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January 2015 Blog Posts (21)

The Missing Link in the Church

Let’s return to our discussion of “the “D-word” (discipleship) from last week. If you’ve been around the church for any amount of time, you know that it’s the missing link in the church today, whether you’ve been able to put your finger on it before now or not.

The problem of “nondiscipleship” has troubled me pretty much all of my Christian life…

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Added by Carl Simmons on January 28, 2015 at 10:30am — No Comments

A Cold, Cruel World

“Every mile is two in winter.” (George Herbert, 1651)

 

“Winter changes into stone the water of heaven and the heart of man.” (Victor Hugo, 1862)

 

“Winter Storm Juno” (aka “Blizzard ‘15”) with its hurricane-force winds is dumping heavy snow, creating whiteout conditions, and causing coastal flooding across much of New England. More than 50 million people are hunkered down seeking warmth and shelter. Power outages are widespread.…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 27, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

So, You Think You're Enough Like Jesus Already?

I recently had an experience that forced me to die to myself. It was a “Who Moved My Cheese?” type of moment, when I made my wishes known on a matter but was overruled.

In the overall scope of things, this incident was clearly no big deal. But I hadn’t gotten my way, and it hurt. I felt disrespected…disregarded…undervalued.

Yet what hurt the most was realizing I had overreacted, blowing up the whole thing much bigger than it actually was.

Thankfully, God…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 26, 2015 at 3:10pm — No Comments

Transitions...or Not?

I have a love-hate relationship with transitions. Whenever friends tell me they are going through “transitions” in their life, my heart goes out to them. I’ve been there and done that—and transitions are seldom fun or easy.

However, I also feel sorry for people who aren’t going through any transitions at all. Too often, such folks are dealing with a situation far worse than transitions. They’re stuck in place, locked in an unhealthy coffin of contentment and apathy.

If you’ve…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 25, 2015 at 4:05pm — No Comments

Is God Stirring Your Nest?

Don’t get too comfortable. That seems to be what God is saying to many of us these days. He’s reminding us that our comfort zones can easily become our coffins if things aren’t shaken up from time to time.

A beautiful Scripture passage describes this very uncomfortable process. After providing an assurance of God’s great love for us as “the apple of His eye,” it goes on to depict Him as a mother eagle teaching her babies to fly:…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 22, 2015 at 9:14am — No Comments

The D-Word (discipleship): It’s Not Dead, Only Sleeping

And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”—Matthew 28:18-20

This isn’t just The…

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Added by Carl Simmons on January 21, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Lessons From a Trapeze Artist

I recently found myself humming an old tune, which is an apt prophetic picture of where many of us presently find ourselves:

He flies through the air with the greatest of ease,

The daring young man on the flying trapeze.

Just as a circus trapeze artist must let go of one trapeze and fly through the air until grabbing the next one, I often have found myself in a similar position—flying through the air…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 20, 2015 at 9:23am — No Comments

Called & Equipped

Are You READY for the Ministry God Has Called You To?

The Bible makes it absolutely clear that every believer is called to “ministry” of one kind or another (1 Peter 4:10-11). This doesn’t mean everyone is called to be a pastor, of course, but we’ve all been given spiritual gifts of one kind or another—gifts that God expects us to use to advance His kingdom.

However, in addition to recognizing our CALLING as God’s ministers,…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 19, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The World's Nervous Breakdown?

“As delegates get ready to assemble high up in the Swiss Alps, the world appears on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” (USA TODAY, January 19, 2015)

 

This week’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is drawing captains of industry and government from around the globe, to the alpine ski town of Davos, Switzerland—Europe’s highest town. Over 40 heads of state, 2,500 business leaders, cultural emissaries, and experts in many areas of human endeavor will…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 19, 2015 at 10:09am — No Comments

Christmas 2014 Newsletter

Added by Dave Nickerson on January 18, 2015 at 5:07pm — No Comments

Responsibility and Reason

During my teaching years I often wondered why those who were saved as college students or older, were often more aggressive with their evangelistic witness than those who were “born in church” and became believers as a child. Then later I suffered sciatic pain stemming from bulging disks in my lower back.  For nine months I tried multiple cures – MRI, X-rays, meetings with specialists, epidural injections in the lower back, discussion with back surgeon, de-compression table, physical…

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Added by Dan R. Crawford on January 18, 2015 at 3:53pm — No Comments

Medal of Honor

 

“He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.” (Walter Lippmann, A Preface to Morals, 1929)

 

Character originates in our mind. Thoughts translate into words, words into actions, actions into habits, habits into character.

