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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“Preparing for Holy Week”

“Holy Week” is shorthand for the most significant week in the Christian calendar. The Apostle Paul wrote that if Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then our preaching is worthless, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are the most pathetic of all

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2012 Annual Meeting Message

This is the 7th annual meeting message I have given, and as I look back at the messages from previous years, Proverbs 16:9 comes to mind: “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Over these years we have made a lot of plans, as

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Voting Items for Thursday’s Annual Meeting

The New Testament is intentionally vague about the precise details of how decisions should be made in the church. What it does teach is that local congregations should be led by a group of elders and the whole congregation should be involved in some decisions, such as church discipline. In

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Receiving Grace and Doing Right

Our study in the Sermon on the Mount unearths one of the most significant questions of Christianity: what is the relationship between God’s gifts and our good works? Does God give good things to us because we do good works? Do we do good works because God gives us good

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Aaron’s Announcement from Sunday

On Sunday morning Aaron Dotterer, who has served our body faithfully for seven years, shared the following announcement with grace, gravity, courage, and a deep trust in our God. Afterwards the elders prayed over him and encouraged the congregation to continue to pray for Aaron as he pursues God’s next

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The Hard Path to Deeper Joy

During my university years God led me through a season in his word that opened my eyes to the pure joy and satisfaction of being in his presence. “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). “How precious is your steadfast

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Seeking God through Prayer and Fasting in 2012

With each new year comes new possibilities of fresh encounters with God, deeper relationships with one another, and meaningful ministry to our neighbors. On the one hand, this never happens on accident, without intentionality. On the other hand, we cannot force such relational growth. It is God’s Spirit using God’s

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Rest, Merry Gentlemen. Rest!

The supreme irony of American Christmas is that the very themes we celebrate with Christ’s coming–love, joy, peace–are the virtues most egregiously compromised this season. Many families gather only to see old bitterness emerge rather than love. The pressure to find the right gifts yields misery rather than joy. And

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This Baby Will Rule Your Life

For us who call Jesus Lord, the perennial challenge of Christmastime is to unearth the profound mystery of the incarnation–God become flesh–from the heap of plastic, lights, music, and events under which it is buried. This year God has introduced me to a new backhoe that can dig through the

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The Oatmeal Challenge

Two Sundays ago we highlighted the vast hunger and malnutrition facing Somalia. In early September, the last time numbers were released, 29,000 people had already died from starvation and 750,000 more face death from lack of access to food. Regretfully Somalia is not the only place where food is scarce.

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Why Mission and Mercy Month?

On Sunday we plan to address the famine in Somalia. The following Sunday Dan Julian will preach and share the plans Anna and he have for gospel work in Spain. Then following week we will discuss Missional Communities. Then Mending the Soul Ministries. Why this focus? Why the break from

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Praying for Dear Life

In our recent study of Isaiah we heard a consistent call to “Keep justice and do righteousness” (56:1). For the prophet this applied to Israel’s leaders who devoured instead of served God’s people (56:9-12), field owners who oppressed their workers (58:3), those who perverted justice in the courts through bribes

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