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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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