obedience

I wanted to take some time this week and follow up on Sunday's message. Legalism is a great evil that must be put to death. Let me take some time deconstructing itwhile holding up obedience.How do we define legalism? It is the treating of biblical standards of conduct as regulations to be kept by our own power in order to earn God's favor.It is seeking to achieve forgivene...

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A Priority: Gathering Together

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10.23-25 I wrote concerning this great section on t...

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Christ, Our Life

I have not been able to get past Paul's statement in Colossians 3.3-4: For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. The questions I ask myself as I ready this:Who or what is your life?Is Christ your life? I love the amazing truth that Paul speaks to as he says, yo...

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Vineyard

What a joy it was to gather with Nahnum this past Sunday. The passage we centered around has continued to challenge me this week (Matthew 21.28-32). Remember Jesus tells a story about two sons who were asked by their father to go work in the vineyard. The first son answered his father saying, "I will not"; but afterward he regretted it and went (21.29). The second son answ...

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Parents: Be Taken Captive By Christ

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2.8 I have continued to reflect on this verse from the message this past Sunday. Paul is giving a warning to the young church in Colossae in regards to the man-ma...

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Rooted and Grounded in Love

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend w...

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Holy Week at The Ridge

This coming week is a special week for those who are in Christ. It is a week that is set apart as Holy Week. It begins with the remembrance of Palm Sunday this coming Sunday (March 28) and then culminates with the celebration of Easter Sunday the following Sunday (April 4). Here at The Ridge we look at these services as one continuous story from one gathering to the next. ...

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Spiritual and Physical Care

But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it (1 Corinthians 12.24b-26). The body of Christ, the Church is...

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Daddy, where are all the people?

Just had to share this... Last night, Grace and I were going through her bible study and it was on Noah and the flood. We were going through the story and some questions fairly easy. Then all of the sudden when we started to talk about how high the water was on the whole earth something started to sink in for my five year old. She looked at me and said, Daddy,where are al...

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Christ's Kingdom

I need to hear this daily: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm (John 18.36). This was Jesus' response to Pilate when Pilate asked Him, What have You done (18.35)? Jesus is not of this world. He is of the Kingdom of...

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The Glory of God and Joy

I have been joining a couple of men in our church in reading the book of John together. It has been a joy to read this gospel again. I have seen over the last week the inseparableness of the glory of God and joy, especially in chapters 12-17. First, the glory of God. In John 12.28 Jesus says, Father, glorify Your name. This was Jesus' desire and end in all things. It is t...

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Satisfied

I love what John Piper's dad wrote. Here it is,Will you not be satisfied with the death of Christ who satisfied the wrath of God? Be satisfied in Christ! ...

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Important

This week was a refreshing week. I got away to a conference with our Student Pastor, Coleman Ford. We got to break away to Minneapolis for the Desiring God Pastor's Conference. We got the great joy of sitting under teachers like Sam Storms, Eric Mason, Paul Tripp and John Piper. Needless to say, we got a truck load dumped on us. Scripture continually puts before us the ch...

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Thinking, feeling and the will

Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73.25-26I love this confession of the Psalmist Aspah. In my studies this past week I was taken by this text when it came to our thoughts, our feelings and our will. All three are key to our relationship...

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However

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the songs of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods." Solomon held fast to these...

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Celebrate Life

We have no right to take the life in the womb, the innocent life of a child. God gives and takes away, we don't. We need to celebrate life and it's author, creator and giver. Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Genesis 2.7). David says, You formed my inward parts; you wov...

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Houston and Abortion

Hear a just cause, O LORD, give heed to my cry. Psalm 17.1 May we cry out this week for the innocent children of the womb. They have no voice. We must be their voice of what is just and right. Our state, from Dallas to Houston, is making some bold and evil moves. Planned Parenthood is building the 2nd largest abortion clinic in the world in Houston, Texas. This 6-story, ...

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Point to Jesus

Again the next day John was standing witih two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. John 1.35-37 John the Baptizer had those who followed his teaching about repentance. Here we see John pointing two who followed him to the Lamb of God. This was John's purpose...

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Joy Made Full

So this joy of mine has been made full. John 3.29 Why is John the Baptizer's joy full? According to John it is because of this: He who has the bride is the bridgegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice (John 3.29). Jesus is the bridegroom who has the bride. The bride is the church. What a beauti...

