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Examine your heart

Jesus. Jesus. You say it. Say it again. Say it out loud and repeat His name several times. The old Gaither song is right, there is just something about that name. "Master, Savior, like the springtime after the rain…" It is the name we call upon for salvation. It is the name we call upon for cleansing of sin. It is the name we call upon in times of fear. And it is the name we call upon to strengthen our faith. Jesus knows our deepest secrets, He knows our greatest struggles, He knows the things that shake our foundation ...

October 25, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Stephens: Miracles still happen, at times in new ways

Decades had come and gone, and for Russ McElveen it seemed that there were important people in his family he would never see again. Then came the miracles of the past year or so that brought a son and two sisters back into his life. After 60 years he made contact with two of his sisters and after 45 years he was reconnect with a son. Have you ever thought that someone was gone from your life forever.

October 18, 2014 | E. Wiley Stephens | Columnists


Burnham: Examine your heart

How's your heart?

October 18, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a thought: All you do

What difference do you make to the Kingdom work God is doing around you? Some may feel they don't contribute much, but let's remember all the members of the body are essential for the body to function properly. Just because you don't preach or teach doesn't mean you're unimportant. If you are serving God, using your spirit given gifts and serving for the honor and glory of God, you are essential! When you consider the ministry of Jesus, it is easy to focus on those out in front such as Jesus and the disciples. But ...

October 04, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Beloved, Be Loving

"Dearly Beloved…" That's the way I started out my last wedding sermon. I know it's a little bit of a throwback. We don't call too many people "beloved" anymore, but I hope you know what I mean. Today, I want to think about why that's a perfect way to greet one another…"beloved".

September 25, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


In doubt

What a prison self consciousness can be. When I think of those "would be" Christians if they could just find someone to express the love of God and acceptance to them. In Luke 7, we read the story of a self-righteous Pharisee who invites Jesus to dinner and an encounter with a prostitute. (Odd mix I know) but it is kind of like Christians in the world with judgmental spirits or worse how sinners are made to feel (if) or when they walk into the church building. You have heard people say, "Well if I went to church the ceiling ...

September 25, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Beloved, Be Loving

"Dearly Beloved…" That's the way I started out my last wedding sermon. I know it's a little bit of a throwback. We don't call too many people "beloved" anymore, but I hope you know what I mean. Today, I want to think about why that's a perfect way to greet one another…"beloved."

September 11, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


In doubt

Doubt happens to the best of us. I know we sometimes put people on a pedestal like famous preachers, authors or even mature Christians we know and then criticize ourselves with comparisons like "I bet they are too spiritually mature to doubt like me. I wish I was more like them." But the truth is, they do have times of doubt because we all do. We have times of doubt when tragedies strike for no reason or prayers go unanswered or we get mistreated for trying to do the right thing, etc. We wonder if anyone else struggles with the ...

September 11, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Blessed to serve

You call yourself a Christian, right? You do realize that just by doing that, you are taking on a very specific job description. You are now "His witnesses". You are the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth". You are "Christ's ambassadors", a "holy priesthood" you are to be "Declaring the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light". Do I have to go on? Realize it - you have a job, whether you like it or not, you are blessed to serve. There is no such thing as a part ...

August 28, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a thought: The Golden Rule

Is the "Golden Rule" biblical? Yes, but not because it is a "golden rule" but rather because it is a "Kingdom principle." Many people miss the point here. They want to live by the golden rule (and that's fine), but not really according to the Kingdom rule. Ah yes, we are talking about the pickers and the choosers. Jesus asked it this way: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Lk. 6:46) In other words; "Why do you call me Lord when in reality I am not your Lord?" or, "Why ...

August 28, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Grace Notes: My faith looks up to thee

"My faith looks up to thee." That's a classic line from a great hymn, and it's a great sentiment. Too bad, all too often it's a lie. As much as we might say it and pretend like it is true - all too often, our sinful pride gets our faith to look in to me instead of up to thee.

June 11, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Can Barnes or Oxendine be stopped?

John Oxendine and Roy Barnes have been consistent leaders in their respective primaries in the race for governor. With the July 20 primary only six weeks away, can they keep their leads and secure the nominations?

Barnes is the easy call right now in the Democratic primary. The former governor has maintained a strong lead in all the early polls, even if not so far ahead that he might win it on July 20. He also has been able to raise more money than any other candidate, Democratic or Republican.

June 09, 2010 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


Tommy the swami

OK, class. Our word this week is Kakistocracy.

It is from the Greek word "kakistos," meaning "worst" and "kratia," another Greek word meaning "power, rule, government." Put them all together and you have "a government under the control of a nation's worst or least-qualified citizens."

