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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


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


Scharf: A lasting celebration

Veteran's Day. Talk about a day worth celebrating. On Nov. 11, 1918, the armistice was signed essentially ending World War I. The next year, President Wilson proclaimed the day "should be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory." And since then, it has grown as an opportunity to honor the veterans, not just of World War I, but all those who have fought for our freedom.

November 11, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


It isn't fair!

Parents, as equitable as you may try to be, have your kids ever come up to you and said, "You know mom, that was really fair and even. Thanks so much." Or: "Dad, I like how you gave each of us just the right amount."

November 04, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Decisions, decisions

"You are a witness to your own decision," Joshua said. "You have chosen to serve the LORD." "Yes," they replied, "we are witnesses to what we have said." "All right then," Joshua said, "destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel." The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God. We will obey him alone."

November 04, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Can I get a witness?

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.

October 28, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Stand up!

On Halloween, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 statements that he thought needed to be thought about in the church. He thought the church needed reform. That's why the day has another name: Reformation Day (which we'll be celebrating at church this Sunday – You are all invited). You see, as a monk, then priest, then professor, the more Martin Luther studied the Bible, the more he realized that some of the things the church was saying and doing didn't agree with what God's Word said. So he raised some questions.

October 28, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Finding our resting place ...

Lord, you have been our resting-place in all generations. Before the mountains were made, before you had given birth to the earth and the world, before time was, and forever, you are God.

October 21, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Relationship restoration 101 - see the solution

You've got at least one relationship you wish were a little better, don't you? Last week, we saw how all of our relationships get strained and stressed by our selfishness. Today, we see the solution.

October 21, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Do you remember...

"Keep in mind the days of the past, give thought to the years of generations gone by: go to your father and he will make it clear to you, to the old men and they will give you the story."

October 14, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Rock solid truth

"What the world needs now is love sweet love. That's the one thing that there's just too little of..." Good song, isn't it? Jackie DeShannon sang it in 1965. But even though it's old, it's still true, isn't it? We need more love - in our world, in our country, in our government, in our cities, in our workplaces, at school, but especially in our families, in our homes. And here's the thing. Everyone knows it. Go down the street and ask every single person you meet if they'd prefer more love or ...

October 14, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


McCoy: Throwing stones

Then [Stephen] knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he died.

October 06, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


If you want to follow Jesus… (a two-step program)

I want to lose 20 pounds. So I have to ask myself: Is a slimmer figure and a lower cholesterol number worth giving up soda? Or learning portion control? Or sacrificing so much other tasty stuff? I struggle with the question of whether it's worth it.

September 30, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Generous invitations

Then [Jesus] turned to his host. "When you put on a luncheon or a banquet," he said, "don't invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you."

September 30, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Scharf: Rock solid truth

"On this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." Jesus said that in Matthew 16:18. He said it about the answer Peter gave to a question he had asked.

September 22, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


McCoy: Spreading good germs

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose."

September 22, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Scharf: A hero’s rescue

This week, we've remembered the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. Maybe you've already heard the tale of John McLoughlin and William Jimeno, those two Port Authority Policemen whose story Oliver Stone made into a movie a few years ago. You see, John and William were the guys rescued after being buried in the rubble for 13 and 21 hours respectively. Today, I want us to think about how that had to feel for those twelve and a half hours before they were found, completely surrounded by death, absolutely trapped and unable to move, buried under the debris of ...

September 16, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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