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Humble and Contrite in Spirit

"But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word." Isaiah 66.2b Sunday we begin our month long focus on looking at a life that is completely surrendered to the Lord. This is the one that the Lord looks to, gazes upon, and has as the apple of His eye. According to Isaiah 66 the apple of His eye is those who are humble, ...

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Thankful for Five Years at The Ridge

This week marked five years since my family and I came to The Ridge. As the Apostle Paul says, I am overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2.7). I am thankful to Jesus. He is the head of the church and He has given me the great joy of being one of the overseers of The Ridge. I truly cannot wait to see what the next five years bring. As I reflect, I am thankful for the foll...

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When I Find the Time

But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, "Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you". Acts 24.24-25This is a most striking text. Felix lis...

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Milk

Never has a trip to the store to get milk been so transforming for me. Last night I made a milk run and on the way there I was tuned into the radio and brother KP of Gospel for Asia was preaching. It was good to hear his voice and the challenge from God's Word that He delivered. But there was something that stuck out that struck me. He shared about a picture that was som...

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Be Ready in The Morning

So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. Exodus 34.2How will your mornings start this New Year? Will they be rushed trying to get out the door?God invited Moses to come up toHim in the morning. Even before that God tells him to be ready by morning. To come up toHim in the morning is some...

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Advent Giving Update

I am overwhelmed with joy to report that we have exceeded our Advent giving goal of $70,000. We have received $4,000 above our goal. The elders have requested that the funds be distributed in the following way: $40,000 will go to support our monthly budget for December, $10,000 will go to build ten more Jesus Wells in Asia through Gospel for Asia, $10,000 will go to suppor...

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Rejoicing in the Lord (2009 and 2010)

As I reflect on 2009 and look ahead to 2010 I rejoice in the Lord. There are many reasons to rejoice. As I write, my oldest son, Noah is sleeping on the couch next to me. I am reminded of his salvation experience and baptism this year. He was not the only one though. I am most thankful for the lives changed by God through Jesus Christ in 2009. The Apostle Paul says, For t...

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Our Advent Aim Part One

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward ca...

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The Love of God this Advent

As we reflect on God's love for us this Advent, God's love for us is God sending Jesus from heaven to earthJesus dying on the cross for usGod raising Jesus from the deadGod allowing us to make much of Jesus with our dear friends at The Ridge ChurchGiving us nearly ten years of marriage (April 22, 2010)Our oldest, Noah, who turned seven this yearNoah being saved by God thr...

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Treasuring the Incarnation

Luke 2.19 has been a verse that has constantly stuck with me this advent season. I have really enjoyed reflecting on it. In Luke 2.19 the physician Luke writes, But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The word treasure means she cherishes and prizes.What did she treasure? What are all these things? First, the baby in the manger. Luke 2.16 says, So...

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Prayers

Each year I go get my yearly physical in December. It is sort of like an early Christmas present for me. Today was the big day. I am thankful for the health God has mercifully granted to me currently. The only thing I need to work on is getting rid of some extra pounds I have put on. I need to put the running shoes on and actually use them for running. As I was driving bac...

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Blessed

"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your wom...

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Sweet Aroma

This weekend I was at a retreat teaching on the following text:But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aro...

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The Spirit of Advent Part Two

I love this season of Advent. Advent is the celebration of the love of God for sinners. It is the love of God that brought Jesus Christ into the world. God forbid that this would be forgotten or lightly considered this season. Instead may the birth of our Redeemer, which redeemed us from wrath, death and hell, be the center of our thoughts, conversations and worship this A...

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The Spirit of Advent Part One

This past Sunday marked the beginning of our celebration of Advent. Advent is the celebration of the love of God for sinners. It is the love of God that brought Jesus Christ into the world. God forbid that this would be forgotten or lightly considered this season. Instead may the birth of our Redeemer, which redeemed us from wrath, death and hell, be the center of our thou...

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Advent 2009

What if Christmas looked different this year? What if it wasn't about all the gifts, going to the mall or the rushing around from here to there? We want to invite you to rethink Christmas with us this year and to experience it for what it was meant to be. On Sunday, November 29 Advent begins. For me and my family, this is a season that we have grown to love and enjoy. The...