June 09, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Cup of Victory

The World Cup is coming. It's possible you might not have noticed it here yet. The first games are still a week away and the US National Team doesn't play until next Saturday, but in some parts of the world... Wow! It is already consuming headlines. It's such a media buzz that, in those places, if you weren't aware of it, you were probably in a coma.

June 04, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: How to take away more from a sermon

Let me ask you, do you have a time each day that you spend with God?

May 28, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: On love and laying down one’s life

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Jesus said that. He said it on a day we call Maundy Thursday. He said that the day he handed himself over to the Jewish and Roman authorities. He said that the day before he died on that cross… for us. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
We'd have to agree, huh? There's nothing more one could give, right? I think of those soldiers willing to do just that, and I stop ...

May 28, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


The magic of home

My little boy is getting married. That, in and of itself, ought not to startle me. After all, he's 25 years old. By the time I was that age Louise and I had celebrated our fourth anniversary. But it gets me, I suppose, since Davis is the last of three babies God allowed us to raise here in this special place they'll always remember as "home."

May 23, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


You may be right

I try hard not to live with regrets. It's not that I don't have plenty of poor decisions I could relive. It's just not a productive way to live one's life. I do have regret today about a choice I made Tuesday. Even if this does not make it to press, in writing it I am freeing my mind to focus on the future. My hope is that you as the reader will do the same. After all, none of us can change anything that has happened before today, but we can make choices today that ...

May 23, 2010 | Baxter Bouchillon Guest Columnist | Columnists


Parson to Person: Why heaven, but no hell?

In my last article I broached the subject of life after death. I mentioned that everyone was going to spend eternity somewhere. That was a problem for some people. Let me explain.
Most people believe in heaven. Few people believe in hell. Many Christians don't even believe in hell. I have two questions for them. Why is it you choose to believe in heaven but not hell? The same Bible that teaches that there is an eternal heaven also teaches that there is an eternal place of judgment. Why do you choose to believe the one but not the ...

May 21, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Do not fear death

We are all saddened by the events of last weekend that resulted in the tragic loss of life of a young deputy sheriff, Brian Lamar Mahaffey. Death is never easy, but it is particularly hard when it comes suddenly and unexpectedly. Dr. Billy Graham, writes, "Christians are not immune to the fear of death. Death is not always 'a beautiful release,' but an enemy which separates. There is a certain mystery to it. It does not respect the young or the old, the good or the evil, the Christian or the heathen."

I am not going to try to address ...

May 14, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Live like the church

Last week, God's Word in First Peter 2 showed us that we are the Church, not a building, but a body of believers. But we only got part of the way through that text. Today, let's look at what that means. Today, let's look at how that changes your life. Peter writes this about you, the Church, the ones who see Jesus as the living Stone:

"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into ...

May 14, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: The members are the church

Over here at Abiding Grace, we are building our church. It's a pretty exciting time. The walls are up. The roof is just about up. The utilities are going in. Finally. After all this time planning, preparing and permitting, praying and paying, we are building our church. Are you excited? You know, when we got together to talk about building our building, we said we wanted something that "looks like a church," right? …Something that people wouldn't get confused with an office building or someone's house. It was supposed to "look like a church." Have you seen ...

May 07, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Christianity and hypocrisy?

Jill Carrattini, managing editor for the Ravi Zacharias e-newsletter, "Slice of Infinity" writes, "one of the comments that I hear most often as a reason for rejecting Christianity is that of its followers: 'Christians are so hypocritical!' 'The problem I have with Christ is that his followers do him more harm than good.' 'I am continually disappointed by Christians; why should I consider their religion?' 'The problem I have with Christianity is Christians.' I can try appealing to these voices to see the gap in their logic; I can try reasoning that the abuse of a religion must never stand ...

May 07, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Has the message of The Bible been preserved?

There is a popular misconception among people in general and even among some Christians. The misconception held my many today is that the Scriptures we have today are not an accurate copy of the originals but were changed by a deceptive church in the 4th Century. This idea, popularized by Dan Brown in the "DaVinci Code," might lead to breath-holding, action-packed adventure but it is not good history. The Councils which codified our modern Bible were not secret meetings of the church but open discussion of the information available, and they did not "invent" the Bible, the simply recognized the ...

April 30, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Lord is returned, part II

Last week, we looked at John 21:1-14 and marveled at what it meant for those disciples that Jesus appeared to them again after all their failures. Last week, we read in awe of how Jesus keeps coming to us in his word with his forgiveness even after all of our failures. Today, I want to explore that third appearance Jesus made to his disciples and see how all of the details of this appearance highlight just how awesome our Savior is. Let's look again at what it means that this guy in the text "is the Lord."

April 30, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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