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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


Get your hands dirty

The church is failing in a big way! Yes I am aware God has, and continues to use, the church to reach the lost and minister to the world in mighty ways. However, one of the greatest and most foundational tasks given to the church by Christ is one of the things the church is neglecting the most - "discipleship." I have often said, "We are outraged at the idea of someone abandoning a newborn and we should be, but yet the church does this everyday to those who are newly born again."

August 21, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Make time to ‘change the world’

Acts 17:4-6 (English Standard Version)

October 24, 2013 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


God can provide contentment

The shopping mall is a dangerous place. You know that, right? And I'm not just talking about the potential thief in the parking lot or the danger of having someone steal your credit card information. I'm talking about something much worse. I'm talking about danger for our souls.

October 24, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: loving our neighbors

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a word in the English language that is more overused and a concept that is more underused than "love."

October 17, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Christians need a community of faith

Psalm 22:25 (Common English Bible)

October 17, 2013 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


It’s time for new GOP leadership

Those of us who consider ourselves conservatives need to understand that conservatism to the Republican hierarchy is defined differently than we define it. And those who consider themselves Republicans because they still believe the party represents what it did at its inception or what it did under President Reagan must understand that's no longer the case.

October 12, 2013 | Mychal Massie | Columnists


'Good Shepherd' protects Christians

Jeremiah 23:1:

October 10, 2013 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Keep a firm footing

What are you standing on?

October 10, 2013 | William Burnham | Columnists


Study Bible for money 'secrets'

When's the last time you've felt excited about giving an offering at church - I mean really excited? If you've been reading this column for the past month, you might remember that when I was in Nigeria, I wrote about how excited the Nigerians got about "offering time!" with the dancing and music accompanying the bringing of their gifts, spending at least an hour of their service giving their monetary offerings.

October 10, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Rasmussen: Health Care Law soon to be irrelevant

The debate in Washington this week was allegedly about the president's health care law, but it quickly became all about Sen. Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican objected to the law by speaking on the Senate floor for 21 straight hours. The effort made him a hero to some, a fool to others, and it ultimately had no legislative impact.

September 28, 2013 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Just A Thought

Just a Thought: There is a positive side to unjust punishment and pain. Oftentimes we hear people say, "What did I do to deserve this? All I did was stand up for what was right."

September 26, 2013 | William Burnham | Columnists


What are you standing on?

The great king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream: Daniel appropriately called it "awesome." (Daniel 2:31)

September 19, 2013 | William Burnham | Columnists


Scharf: Showing how to live thankfully

Greetings from Nigeria. Of course, by the time you read this one, I should have made it back already, God willing.

September 19, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: A teacher learns from pupils

I write this as I sit in the mission house after my first day of teaching at Christ the King Lutheran Seminary in Uruk Uso, Nigeria. By mission house, I mean the home built for the American missionaries our church body used to send here to work among the Nigerians sharing the Gospel. That started 78 years ago.

September 12, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Follow Daniel’s example

Just a Thought: Being a person of Christian character is really mind over matter.

September 05, 2013 | William Burnham | Columnists


God knows you better than you

O Lord, you have examined me. You know me … You are the one who created my innermost parts; you knit me together while I was still in my mother's womb.

September 05, 2013 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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