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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


Precious moments

We have all seen them, those precious moments when a soldier surprises his wife or kids with a special unannounced visit home. How touching they are to see the emotion and joy that overcomes those who have been waiting so long for a glimpse, a touch and some time with their loved ones from whom they have been apart.

May 03, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


The good shepherd

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are ...

May 03, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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Archive By Section - 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


A heart of thanks

"Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds."

September 16, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


McCoy: Moments of silence…

"O Lord, who are we that you should notice us, mere mortals that you should care for us? For we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow."

September 09, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Scharf: Foreigners, bound to the Lord

Do you remember where you were when everything changed? September 11th...10 years ago Sunday, at 8:46 a.m. - American Airlines, flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center's north tower. And within a couple hours there were 2,996 dead, including 411 emergency workers, heroes who gave their lives to save others. Sept. 11 is a day that changed America. And we remember it. Terrorism hit us hard. And as a result, we will never be the same.

September 09, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Boundless love

"Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law."

September 02, 2011 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Scharf: The narrow door

Are all religions the same? Do all roads really lead to heaven? Last week we looked at Luke 13:22-30, where Jesus made so clear the need to speak precisely when you're talking about religion and your relationship with God. Do you remember how he said that when the time comes, there would be those who thought they were just fine with God in this life who would be "outside, knocking and pleading"? But Jesus will answer, "I don't know you or where you come from," (Luke 13:27).

September 01, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Love speaks precisely

They told Amelia Bedelia to "hit the road" and she took a stick and started punishing the asphalt. They told her to make "chocolate chip cookies" and she got out the Hershey's and the potato chips. Now, for a children's book character, when she doesn't "get it," that's funny. But when we realize that all too often we do that same thing with religion, the chuckles cease.

August 26, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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