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Showing posts from August, 2013

Your Picture

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I know that some of you are going through difficult and trying times right now. Perhaps you have lost your job or are losing your home to foreclosure. Perhaps you have lost a loved one to death, a loved one to divorce or a loved one to drugs and alcohol. Perhaps you are losing your health or your memory or, it seems, your sanity. As bad as things get, please remember the apostle Paul’s words to the Romans: “God shows His own love for us in this: while we were still sinner, Christ died for us” (5:8). It was about 25 years ago that a woman found herself dying of AIDs. She had been a faithful wife, but she had been married to an unfaithful husband. As was the case back then, her reputation was ruined, and she found herself deserted by her friends and most of her church. One day her loneliness was broken by a visit by the hospital chaplain. She wanted him to provide something she could hold on to. She wanted that, but in reality she felt there was little the chaplain -- or anyone else -- c…

Martyrs Read Joel Olsteen Tweets

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Cover Story

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Someone once told me that there are two kinds of people in this world: “coverers” and “users.” While I was growing up, my mother was a “coverer.” There was always a blanket on the sofa, protecting it from getting beaten up by three growing kids and an assortment of dogs and cats.

While growing up, I remember also visiting with some of my aunts and uncles that I didn’t see all that often. They had grown children, so they had some nicer, sportier cars. Riding in their cars in the summer was fun. Getting out … not so much. In order to protect their car seats and make them last longer, they had plastic wrap all around the seats. I remember thinking after I got out of their car that I needed to reach back in and peel the rest of my legs off the plastic. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone could do a skin graft with the parts of me I left on Uncle Elroy’s plastic seat covers. I’ve asked my mom, my Uncle Elroy and others about why they insisted on covering their furniture. They all said the s…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 15

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Artwork: Christ Teaches Humility Artist: Robert Scott Lauder Date: 1803-1869 Worship Theme: “Hey, that’s my seat!” School children get in fights day after day, arguing over their special place. Adults look and laugh, and yet we do the same in life when we take pains to assure that we get what’s coming to us – at work, at home, among friends and family – and that everybody sees and knows how important we are. But in these lessons we are reminded that our King is coming, the Almighty Ruler of the universe, Jesus Christ, next to whom, because of sin, we are nothing and deserve the lowest place. But, because of His love for us, Jesus invites us to the place of honor. Old Testament: Proverbs 25:6 Do not exalt yourself in the king's presence, and do not claim a place among great men; 7 it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here," than for him to humiliate you before a nobleman. 1. Why does the author tell us to be careful about exalting ourselves before the King? 2. What cou…

Always rebuilding so we may feed Christ’s lambs

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2 Kings 23:1–7, 15–18, 21–25Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 He went up to the temple of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets-- all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD. 3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD-- to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant. 4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the KidronValley and took the ashes to Bethel. 5 He did away with …

Love to Worship!

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Can you imagine a packed Packer crowd watching its team win the Central Division Championship at Lambeau Field … and sitting quietly as the game ends? Do you think that there would be even be one person in the stadium who would be indifferent? Bored? Lethargic? Not a chance! Everything good in our lives can be traced directly or indirectly back to the Triune God. Flaming sunsets, summer rain, grand canyons, purple mountain majesties - all from Him! Our amazing human bodies, families and friends, constantly replenished food supply - all from Him! Our spiritual rescue on Calvary, our triumph over sin, death, hell, and Satan, the everlasting home waiting for us - all from Him! Let me hear you! Are you ready for some worship? Make some noise! "Give thanks to the Lord; call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts" (Psalm 105:1-2). I’ll see you in church this Sunday! Bring your family. Bring other fan…

Worship Helps for Pentecost 14

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Artwork: Gideon choosing his soldiers Artist: Gustave Dore’ Date: 1865 Worship Theme: Many think numerous roads lead to eternal glory. “It doesn’t matter what religion you practice—or whether you have none, “they say. “All that matters is that you try to treat others well and do the best you can.” Yet while religions may espouse some noble goals for earthly living, all these goals lead people away from Christ. All fall far short of what God demands for entrance into heaven: perfection (Matthew 5:48). The good news is Jesus came to be perfect in our place. He has given us his perfection in God’s sight (2 Corinthians 5:21). Through faith in him we have eternal life. Jesus is the only way, the narrow door. Old Testament: Judges 7:1-8 Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 2 The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their…