 

Garbage pollutes; truth ennobles. What we think, we become. Television, movies, magazines, and websites full of violence…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 16, 2015 at 8:51am — No Comments

Transformation is about waking up

Transformation is about waking up. Jesus came to help people awaken, but awakening is not that easy, and even Jesus had mixed success. As the four Gospels all record, some people glimpsed what he was saying while others missed it altogether. Some people got it part of the time and missed it the rest. Some people woke up and others remained asleep. But nonetheless there is an awakening taking place outside the walls of the church house that is…

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Added by Dennis Owen on January 15, 2015 at 8:31am — No Comments

The Dream of Peace

 

"It is by making myself Catholic that I brought peace to Brittany and Vendée.

It is by making myself Italian that I won minds in Italy.

It is by making myself a Moslem that I established myself in Egypt.

If I governed a nation of Jews, I should reestablish the Temple of Solomon."  (Napoleon)

 

The Arc of Triomphe in Paris, the most monumental of all triumphal…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 12, 2015 at 8:22pm — No Comments

Put your light in his star.

Much of our lives is flying. It is wonderful to fly in the air free as a bird, but when God isn't there, all our flying comes to nothing. We must figure out how to return to honoring God. This video might help.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWIwIXJd7W0&app=desktop

Added by Dennis Owen on January 11, 2015 at 6:49am — No Comments

Andrae Crouch & Me: To God Be the Glory

No Christian musician ever influenced me as much as Andrae Crouch did. In fact, I modeled my own “music ministry” after his.

Of course, I stunk as a singer and musician, and my attempt to become a contemporary Christian artist ended the day a friend told me, “Jim, your singing is hoarse and out of key, but at least you sing with feeling.” 

Oh well. It was painful, but I got the message.

Although I quit singing much in public after that, in my private…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 9, 2015 at 4:53pm — No Comments

What Kind of Missionary Are YOU?!

All of us who profess to be followers of Christ are missionaries, whether we realize it or not. We may be good missionaries or bad ones, but the Lord has left each of us on this earth as part of His mission to spread the gospel and fill the whole world with His glory (Habakkuk 2:14).

In the mid-1970s I was just completing law school, and was given my first client in the school’s legal clinic program. It was a traffic violation, and my client, Geneva Clark, had been charged with…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 8, 2015 at 10:01am — No Comments

Epiphany -- Past, Present and Future

 

“Jesus, a man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” (Mohandas K. Gandhi)

 

Tomorrow, January 6th, is designated Epiphany (literally “shining upon”), a Christian festival commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi. The word epiphany also refers to perception or insight…

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Added by Johnny Russell Almond on January 5, 2015 at 11:40am — No Comments

Youth Groups Driving Christian Teens to abandon faith

I almost wanted to retaliate against this article, but began seeing the deeper issue the article points out. The church is one of the only places that people go where we arrive and separate; yet say we're building families!

But it's not that grouping ages in stages is inherently ineffective in the church; it's our neglecting of the opportunities to connect, pursue and go together while we are separated.  What do you think?…

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Added by Dennis Owen on January 5, 2015 at 10:28am — 2 Comments

Getting My Calluses Back

A few years ago, I shared with a friend how I used to enjoy playing guitar and leading worship in my early days as a Christian.

“Do you still play?” she asked.

“Oh no, I gave that up long ago,” I replied.

Showing her the finger tips on my left hand, I continued, “See, I don’t even have calluses anymore.”

It was a pretty straightforward conversation—or so I thought. But as I was praying later that day, I distinctly heard the Lord tell me, “Jim, if you had…

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Added by Jim Buchan on January 4, 2015 at 6:36am — No Comments

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