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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: God’s grace for you to get some rest

Are you tired? Has summer worn you out? Or is it the school starting? Or work? Maybe it's the stress. Doctors say that stress directly affects the amount and the quality of the rest you get, making you feel so tired. You could use some rest.

August 21, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: It’s about the relationship

We who are Christians are called to live different lives. Not a message we hear much about today, but certainly the message of our Lord and his followers. Jesus said, "In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16, NCV). Peter reminds us, "Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when ...

August 14, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: It’s about the relationship

We who are Christians are called to live different lives. Not a message we hear much about today, but certainly the message of our Lord and his followers. Jesus said, "In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16, NCV).

Peter reminds us, "Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when ...

August 14, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace notes: ‘Do you believe in miracles?’

"Do you believe in miracles?"

August 07, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Whose word can you trust?

Who do you go to for advice? Family? Friends? What if the advice they give you is not what you want to hear? What do you do then? Truth be known, most of us don't look for "advice" - we want agreement. We want someone to tell us exactly what we want to hear.

The story is told of a little monkey who desperately wanted to go swimming in a forbidden lake. He had seen the lake from a distant, and its waters looked cool and inviting in that hot-humid climate, and its setting was serene. But he had heard ...

July 31, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace notes: God’s grace to get you to speak up!

You see a family member mistreating their spouse. You have a co-worker that's probably an alcoholic. There's a brother or sister in Christ who's spending less and less time in God's word and his house. Someone should say something, right? Of course, what they are doing is harmful to themselves, to those they love, even to their relationship with God. But do you want to be the one to have to speak up?

It's just that it's so hard, isn't it? We've all fallen down at times God has wanted us to ...

July 24, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Don’t mess with the ingredients

Psalm 19:7-11 reads, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great ...

July 17, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: E plurabus unum?

Alexis de Tocqueville, (July 29, 1805-April 16, 1859) wrote, "I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good, America ...

July 10, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Should God bless America?

"Doing what is right makes a nation great, but sin will bring disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34, NCV).

July 03, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: The Bible judged too harshly by historians

In my recent articles we have been discussing the subject of truth - what it is and how we can know it. In this vain we have looked at philosophically accepted tests for truth and have discovered that Jesus claimed to be truth itself. Know him and you'll know truth.

Why is it then that modern men have such a difficult time with this subject? Why do we insist on making truth elusive? Why do so many seemingly intelligent people outright reject the testimony of the eye-witness reports found in the Gospels in favor of the fiction of the Gnostic ...

June 26, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Jesus did not teach truth, he is truth

In last week's article we discussed three philosophical tests for truth. Truth cannot be self-contradictory, it must fit with the known facts, and finally it must work in life.

June 19, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Three tests that can prove the truth

Last week I mentioned in my article that my job was simply to present truth - what you do with it is up to you. But, like Pontius Pilate, many respond scornfully, "What is Truth?" For Pilate that wasn't a sincere question of an inquirer looking for truth; it was the statement of a cynic who doubted that there could be any truth.

June 12, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Jesus a personal savior, not a sage human

A few weeks ago, I quoted the last of the great Princeton Theologians J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937), "that there is no such thing as liberal Christianity. There is Christianity and then there is liberalism." It appears from at least one response (for which I am certainly grateful) that I should have been a little more careful in defining my terms. Unfortunately, space constraints do not always allow me to say everything I wish to say or define everything that may need defining. But this is an important point, so let me revisit the issue in this article.

June 05, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Are we falling back into superstitious dark ages?

Can you believe we are nearly half-way through another year? When I thought of that fact the lament of Jeremiah 8:20 came to my mind: "'The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,' the people cry, 'yet we are not saved!'" (NLT).

May 29, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: No such thing as a liberal Christian

In his "Breakpoint Commentary" of May 19, 2009, Chuck Colson commented that "On Sunday, President Obama delivered his controversial and much-awaited speech at Notre Dame. I found little surprising about the speech itself. Not that I agreed with it - far from it. What I mean is that the speech was what I and anyone who has followed the president's political career should have expected: he has repeatedly affirmed the position that a woman's right to an abortion takes precedence over the unborn child's right to life" (Breakpoint: May 19, 2009).

May 22, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


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