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I pray your heart is filled with the joy of the Lord this Thanksgiving. I love thinking about the joy of the Lord. In fact, the bible is filled with verses talking about the joy of the Lord. Here are a few: For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor. In each and every province and in each and every city, wherever the king's commandment...

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My Boy is Seven Today

My Boy is Seven Today On this day you turn sevenI pause to thank heavenFor God has given youA precious gift to usFrom the boy who said, NanniThis was your cry for your paciTo strumming the guitarSinging, Holy is the LordAnd also singing, Blessed be the name of the LordDon't forget the line that says, You give and take away To the one who became the olderNot just of one, ...

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Family Worship Service

Have you ever imagined what a worship gathering back in the Old Testament or even in the first century church might have looked like? I think about that at times, especially when I read books like Nehemiah and Acts. I wonder things like, Where were the children? Did the people stand the whole time? It seems in the day of Nehemiah they did stand, and not just for forty minu...

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Keeping You in the Loop

It is hard to believe that we are almost halfway through November. This can be a very busy time of the year, so I wanted to take a few minutes of your time and update on some things at The Ridge. Israel FamilyFirst, the Israel family was commissioned this past Tuesday night in Shreveport to serve with the International Mission Board. As many of you know they will be servi...

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My Little Girl is Five

A poem written for my daughter, Grace, on this her fifth birthday.My Little Girl is Five Today, our princess is fiveIt is hard to believeToday, our little girl is fiveIt is hard to fathom Yet it is trueOn this day that your age turns to fiveThere are five things to point out about you Your smileYou got it not doubt from your momLike her, you light up a room Your laughI...

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No Funding

Prayers have been answered. No funding for abortion in the health care reform legislation. This came from the Christian News Wire:The House version of the health care reform legislation narrowly passed with the vote of 220-215 late Saturday evening, but it was done without provisions for the funding of abortions. The Stupak-Pitts amendment, which will deny tax funding fo...

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Happy Birthday Luther

Today is the birthday of the great protestant reformer, Martin Luther. Praise God that he was born on this day (November 10) in 1483 in Eisleben, Germany. Children are a gift from the Lord and what a gift Luther was not only to his parents, but to the world. Luther changed the course of human history with his nailing of the 95 thesis on the Wittenberg Church door, accusin...

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Pick Me Up Off The Floor

I was at a local coffee shop today having some joe with my pastor friend, Jee-Young. As we were finished and leaving a gentleman asked us what churches we were at. We told him and begin to talk. He shared what church he went to and I am well aware of this church. It is a great church with a pastor who is a solid bible teacher. I know some others who attend there and I ask...

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My Best Friend

This morning I was having breakfast with my daughter, Grace at Mom's Cafe. We were reading through the story of Zaccheus. We all know the song, Zaccheus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he. He was disliked. It wasn't because of his weird name or because of his lack of height, but because he was a tax collector who was crooked. Taking money for himself and defr...

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Abortion and Health Care Reform

I want you to join me in making some phone calls. I do believe on this issue they help. What is the issue? The Legislative Arm of Americans United for Life bring it to light in the following: Speaker Pelosi has now unveiled the new pro-abortion House bill, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards wrote to her supporters rejoicing that "every version o...

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Abortion and Health Care Reform

I want you to join me in making some phone calls. I do believe on this issue they help. What is the issue? The Legislative Arm of Americans United for Life bring it to light in the following: Speaker Pelosi has now unveiled the new pro-abortion House bill, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards wrote to her supporters rejoicing that "every version o...

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Cross Conduct

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. Phil...

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Some Musings and Updates

This week I have a few things swimming in my mind that I would like to share with you to both challenge and make you aware. Community vs. IndividualismA phrase that consistently comes to my mind as a prayer and desire for The Ridge is a place where no one stands alone. I would love for that to be said about us as a body. As I have been studying David's life for our men's ...

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More Always Means Less

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a blog of a pastor friend of mine, Andy McQuitty who is battling cancer. His friend Bill Lawrence had written something that he quoted in the blog that has stuck with me. Here is what Bill wrote to Pastor Andy: There's always more out there somewhere. More opportunity, more recognition, more power, more control, more success, more money...

