Elevating the Marriage Debate

These are good times to be a Christian in America. For decades in our country, perhaps centuries, the overlap between “Christian ethics” and “socially acceptable ethics” was significant. Now, with the sexual revolution, the feminist movement (which brought some needed correctives), and the increasing acceptance of homosexuality, the spheres of

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Repentant Iconoclasm

A cultural icon is any symbol or person or image that represents a greater cultural reality. The Olympic rings, now permeating the media, represent laser-focused discipline and the heights of human athletic achievement. Steve Jobs–a much different but equally potent icon–personified the mingling of artistic expression, manufacturing excellence, and entrepreneurial

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Brother Allen, At Home In Heaven

Last week our powers of distinguishing the significant from the insignificant were sharpened by the movie theater shooting in Aurora, CO. Suddenly a blockbuster movie became nearly meaningless against the backdrop of simply being alive and safe and well. As stories of heroism have emerged, the valor of an instantaneous

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Rejoice in the Lord

This past Sunday we together considered Philippians 3:20-4:9.  In this passage Paul writes that because our great citizenship is in heaven (vv.3:20-21) we are to stand firm in the Lord.  He prescribes five disciplines in order to accomplish standing firm; live in harmony in the Lord (v.2), rejoice in the

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Kingdom Discipleship

Under the direction of Pastor Chris, we have been working our way through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Jesus’ exposition of true discipleship in the kingdom of God is one of the more memorable and challenging passages in the Bible. It is a great joy to contemplate.

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On Being Mercied

For the past several weeks I have been thinking about the meaning and significance of Aaron’s blessing. You will recall the benediction pastor Chris proclaims over us at the close of Sunday morning services: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and

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God is on the Move

Each first Wednesday of the month I join about 50 other pastors and church leaders for a time of sharpening, connecting, and discussion about church leadership issues. This Wednesday we heard from a brother who spends time in cities across the United States trying to unify pastors to pray for

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Embrace Tears

I want to hand you a card. Many of you have carried this card for years, so this will only serve as reminder. To my shame, I have only carried it recently. It should have been in my pocket from the first day I became a pastor, but for whatever

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“The Real Jesus’ Real Return”

John, “the beloved disciple,” opens his first letter by establishing how intimately he knew Jesus: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life…that which we have

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Following Jesus in the 99% or 1%

Since the first of the year, we have shifted the focus of the 9:30 hour on Sunday mornings to a training time, addressing issues essential to following Jesus and leading others to follow him with us. Thus far we have walked through “The Gospel-Centered Life” and worked on our Bible

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“Help on Lust from Uncle Lewis”

Sunday we covered Jesus’ teaching on lust and what it looks like to fight against it. I referred to John Piper’s teaching on this topic which has been so helpful to me [you can see some resources here. Another Jesus follower who has been helpful is C.S. Lewis. Instead of sharing

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“Worship Between 8 and 48”

The book of Ezekiel is framed by two temple tours the prophet receives, led by the Spirit of God. The first, beginning in chapter 8, reveals the perversion of worship amongst Israel’s leaders. In a trance-like vision, Ezekiel is taken to the interior of the temple, where the elders have

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Loving Others Under God’s Gaze

“Can you believe that I helped her all day and she did not even say ‘thank you’?!?” The complainer was involved in the literacy ministry at the church I served in West Virginia. She was venting to our pastor, who asked her a simple question: “Is that why you did

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Worship Matters

As we anticipate the sober remembrance of Good Friday and the boundless celebration of Resurrection Sunday, how can we approach this Holy Week as a means of spiritual growth rather than a mere rehashing of the same ritual we have observed for years? Here is a question for beginners: who

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