<p>Do you have any features that look like your mom's or dad's? Maybe you have his eyes, her nose or some other characteristic. Do you have any of your heavenly Father's features? "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God…" (Rev.4:8) But what about His children? We are told throughout scripture that we are to be as He is; (Lev. 11:44a; 19:2; 20:7,26; 1 Peter 1;15; 1 John 1:7).
<p dir="LTR" align="JUSTIFY">Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.
<p>Psalms 139 is the strongest, most undeniable argument for when "life" begins in the womb. This passage makes it very clear all life is divinely ordained by God, formed by God, and designed by and developed by God. Having said that, let's talk about our own life.
<p>Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (Contemporary English Version): "What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time.
<p>We go through a lot to do "church". Think of the time and money and effort and energy put into making sure we've got a place to meet on Sundays, all the work that goes into the various events and traditions. People give up so much in the name of church, so today I ask you, "Why?" What's the point?"
<p>OK guys, we've got a problem, it's Valentine's Day. If there was ever a day the pressure is on to prove your love, this is it. And there are countless ideas out there, but every one of them could just as easily backfire, since one woman might love what another would not. And if you ask your special someone how you can show your love, well, then you run the risk of her saying that if you really loved her you'd know.
<p>God hates sin, not sinners. He hates sin because of what it does to the sinner (redeemed and unredeemed). For the redeemed, yielding themselves to sin can lead them back into the dominant control and slavery they have been set free from. For the unredeemed, sin piled upon sin takes them deeper into sin and farther from a sensitivity to God and need for salvation. Sin at its most basic form means to "miss the mark" Romans 2:23 tells us we have all done this. So in essence sin is sin is sin. But there are some sins God ...
<p>Aren't you thankful today for the wonderful saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who through His salvation, our spiritual identity and eternal destiny were changed? (2 Cor. 5:17; Romans 6:23b).
<p>I have so many great memories of my grandma, especially when all the cousins would be together, playing in the basement while all the grown-ups were upstairs. Sometimes, we even all got to stay overnight down there. It was awesome, except for one thing: the coatrack. It was one of those things that was always there but you didn't always notice it, unless it was the middle of the night and you woke up and looked toward the one ray of light. That's when I saw what I was sure was a person or a monster - whatever it ...
<p dir="LTR" align="JUSTIFY">Last week, we saw the righteousness that Jesus "filled up" for us – and put on our record in our baptism. We saw him doing everything that was "fitting" for that righteousness, living a perfect life, more perfect than even the most polished celebrity at the most posh event could ever be.
<p>Some things are just fitting, aren't they? They are just supposed to be a certain way. Take the Golden Globes. Did you see the show? Everyone who is anyone in Hollywood was there. And everything was just right.
<p dir="LTR" align="JUSTIFY"><span style="font-size: medium;"><em>"How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders!"</em></span><span style="font-family: Times Regular; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times Regular; font-size: medium;"> (Daniel 4:3) These words spoken by a king of the King of kings and Lord of lords are to be the focus of every Christian in today's world. </span></span>
<p dir="LTR" align="JUSTIFY">Do you ever feel that being a child of God isn't paying out like you thought it should? The childlike confidence that Jesus will make everything better doesn't always seem to play out - when the wound doesn't heal, the need isn't met, the hurt doesn't go away. For us grown-ups, reality tends to set in and tarnishes some of that unbridled optimism.
<p>If you are a bookkeeper, you understand the importance of organized filing and record-keeping. You are the ones we turn to in order to find a proof of a check, an important document or policy, etc.
<p dir="LTR" align="JUSTIFY">With precision and accuracy God lays out his plans and works toward the accomplishment of his purpose.