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Reflections on Philippians 1

This Sunday we will close out the first chapter of Philippians. As we wrap things up I would like to reflect on this gospel centered beginning by Paul. Paul has challenged us to truly put the gospel first. Remember this is no little gospel. It is not something we should domesticate, box in or push to the periphery. It should be at the center of all things. It is to be sup...

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Affection and Perspective

Affection and Perspective This morning in my readings I read through part of John Piper's small book, The Dangerous Duty of Delight. I am posed with the question to myself as a result, Do I feel the depth and intensity of affections that are appropriate for God and His cause? So often the Christian life is all about decisions and not necessarily our affections. Peter says...

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God or Money

Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12.33-34 What do you cherish? This is of most importance to Jesus. For what one cherishes shows what is treasured in their heart. The plac...

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Our Response to Regeneration

Our Response to Regeneration Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, you are protected by the power of God t...

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What is lacking?

What is lacking? For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach. Titus 1.5-6a Over the last few weeks we have been asking the question, what is lacking? Have you been asking that personally? I pray that you have been applying the question to your own li...

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Purity is Lacking

Purity is Lacking What is lacking? What needs to be straightened out? Needed in the churches throughout the cities in Crete was purity. What is purity? Purity is freedom from guilt, sin and evil. It is being free from anything that contaminates or pollutes. The church in Crete was lacking in the area of purity, from its members to even those given the platform to teach. T...

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Setting in Order What Remains

If you were to sit back and look at your life, what would need to be set in order? What is not right? What is lacking? What is in need? Those who are in Christ are new. Their mission in life is to be about making things right and to straighten things out according to the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. It is the mission given to Titus for the churches in Cret...

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Sacred Life: Living in the Overflow

It was good to be back Sunday. Thank you once again for the break. We are grateful for your understanding that a pastor needs rest and refreshment. I hope you enjoy our time in Titus as much as I am overjoyed about teaching. The Lord continues to impress on my heart that this is a very timely book for us as a church. As I am in the custom of often doing, I will reiterate w...

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To Come to Christ is not Man's Willing or Running

If you are in Christ today be encouraged! You are chosen of God. Paul tells his brother Titus his purpose for writing him and he says, for the faith of those chosen of God (Titus 1.1).Paul also says to the church in Rome, So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy (Romans 9.16). Praise God for His sovereign grace and mercy...

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To Come to Christ is not Man's Willing or Running

If you are in Christ today be encouraged! You are chosen of God. Paul tells his brother Titus his purpose for writing him and he says, for the faith of those chosen of God (Titus 1.1).Paul also says to the church in Rome, So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy (Romans 9.16). Praise God for His sovereign grace and mercy...

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Sacred Marriage: Marriage Bed Part Two

The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband (1 Corinthians 7.3).An important part of marriage as we have seen is the marriage bed. Paul tells us that each spouse has a responsibility to fulfill when it comes to sex in the marriage relationship. In what spirit is such a joyous responsibility to be carried out?The wife does not h...

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Sacred Marriage: Marriage Bed Part One

We learned in the Spring that: 1. Marriage is God's design and doing for His great display to reveal the new covenant relationship of Jesus and the church. 2. A truly blessed marriage must have the fear of God present, trusting in Jesus and realizing our great need for Him in all things. 3. Marriage is not about our comfort and happiness, but about our holiness. Marriag...

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Elders

The writer of Hebrews says, Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith (Hebrews 13.7). When considering men for the role of elder this verse is one that I hold dear to. I believe our elders are men that we as a church can look to as examples of godliness and faith. I especially believe that...

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Sacred Marriage: Holiness Part Two

An important part of marriage is laying aside falsehood and speaking truth. Paul longed for this for the church in Ephesus as we see in Ephesians 4.25-32. Since the Ephesians knew the truth of God and had their heart and life changed, now Paul called them to live a holy life. It is true that holy thinking produces holy living. Proverbs 23.7 says, For as a man thinks within...

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Summer

It is real easy to get busy withmany things to fill the time this Summer. It is also easy to get in lulls. As a result priorities and disciplines can shift and change often for the worse. Bible Study, community, corporate worship and giving tend to drop for other things. I pray that your disciplines would increase instead of falling into the Summer trap. First, you need a...

