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A death to redeem us

On Christmas Eve, we talked about a child who was born to save us. We talked about his purpose. Tonight, we see that baby, now grown, fulfill it. And I have to warn you - it's not pretty. No longer a cuddly little baby in swaddling clothes, this grown man had been beaten, stripped, mocked, whipped, and could barely physically drag his pulp of a body out to this hill for the climax of this cruelty. It is not pretty. Yet this Friday is Good, precisely because it is Him doing what He came for. In order to save us ...

April 17, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Yes, he rose

Just a Thought: Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And does it really even matter? The answer to both questions is an emphatic YES!

April 17, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


God will have his way

Just a Thought: God will have His way; His will, will be accomplished. If this is so, why do we need to bother to do anything? Why don't we just sit back and "let God?"

April 03, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


In the Shadow of the Cross

I was blind for an hour. And that was enough. Granted, I paid for the privilege when that exhibit "Dialogue in the Dark" was in Atlantic Station. It gave you the chance to experience life blind for a short time. I'll just say it was an eye-opening experience. I don't know how truly blind people do it.

April 03, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


See sin for what it is —

Last week, we started looking at Genesis 3, that story of the first sin, to try to understand why we do some of the things we do. We compared it to the victims in a horror movie opening the door that we know so much danger is behind. Like helpless moviegoers, we watched Adam and Eve walk through that door. We saw how dangerous Satan's lies are to lead us to sin.

March 20, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Understanding death

Just a Thought: Have you ever contemplated death? No, I don't mean causing death, just "death." Where did it come from? Why does it come? What hope do we have in light of God's truth: "…you are dust, and to the dust you will return" (Gen.3:19) "What man can live and not see death?" (Ps. 89:48a) It is appointed for men to die…(Heb. 9:27; James 4:14).

March 20, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a Thought: It begins with individuals

Just a Thought: Let the church rise up!

March 13, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: See sin for what it is

I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.

March 13, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: Callous about sin?

Do you have any features that look like your mom's or dad's? Maybe you have his eyes, her nose or some other characteristic. Do you have any of your heavenly Father's features? "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God…" (Rev.4:8) But what about His children? We are told throughout scripture that we are to be as He is; (Lev. 11:44a; 19:2; 20:7,26; 1 Peter 1;15; 1 John 1:7).

March 06, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Son shines proof

Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.

March 06, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: What is your life?

Psalms 139 is the strongest, most undeniable argument for when "life" begins in the womb. This passage makes it very clear all life is divinely ordained by God, formed by God, and designed by and developed by God. Having said that, let's talk about our own life.

February 27, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


If I only had a year to live ...

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (Contemporary English Version): "What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time.

February 27, 2014 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


The Prodigal Son heads home

We've been exploring the parable of the Prodigal Son in our last few articles. We've walked with this boy as his dreams drove him from home, and we stayed with him when those dreams turned to dust. Friendless, penniless and hungry, the prodigal finally "came to his senses" and headed home.

In our last column we saw that his motives for heading home were not all that noble. His heart didn't lead him home, his stomach did. One of the biggest hindrances to people coming to Christ is they feel that somehow they must either have noble ...

March 27, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Coming to your senses

Over these last few weeks my articles have centered on the parable of the prodigal son. The Biblical reference for that parable is Luke 15:11-32. As we've looked at and sought application to this account in this series of columns so far, we have seen the boy reject everything in hopes of gaining everything with the result that he lost everything. That's pretty much where we left him.

March 20, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Handling the economic crisis

News commentator, author, columnist, adviser to three presidents (Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan), and one-time Presidential candidate (Reform Party, 2000), Pat Buchanan is a person of strong and often controversial views. Recently, like the ground hog, Buchanan has predicted a gray future; but, instead of six weeks of winter, Buchanan sees at least six more months of recession. In his March 3, 2009, column, titled, "Pitchfork Time," Buchanan wrote, "Markets are not infallible. But the stock market has long been a "lead indicator" of where the economy will be six months from now."

March 20, 2009 | John Donaldson | Columnists


Rejecting everything, gaining nothing

In our last few articles we have been looking at the story of the lost son, more commonly referred to as the parable of the prodigal son. We have followed this boy as he made one disastrous decision after another. Those decisions it seems were fueled by resentment over the restrictions of home and a glorification in his imagination of the pleasures of what he thought would be the good life.

March 13, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


Journey away from home begins in the mind

In our last column, we began exploring the parable of the Prodigal Son. Last week we left the prodigal son as he headed away into a far country with his cash and dreams. No more rules, no more regulations, he was going to live the good life, and like many today he was too short-sighted to consider the ultimate cost.

March 06, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


The Prodigal Son defaults

One of the most loved of Jesus' parables is the parable of the lost son. Generally we refer to it as the story of the Prodigal Son. Trying to do the story justice in one column is nearly impossible, but we will try. This may end up being a short series of articles so check your paper each week (and, no, I don't get royalties for paper sales.)

February 27, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


Let worries become prayers

Philippians 4:6-7 in The Message translation reads, "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

February 20, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


Loading up the iPod

"The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot - that God is at the center of the jaunt" (Bono).

February 06, 2009 | John Donaldson | Columnists


Real change

Recently Matthew Parris wrote in the "London Times," "Missionaries, not aid money are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset." He says he has "become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa." Wherever missionaries lived, he wrote, "something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to. They see themselves as individuals who stand in direct relationship to God - not as subservient subordinates who must kowtow to tyrants." He concludes, "In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real ...

January 29, 2009 | John Pearrell | Columnists


Church News Round Up

Here are some of the interesting stories related to Christianity that were in the news last week.

January 19, 2009 | John Donaldson | Columnists


Parson to Person

"O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow." (Psalm 144:3-4, NIV).

I fear that we mortals often think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We seem to persist with the mistaken notion that God somehow needs us; that He craves our attention. We live with the quite childish notion that God was lonely (and somehow incomplete) without us.

January 19, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Some advice

As I write this column, our nation is preparing to inaugurate the 44th President of the United States. The inauguration of Barak Obama is indeed an historic occasion. Many men of stature will be participating in the event offering prayers and blessings and, in the process, a little advice.

While it is doubtful that our new president will ever see this column, I, too, want to remind him of some vital principles as he takes office. Consider this column an open letter to our new president.

January 12, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


The hard way

C.S. Lewis wrote, ""The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says, 'Give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you - No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent, as well as the ones you think wicked - the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead ...

December 31, 2008 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


God gives do-overs

Back in the olden days (OK, the 70s), we would spend afternoons playing kickball, hide-and-go-seek and Red Rover in each other's backyards. Occasionally, someone would argue that something was unfair. Heated arguments would reach ear piercing levels until someone would cave in and declare, "OK, it's a do-over!"

December 31, 2008 | Lisa Hetzel | Columnists


Top stories of 2008

Time Magazine has just published a collection of articles called the "The Top Ten of Everything in 2008." The lists would make good questions for a trivia pursuit game. What couple was listed first under "Top 10 Breakups" of 2008? (Madonna & Guy Ritchie) What was the first of the "Top 10 Buzzwords" of 2008? (Change) What was the number 1 in the "Top 10 Olympic Moments?" (Michael Phelps' photo finish)

December 31, 2008 | John Donaldson | Columnists


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