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<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">Ahh Lent. It's here. Last week was Ash Wednesday, and now we find ourselves in this season of repentance, these 40 days to focus our attention on the suffering of our Savior and our sins that caused it. And that's good. You see, in order to appreciate the victory of Easter - we have to deal with the honesty of Lent. Christianity is not some pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking. It's so truthful and factual it hurts. It hurts when we realize what we deserve. It hurts when we realize what Jesus had to go through for us. But the ...</font> </span>
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">I have spent the last three weeks warning my readers of the dangerous trend that we are taking in this country when it comes to silencing the voice of religion in general (but more specifically Christianity in particular) from the public sphere. Even as I write this article, I have learned that a new lawsuit has been entered into our already over-burdened judicial system claiming that allowing ministers a certain tax-break is a violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment. If the plaintiff's succeed in this case, it is not a far leap to assume that their ...</font> </span>
<p><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">I'll admit it. I married up. If you meet my wife, I can easily see you asking "What did she see in him?" Have you ever wondered that about a couple? What do they see in each other? </font>
<p><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">George Washington, the father of our country, stated in his farewell address, "Do not let anyone claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics." Mahatma Gandhi said, "Those who believe that religion and politics aren't connected don't understand either" </font>
<p><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">Thomas Jefferson, our Third President, remarked "The reason that Christianity is the best friend of Government is because Christianity is the only religion in the world that deals with the heart." And George Washington the Father of our Country said, "Do not let anyone claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics." </font>
<p><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">Do you want a job? In this economy, that introduction should catch some attention. If you're looking for one, after a while, just about any job sounds good. So you want this one? Here are the details: nothing to speak of for pay; it won't earn you any respect or appreciation, either. Sound good? </font>
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">George Santayana is credited with saying, "Those who forget history are destined to repeat it." </font> </span>
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">Do you want to be with God? That sounds good, doesn't it? Think about it for a minute. You see, before God gave Isaiah his job of representing him, he wanted to make sure Isaiah knew the One he'd be working for. So God let Isaiah see him. This is how Isaiah records it: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple." Isaiah saw God, and the only thing he could find words to describe was that his robe ...</font> </span>
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">For all of the drama that goes into planning and pulling off a wedding, what really lasts from that day? Really, two things: The vows and the gifts, right? </font> </span>
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">I would like to use this week's column to dispel two misconceptions that prevail in Christianity.</font> </span>
Do you like waiting? I don't. It was hard enough waiting a few months for all the permits and permissions on our building project. I can't imagine having to wait years for something you wanted to happen that much. You see, waiting brings with it some problems.<p>In our text from Luke 3, we see some of those problems, and they all stem from the first word of verse 15 in the original Greek: "Waiting expectantly." You see the Jewish people had been waiting for more than a few months. They had been given promises of an amazing ...
The devastating earthquake which hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, has dominated the news. Haiti, once considered the pearl of the Antilles because of its beauty was once one of Frances richest colonies. In our day however, Haiti has the distinction of being the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere. Even before this devastating earthquake, stories coming out of Haiti told of people making mud pies and eating them in an attempt to stave off the hunger and get at least some form of nourishment. <p>Since the earthquake I have both read and heard people's opinion on why ...
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">I like funerals. I know, that might sound a bit odd. Sure there are some bad parts: the tears, the pain, the loss that caused the funeral. But the good far outweighs the bad. For one, it seems that funerals are times people who don't listen too often are really listening - listening to what God has to say. So, yes, I like funerals, because what God has to say at the funeral of a believer is pretty amazing.</font> </span>
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">"Minsters don't know anything about real life." "When are you going to get a real job?" "So, how does it feel to only have to work one day a week?" Comments and questions such as these are often directed at those of us in ministry. Yes, many times they are said "tongue in cheek," (at least the two questions), but even then they show the misconceptions that many have when it comes to the ministerial profession.</font> </span>
<span><p align="left"><font face="verdana,geneva" size="3">You might not have noticed it, but this Wednesday was Epiphany, the day after the 12th day of Christmas, the day the church has decided to celebrate the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem, and really the "Revealing" (that's what Epiphany means) of Jesus as true God and Lord to all nations. </font> </span>