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The Fringes of His Ways

Sometimes you just want to share and testify. Today I simply want to do that. Before I do though I wanted to address something I said from Sunday. I listened to my sermon from this past Sunday and realized again something I said in the 11 am worship gathering. When trying to encourage those who have had trouble having children I actually made an insensitive comment. I wan...

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The Fringes of His Ways

Sometimes you just want to share and testify. Today I simply want to do that. Before I do though I wanted to address something I said from Sunday. I listened to my sermon from this past Sunday and realized again something I said in the 11 am worship gathering. When trying to encourage those who have had trouble having children I actually made an insensitive comment. I wan...

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Sacred Marriage: Holiness Part One

God is the doer and designer of marriage. He created marriage, the one flesh relationship, to display His glory and to reveal the new covenant relationship of Jesus and the church. An important element to marriage is the fear of God. For the marriage relationship to be right there must be a reverential awe for God. In Isaiah 6.1-5 it says, In the year of King Uzziah's de...

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Sacred Marriage: Fear of God Described

Solomon says, Fear God (Ecclesiastes 5.7). The fear of God is better described than defined, so let's see it described in Proverbs 31, through the lens of biblical womanhood. An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels (Proverbs 31.10). The wife described in Proverbs 31 is one of moral worth or one who has godly character. This is the same expressio...

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Sacred Marriage: fear of God defined

For by Him all things were created both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rules or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1.16 Jesus is the creator of marriage. Marriage has a great purpose beyond us. It is to display Jesus, to glorify Him. The chief end of marriage is to glory God by...

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Sacred Marriage: Sex

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1.16 Scripture has much to say about everything, even sex. In the Scripture the term all things is mentioned often. When talking about all things you must includ...

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Sacred Marriage: Display

The Apostle Paul says in Colossians 1.16, For by Him all things were created both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rules or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him. Not only has marriage been created by Jesus, but the one flesh relationship is designed to make much of Jesus Christ. David says to ...

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Sacred Marriage: God's Design and Doing

On April 22 of this year Annette and I celebrated nine years of marriage. We do not have it all figured out, nor do we have all the answers to when it comes to marriage. But we do know today that marriage is treated casually and aimlessly by our culture. Yet God has created marriage with a sacred purpose. It is important that we have the right foundation to our marriage. W...

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Gather to Spur and Encourage

And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10.24-25 By faith, when one has had the blood of Christ applied to them, and entered into a relationship with God through Christ, who is their h...

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Who is the naked man running through the garden?

If there is a guy in a sheet with nothing underneath you are probably thinking toga party, right? If there is a guy running around naked you are probably thinking this has got to be some kind of fraternity stunt, right? That is what comes to my mind. But, in Scripture it was something totally different. In the gospel of Mark we read that a young man was following Him,...

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Impact Sunday

Yesterday, I got the privilege to attend a meeting of local business men and women who are longing to see revival in this city. We were meeting to discuss the prayer gathering coming up on May 5 called, God of the City (www.godofthecity.com). What I loved so much about meeting these people was to see that there are people in all types of spheres living out the gospel of ...

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Make Disciples

What is sacred? God's people have a sacred calling. Our sacred calling is to share the gospel. Why should we evangelize? I pray that your joy and desire to share the gospel would be increased as we see what should motivate us in this great task. But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped H...

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That Which is of Most Importance

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15.1-2). The Apostle Paul was a fervent and faithful evangelist and he wanted so desperately for people to be saved. Here he draws...

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Awake and Take the Mountain

I have enjoyed walking through some of Isaiah's writings the last few weeks. This past Sunday in Isaiah 52.1-7 we heard some intense words that were historical and futuristic (prophetic) in nature, as well as very important for this present day that we live in. In Isaiah 52 we find the subject matter concerning the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon which will not happ...

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The Surest and Safest Way of Thriving

We are called to be holy as Jesus is holy which does not mean that we are called to just merely avoid evil and be good moral people. Sure, we are to avoid sin, flee immorality and not to pursue evil, but we are not called to simply be about what we don't do, but what we do do. We have seen this over the last two weeks in Isaiah 58. We have a sacred calling as God's people....

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Don't Give Up On God

I received a call this week from a lady who attends our Christmas Eve service every year with her family. She lives outside of the Metroplex area. Each year I have had the opportunity to pray with her concerning certain things. When she called this week she was so excited to let me know that God had answered one of the things that she has been praying for over the last few...

