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Blessed are the Peacemakers….

The Mount of the Beatitudes sits on the top of a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. As we approach the park that now encloses the top of the hill, signs remind us to be silent because we are on holy ground. It was here on this very hill that Jesus sat down with his disciples and taught them about the Kingdom of God. Here in this place, as groups gather in various small clusters around the mount, one gets a feeling of what "Blessed" really means. The verses of Matthew 5 that capture the words of Jesus line the ...

June 28, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Pride and pride

Two words come to mind when we consider the parable of the prodigal son "Pride and Pride"

June 28, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


From weeping to joy

"Alongside Babylon's streams, there we sat down, crying because we remembered Zion."

June 20, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Find them all

Do you see them? No really they are everywhere! Come on surely you do see them.

June 14, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a thought

I once went for a job interview and was offered the job based upon my passing the physical. It was as a result of the physical exam that I discovered I had a tumor in my bladder. Praise God! The short story is that I was blessed to be able to have the tumor surgically removed and have been bladder cancer free ever since.

June 07, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Trust in the Lord

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (Common English Bible)

May 31, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Jockeying is for small people

Just a Thought: Jockeys are typically small people. Interestingly enough typically so are those people who spend much of their time "jockeying" for position (regardless of their physical size).

May 31, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


From a mother's heart

"Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there. When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, "They don't have any more wine." Jesus replied, "Mother, my time hasn't yet come: You must not tell me what to do." Mary then said to the servants, "Do whatever Jesus tells you to do." John 2:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

May 10, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


A clear and present reminder

Just a Thought: God's Word, prophetic or otherwise, is a clear and present reminder to us that He has all things under control. He has a plan both for our lives and all of eternity. There is to be a balance between knowing and studying what will one day happen with what we ought to do about today.

May 10, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Scharf: Going all in with God

I was so disappointed. There was so much buildup and hype. So much buzz. So much publicity. Do you remember? About a month ago, for the first time in 116 years, a man was going to walk a tightrope across the Niagara Falls. Sure, over a century ago, a bunch of people had done it...before it was forbidden. But then, it was banned because not everybody that tried made it across.

July 12, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: Seeing faithfulness in action

"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."

July 05, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


McCoy: Thirsty in spiritual desert

God! My God! It's you- I search for you! My whole being thirsts for you! My body desires you in a dry and tired land, no water anywhere.

July 05, 2012 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Dees: Where the church is united and divided

Over the past five weeks, we have been having a conversation about the nature of theological unity and division. This is one of the most important conversations that a community of Christians can have. Naturally churches and Christians tend to have two extremes.

The one extreme is so convictional that it places every aspect of theological conviction on the same level, therefore Christians and churches that fall into this extreme never partner with anyone or any church that disagrees with them even on very particular theological issues.

July 05, 2012 | Jason Dees | Columnists


McCoy: Revive us, O Lord

I'm reminded of your authentic faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice. I'm sure that this faith is also inside you. Because of this, I'm reminding you to revive God's gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. God didn't give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving and self-controlled.

June 21, 2012 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Scharf: An Amazing Desert Journey

I'm guessing that most of you have been camping at one time or another in your life. As I write this, I'm getting ready to pack up my family and head to the woods. We'll be in an area famous for no cell phone coverage, with the closest town being nearly a half hour away. But I can't really call what we'll be doing camping. We rent a cabin and flip a switch to get some light, sleep on beds, and everything else. And you RV-ers out there can't really call that "camping" either ...

June 21, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


To whom shall we go?

"Can you believe it? He thinks he's the only one who has a connection to God." "He says only through him can you have heaven!"

June 14, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: Remain in My Love

There is something about sitting in mom's lap listening to a story. You just don't want to leave, even if she's read the book 5 times. You don't want to leave that place of safety and warmth and those kisses on the top of the head. It feels good to be somewhere you know you are loved.

As we celebrate Mother's Day this week and next (I hope your celebration didn't end Sunday!), I want you to use the picture of your mom's love for you to try to give you a glimpse ...

June 07, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


McCoy: God doesn’t take a vacation

I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. God won't let your foot slip. Your protector won't fall asleep on the job. No. Israel's protector never sleeps or rests!

June 07, 2012 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Dees: What do you believe?

There has been a lot of conversation recently on the question of "What do Christians believe?" This question has intensified over the past several months due to the Republican and Democratic candidates for the presidency of the U.S. coming from unorthodox religious backgrounds. President Barak Obama, the Democratic nominee, spent 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ under the teaching of Jeremiah Wright. Trinity is denominationally associated with the United Church of Christ and has embraced "Black Liberation Theology," many theologians would argue that this perspective has led the church away from a pure Biblical Theology.

June 07, 2012 | By Jason Dees | Columnists


Scharf: The power of Pentecost is in the Spirit

Why are you wasting your time reading this? Why do you waste your time going to church? It makes no sense for you to throw that chunk of your weekend out the window; you've got so many other things to do - unless, of course, you see the power of Pentecost. You see, Pentecost was that day full of miracles recorded in Acts 2 where the sound of a wind filled the city, the tongues of fire danced on the disciples' heads, they spoke in the languages of every person there and more than 3000 were brought to faith.

Now ...

May 31, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


McCoy: Awestruck and unworthy

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the door posts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried ...

May 31, 2012 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


My nickname nightmares

You might recall that I'm a grandfather now. Yes. Yes. It's been a blessing, and I'd joyously dance in the streets except I'm a lousy dancer and people drive way too fast around here. So let's just pretend I'm doing a little dance of joy. And I'm joyous because grandchildren are cute, cuddly, soft and sweet. And I'm joyous because all the old cliches about being a grandparent are true. We will spoil them. We will play with them and then hand them back to the parents. We will bore people with ...

May 24, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Every reason to remain in my love

Have your Mother's Day sentiments worn out yet The day was almost two weeks ago. I sure hope not. If they have, just take a moment and think about the love of a mother.

As we study John 15 and hear Jesus tell us, "Remain in my love," I pray that we realize the value of that command.

May 17, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: Why are you troubled?

Crucifixion, stabbing, stoning, flaying, beheading - I'm describing the ways the original apostles of Jesus died. They died a variety of ways, but one thing was consistent. They died because they would not budge from their conviction on the truth of Jesus' resurrection, the power of his message, the value of their relationship with him.

They were so certain of their eternity that they willingly faced death, the most gruesome of deaths, instead of denying it.

April 26, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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