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Who IS the Reason for the Season?

Who IS the Reason for the Season?

We are the reason for the season? It struck me while reading that popular Christmas phrase one more time. I know I’ve read it hundreds of times. “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But reading it this time made my head tilt to one side with one eye closed. “We are...

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Christmas Away From Home

Christmas Away From Home

There are many reasons and places to experience a first Christmas away from home.  If you have, you understand.  Have you thought of the first time anyone spent Christmas away from home - the very first time?  Have you thought of Mary and Joseph in this way?  About 90...

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Patience

Patience

When we hope for something, the timeline is usually very simple. We want whatever it is we’re hoping for, and we want it now. Or better yet, yesterday. The idea of spending days, much less years, patiently hoping for something sounds nearly unbearable. This is why a...

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Finding Peace in Financial Vulnerability

Finding Peace in Financial Vulnerability

Charles Dickens opens A Tale of Two Cities with the stark words, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” I can so easily relate to that contrast when my memory races back to the winter of 2007. For most people, the coming recession hadn’t yet made...

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4 Thoughts on Christmas Services

4 Thoughts on Christmas Services

It’s so hard to believe that it’s already December. Where did the year go? It seems like just a couple months ago we were celebrating Easter and the resurrection, and now we’re getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Before I share with you my thoughts on...

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How to Prioritize Your Family During Advent

How to Prioritize Your Family During Advent

We’ve all seen it too many times. Pastors’ kids who grow up resenting the church and walk away as soon as they’re out of the home. According to a study conducted by the Barna Group, “one–third of pastors (33%) say their child is no longer actively involved in church.”...

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The American Orphan Crisis

The American Orphan Crisis

Every Church Can Do Something I remember the first time I learned about orphans as a young boy. It was from a late-night infomercial highlighting starving orphans in Africa. It hit me hard then, and still today, I cannot fathom not having a loving family to take care...

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Life is a Gift

Life is a Gift

  Life is short. Life is hard. Life is not fair. Life’s a beach. Life is a gift. You know all of these little quotes that we throw out there as if life is really all that simple to capture in a meme or a phrase. In spite of the fact that we all know that life...

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How Does Jesus See Humanity?  Part 2

How Does Jesus See Humanity? Part 2

How Jesus Sees His Kingdom The third and largest sphere in our diagram is God’s Kingdom. Without question, Jesus Christ is the rightful, exalted King of God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is the context through which He is advancing His purposes through humanity here on...

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Socially Distanced Christmas Events

Socially Distanced Christmas Events

Christmas is a wonderful time of year for churches. It’s a chance to celebrate our Savior’s birth, increase charitable efforts, and reach out to the local community to spread the truth about the season. However, many of our traditional events will have to be put on...

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How Does Jesus See Humanity? Part 1

How Does Jesus See Humanity? Part 1

So how, exactly, does the Lord Jesus Christ see each member of humanity? The answer, it turns out, is more relevant than ever—and has three parts. The three parts are: God’s Kingdom. God’s Family. God’s Church. They’re not the same, but how are they different? People...

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Five Benefits of Advanced Discipleship Training

Five Benefits of Advanced Discipleship Training

Equipping the Saints for Ministry - Ephesians 4:12 As pastors, it is our Biblical mandate to make disciples and equip the saints to do the work of the ministry so the Church can be built up by what each one has to offer. All too often we become so busy doing the work...

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Never Too Late to Contend for the Faith

Never Too Late to Contend for the Faith

Do you have people within your congregation who desire to know more about the Bible and grow in their faith, but have neither the time nor finances to enroll in seminary? Do you want your church to not only have a stronger understanding of what and why they believe,...

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Molded and Transformed

Molded and Transformed

Blacksmithing serves as a perfect metaphor for the long, hard, repetitive, seemingly violent method of transforming a leader. If the purpose of a transformational leader is, in the words of Dr. King, to “hew out of a mountain of despair stones of hope” then we would...

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Opportunities to Deliver Hope Beyond the Box

Opportunities to Deliver Hope Beyond the Box

MONUMENTAL COLLABORATIONS In this unexpected year of hardship, it's remarkable to see organizations work together to serve households residing in the "Last Mile of Need": a metaphorical region of families who have fallen between the gaps with unmet food needs. A...

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A Desire to See the Church Do Better

A Desire to See the Church Do Better

I was in high school when Joshua Harris’s book I Kissed Dating Goodbye captured the attention of the evangelical world. It kicked off a movement and inspired countless other books on dating and sexual purity. I read many of these, internalizing messages about my...

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Emotional Support Parent

Emotional Support Parent

You’ve probably seen “emotional support” dogs or other pets. They can provide valuable companionship, but the primary role for providing emotional support shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of a well-trained canine. It really rests on the shoulders of a parent. We are...

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Using Exercise to Enhance Your Health

Using Exercise to Enhance Your Health

As a pastor, you take on much of your flock’s burdens which add to your ever-increasing stress. In one day, you might go from the bedside of a dying church member to performing a funeral. Then return the next day to offer counseling for a member who’s depressed or...

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The People of God

The People of God

In this age of cancel culture, individuals, institutions, and groups are publicly shamed for demonstrating or even just affirming an unpopular opinion or cultural value. When mass disapproval of the behavior occurs, they are “cancelled.” If you participate in social...

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Home Grown Faith

Home Grown Faith

Brand new research shines a light on faith in the home – just in time for a country that is mostly staying home on Sunday mornings.   As a pastor in the time of COVID I’ve had to ask questions I’ve never asked before. The same is true of the many other pastors I’ve...

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