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Just a thought

Just a Thought: Are you ceremonial, or spiritual?

March 29, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Telling your story: a Christian duty

Beside the Sea of Galilee and up from Tiberias lies the Kibbutz Ginosar. A kibbutz is an area in Israel rich in farmland and vegetation. Kibbutz communities rely on agriculture for their income, and much of the area's fruits and vegetables come from these communities. The Kibbutz Ginosar is also known as the place for the "resurrection" of a 2000 year old fishing vessel which dates back to the first century. Known as the "Jesus boat," this boat was probably in use for many decades on the Sea of Galilee, and was the kind of boat that Jesus and ...

March 29, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


No longer strangers...

During my trip to Bethlehem, I had the pleasure of visiting the St. Nicolas Church, an Arab Christian congregation that sits on a side street just up the hill from the Angel Hotel. Behind the church in a small courtyard lie tombs of past leaders of the church. The graves are surrounded with flowers and marked with names and a picture, reminding all who visit this small churchyard of the faithfulness of these beloved leaders.

March 08, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Just a thought: Express yourself

Have you ever had a need, but couldn't express it?

March 08, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Who sees you?

Who are you teaching to pray? Now maybe no one has come to you like Jesus disciples and asked you specifically to teach them to pray. However, we don't always teach one on one or in a class or Sunday school class room either. The truth is we do far more teaching from a distance than we realize.

March 01, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Consider the lilies ...

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? "

March 01, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


The Mary, Martha Syndrome

I know you've heard of this one; "The Mary, Martha syndrome" Yup, we take a step back on purpose to remind us we need to be careful not to let the good things in our life rob us of the God things. Backing up to a small scene with huge implications in Luke 10, we find Jesus coming into the home of His single friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus. This is place where Jesus can find rest and relaxation from His busy schedule. He has just about six months left before He will be crucified and he stops by ...

February 22, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


A view from the mountain

For the next few weeks, my meditations will grow out of the many thoughts, feelings and prayers from the Holy Land. If you follow me on Facebook, some of this may look familiar as my Lenten Journey this year will contain reflections from my recent trip. Some will be included here. Our first day of touring started here at Qumran, an archaeological dig site for artifacts. Many of the places we went in the Holy Land are or have been archaeological dig sites. When civilizations come to ruin and new civilizations are built on top of them, it takes archaeologists ...

February 22, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Keep your clothes on

"You are all God's children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

February 15, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


He always listens, even if it doesn't seem like it

"You are all God's children through faith in Christ Jesus. All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

February 15, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Are you qualified for ministry?

Just a thought: Are you qualified for ministry?

February 01, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Be a light in dark places

"You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can't be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your Father who is in heaven."

February 01, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s grace fits all

"One Size Fits All." Have you ever heard that one? I've been mocked by that one on both ends of the scale. As a small child, I remember swimming in things that supposedly "fit all" - and now I'm more likely to stretch things that "fit all." You know the truth - one size doesn't fit all. Our Savior knew that too

September 25, 2009 | Jonathan Scharf Columnist | Columnists


Grace Notes: Choose ye this Day!

You wrote "friends forever" in her high school yearbook, and you meant it. But you haven't spoken to or heard from her in years. You vowed to love your spouse forever, but somehow wound up in divorce court. How did it happen?

So many things in life seem to "just happen," even though we never would have chosen them. They just sneak up on you. Little by little they grow on or away from you. No addict chose to be addicted. No buddy chooses to disappear from the life of their friend. It just sort of happens. Why? It ...

September 18, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Why so dogmatic?

Occasionally I am asked, "Why are you so dogmatic?" And of course the connotation is that it is a bad thing. After all, shouldn't ministers be the most open and accepting of other views and other religions? Let's look at this for a minute.

We live in an age of relativism where very few people seem willing to take a hard stand on anything. According to the relativist, no one can know truth dogmatically or absolutely, all truth is relative, and that truth is changing. Those who promote relativism want dogmatically to apply their view to every area ...

September 18, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Spiritual health reform

Health care seems to be the center of discussion these days. Mind if I put in my two cents?

September 11, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: God challenges us for a reason

It always amazes me to see people who are so willing to accept the truth of anything written in print, with the one exception being the Bible. Though there is more evidence for the accuracy and authenticity of the various books of the Bible, many today feel compelled to accept the alternate texts of the Gnostic gospels, texts that have been proven to be bogus, while rejecting that which has proven to be genuine. Why is this?

I think that the answer to that "why" question has more to do with the implications that accepting Scripture as true would have ...

August 28, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | 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


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