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Ezra 7-8: Staying True to the Word Print E-mail

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Being a new parent of two boys, I often wonder about the best way to pass on the faith to my children. How do I make sure that they hear the good news and see it lived out in a way that is true and winsome? For me, I wonder how to avoid the Ďpreacher's kidsí stereotype. How do I do my best to serve the Church and point my boys to the truth and the beauty of the gospel? I am sure that if you are a parent or a teacher or a coach or anyone who ever works with kids, then you have often thought to yourself: How do we pass on the faith to the next generation?

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 April 2016 )
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Ezra 4-6: Trust God and His Word through Opposition Print E-mail

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God uses opposition to accomplish His purposes. We can usually identify our opposition. Whether it is the rival to our favorite sports team (Iím looking at you Chicago Cubs) or something more serious like another partyís presidential candidate or a group like ISIS. We normally know how to recognize those that we consider to be our opposition. But what about the people of God? Who is our opposition? According to Paul, we know it is not flesh and blood, it is not people, but we fight against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). Normally these forces will use people and governments and leaders to oppose Godís people. So what is our hope when that happens (or maybe as that continues to happen)? Our hope is that God uses such opposition to accomplish His purposes.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 April 2016 )
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Ezra 3: Return to the Word in Obedience Print E-mail

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Trying to recover from difficult times can lead businesses in different directions. Some want to try something new. The old ways have led to the hardships, so they want to try something, anything new. They want to be innovative and creative, which are surely good things, and they want to let go of anything that they feel has held them back. They want to study the markets and appeal to the next generation. They want to move forward. Yet, others want to get back to the basics, back to doing things like they have always done them. They often feel that innovation is actually the problem. Thus, they want to get back to what made them successful in the first place. Two different approaches to the same problem.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 March 2016 )
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Ezra 1-2: He Who Stirs Print E-mail

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The people of God need the Word of God. That was the title to the first sermon that I preached here as your pastor over ten years ago. And I still believe it today. Godís people need His Word. They have always needed it. The first thing that God did after He saved His people from slavery in Egypt was give them the Law. The Israelites needed to know how to live as Yahwehís people and God graciously told them. Unfortunately, keeping the Law was not something that Israel did well. Generation after generation they inched away from faithfulness to Godís commandments until God sent His prophets to warn them that if they did not repent and return to the Word He would send them into exile. The people did not listen and God raised up the Assyrians and Babylonians to bring judgement on Israel by returning them to slavery. They ignored the Word and the warnings and paid for it with years in exile.

Last Updated ( Friday, 25 March 2016 )
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1 Corinthians 16: Loving and Serving Practically Print E-mail

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The Christian faith can seem impractical at times. We talk about beliefs and ideas. We teach and preach about truth and warn against error. Perhaps some view us as so impractical as not even worthy of their investment. But the life of a local church has many practical concerns. For example, in order for us to have our services this morning, someone had to clean the church this week. In order for us to provide a nursery, someone had to be willing to keep the kids. In order for us to celebrate communion, someone had to prepare the elements. All of this and more had to be done in order for us to worship together this morning. Not only that, but just last week we looked at our budget for 2016 and made practical decisions about how our money will be spent. A totally impractical church could never function or survive.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 March 2016 )
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1 Corinthians 15:35-58: Raised Imperishable Print E-mail

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I first really noticed it when I was in the 6th grade and the doctor told me that my pancreas was no longer working, at least not producing insulin. They were not sure when this happened or even exactly why, but they diagnosed me with diabetes. And every shot is a reminder. I noticed it as well a few weeks back when I went to play some basketball against the Risco Tigers, the team that Brandon coaches. On a couple of different plays, my mind and my heart wanted to run down the court and try to score or make a stop, but I just couldnít, not like I could in high school. So I jogged and hoped nobody saw me! And just this week I was reminded again. One morning while getting ready, I leaned over to do something and tweaked my back just the wrong way. I wasnít doing anything major (like trying to lift my six month old who looks like a twelve month old), just getting ready, but the pain stuck with me for a couple of days. Another painful reminder. To what am I referring this morning? The hard truth that my body is wearing out, has been for years. It doesnít work like it used to work. Itís breaking down. Slowly but surely, the years are taking their toll on my flesh and my blood. And if the Lord tarries, it will eventually perish.

Last Updated ( Monday, 15 February 2016 )
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