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The poor, the afflicted and the gospel

What is sacred? What is sacred to you? We have been asking this since the beginning of this year. God has called His people to be holy as He is holy - to be set apart, consecrated for God and His kingdom purposes (Leviticus 11.44; 1 Peter 1.15-16). So, followers of Christ see things different than the world we live in. We think different when it comes to the way we see our...

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Sacred Obsession

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6.14 So, what have you been obsessed with this week? Has the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ dominated your thoughts, feelings, time and life? I pray that God would give you a great love, passion, and desire...

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Greater Works

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father. John 14.12 The Works of Christ What are the works of Christ? That is a loaded question. There are many we could mention. Paul says, by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and the earth (Colossians 1.1...

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Sacred Communion

Sacred What is sacred to you? When it comes to your relationships, your time, your priorities, and the entirety of your life, what is sacred? I don't know about you, but I love fresh starts and the opportunity to begin again. That is what the New Year brings to us. It is a time to look back and reflect on our lives. It is a time to examine and see what needs to change. Da...

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Read Great Christian Authors

READ GREAT CHRISTIAN AUTHORS Last week I spoke about abiding. This is an urgent need that we must give all to. To abide in Christ and Him in us (John 15.1-11). But we need a plan. To be in the Word, to prayer, to journal and I would also suggest reading great Christian authors. John Piper says, If you read 15 minutes a day for one year (just 15 minutes, say just befor...

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Overwhelmed with Gratitude

Overwhelmed with Gratitude As I reflect back on 2008 I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Paul's words to the church at Philippi, says it well for me when it comes to you. He says, I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1....

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Don't Lose the Anticipation

Don't Lose the Anticipation Not sure if any melancholy sets in for you as you pick up the wrapping paper and take the decorations down, but I get a touch of it. With so much anticipation looking forward to the celebration of Christmas day when it is gone there is at times a letdown. I even caught myself listening to Christmas music today for a short while. But the antic...

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Dance (serve and give)

The other night my wife and I spun around the kitchen to a catchy tune. I love to dance, but I am definitely no Fred Astaire. In fact, I am probably more like Elaine on Seinfeld. I definitely am the one stepping out of line and causing the beauty of it to be marred. In Paul's ministry to the church at Thessalonica he had to address a group who was stepping out of line....

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Advent 2008

What if Christmas looked different this year? I know Thanksgiving is still weeks away, but I want to direct your attention to this season that is fastly approaching. On the Sunday before Halloween I was in Hallmark getting some cards with Noah and Grace and the store was all decked out for Christmas. If they can promote the Christmas season this early I think it is more th...

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The Shack

I personally enjoyed reading The Shack. I am not a big fan of fiction, but I truly liked ready this writing. Though I would encourage someone to read it I would also tell the reader to proceed with caution. The main reason for such a warning would be due to how God is revealed in the book. God is Triune and the book paints a beautiful picture of that, but we must be carefu...

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Weaknesses

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakn...

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Daddy

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Galatians 4.6 I love hearing the word, Daddy. I will never forget when my first two children said that to me. I am looking forward to our youngest saying it soon. What is amazing is the God of Heaven wants us to call Him that. Think about this. The creator, sustainer ...

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Overwhelmingly Awesome God

Overwhelmingly Awesome God If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the LORD your God, then the LORD will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses (Deuteronomy 28.58-59). The context of this is...

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Representing Jesus in the ministry of reconciliation

But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. Galatians 2.11-12 The second chapter of Galatians has many layers to it. As we continue...

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Hating Double-mindedness

For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he (Peter) used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. Galatians 2.12-13 Here in Galatians the scene changes fro...

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Combatting the Summer Lull

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flo...

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Disciple: Be One, Make One

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles. Galatians 1.15-16a Last night I caught a glimpse of the homerun derby. What a show that was! Many of you probably know of Josh Hamilton and his story. Josh was a promising baseball star on the r...

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Combatting the Summer Lull

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flo...

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Disciple: Be One, Make One

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles. Galatians 1.15-16a Last night I caught a glimpse of the homerun derby. What a show that was! Many of you probably know of Josh Hamilton and his story. Josh was a promising baseball star on the r...

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A Man I Deeply Respect

Remembering a Man I Deeply RespectJune 11, 2008One month ago from today my father-in-law (Papal) went to glory. On May 11 this world lost a great man. What was our lost was Heaven's gain. It has been new territory for me personally. I have never lost someone that close to me. When I was an infant and toddler my grandparents passed away, but I was too young to understand. H...

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A Man I Deeply Respect

Remembering a Man I Deeply RespectJune 11, 2008One month ago from today my father-in-law (Papal) went to glory. On May 11 this world lost a great man. What was our lost was Heaven's gain. It has been new territory for me personally. I have never lost someone that close to me. When I was an infant and toddler my grandparents passed away, but I was too young to understand. H...

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Incarnational Ministry

Our philosophy deals with our mindset, our system of values and principles that we have as a church. Where do we find our philosophy? We find it from Jesus and His Word. He is our source. One element of our philosophy is found in John 1.14. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of...

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Incarnational Ministry

Our philosophy deals with our mindset, our system of values and principles that we have as a church. Where do we find our philosophy? We find it from Jesus and His Word. He is our source. One element of our philosophy is found in John 1.14. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of...

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Unity

Lately, I have been reading passages in the Scripture that deals with words such as, likeminded, one, one mind, together and common. In fact, Acts 2.44-47 is one of those passages. Look at what it says: And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyon...

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Unity

Lately, I have been reading passages in the Scripture that deals with words such as, likeminded, one, one mind, together and common. In fact, Acts 2.44-47 is one of those passages. Look at what it says: And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyon...

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Mission

In the last few weeks, we have talked about the things that are essential to our faith. They are beliefs that we hold tight in one hand, while our eyes are focused on living a life that glorifies God, by loving Jesus, by loving people and seeing lives transformed to live for Jesus. So we have our focus, we have our foundation (Jesus) and now what do we do? We have one more...

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Ouch

Ouch! It was actually much more than that coming from my son on this Monday night, as he touched a good friend of ours hot grill. Noah had been warned earlier in the evening to not touch the grill. Well his curiosity got the best of him and he did it anyway. He was in someheavy tears due to the pain. His hand gotcared for and doctored up. By the next morning he was in good...

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Mission

In the last few weeks, we have talked about the things that are essential to our faith. They are beliefs that we hold tight in one hand, while our eyes are focused on living a life that glorifies God, by loving Jesus, by loving people and seeing lives transformed to live for Jesus. So we have our focus, we have our foundation (Jesus) and now what do we do? We have one more...

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Ouch

Ouch! It was actually much more than that coming from my son on this Monday night, as he touched a good friend of ours hot grill. Noah had been warned earlier in the evening to not touch the grill. Well his curiosity got the best of him and he did it anyway. He was in someheavy tears due to the pain. His hand gotcared for and doctored up. By the next morning he was in good...

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Focus

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, o Israel, do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by my name; you are Mine - whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made. Isaiah 43.1, 7b Any organization or business must have a focus. In the secular world, businesses have statements to keep ...

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Contending

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. Jude 3 The gospel and truth is under continual attack by Satan who sends out false teachers, false shepherds, false apostles and false prophets to wage wa...

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Focus

But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, o Israel, do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by my name; you are Mine - whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made. Isaiah 43.1, 7b Any organization or business must have a focus. In the secular world, businesses have statements to keep ...

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Contending

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. Jude 3 The gospel and truth is under continual attack by Satan who sends out false teachers, false shepherds, false apostles and false prophets to wage wa...

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Passover

A fewweeks ago at our men's retreat I was challenged bya message on Passover from our speaker Brad Cardwell. I wanted to share with you what I learned with some exhortation for us all. The main text this teaching comes from is Exodus 7-12. God hardens Pharaoh's heart so that He could multiply His signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. In fact, He is going to create tensi...

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Passover

A fewweeks ago at our men's retreat I was challenged bya message on Passover from our speaker Brad Cardwell. I wanted to share with you what I learned with some exhortation for us all. The main text this teaching comes from is Exodus 7-12. God hardens Pharaoh's heart so that He could multiply His signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. In fact, He is going to create tensi...

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Debriefing and Not Forgetting

Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked ...

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