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Just a thought

Your effectiveness in ministry (and anyone who is "in Christ" has some) comes down to four basic elements:

November 15, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


To know Jesus

Why are you attracted to Jesus? One author suggests that we are attracted to Jesus because He is the real deal.

November 08, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a Thought: Examine Your Heart

Just a Thought: Going from a demonized state to deliverance, we see a terrible story with a happy ending. Well sort of. Luke takes us on a journey with Jesus to a place where we meet a man under the control of demons so much so that he has become wild, hopelessly and helplessly a prisoner of Satan's power. That is until he meets Jesus. We see here that even the one who is severely dominated by the demonic is not out of the reach of the delivering power of Jesus. When the man meets Jesus, Jesus cast the ...

November 01, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Examine your heart

Jesus. Jesus. You say it. Say it again. Say it out loud and repeat His name several times. The old Gaither song is right, there is just something about that name. "Master, Savior, like the springtime after the rain…" It is the name we call upon for salvation. It is the name we call upon for cleansing of sin. It is the name we call upon in times of fear. And it is the name we call upon to strengthen our faith. Jesus knows our deepest secrets, He knows our greatest struggles, He knows the things that shake our foundation ...

October 25, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


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


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Grace Notes: The members are the church

Over here at Abiding Grace, we are building our church. It's a pretty exciting time. The walls are up. The roof is just about up. The utilities are going in. Finally. After all this time planning, preparing and permitting, praying and paying, we are building our church. Are you excited? You know, when we got together to talk about building our building, we said we wanted something that "looks like a church," right? …Something that people wouldn't get confused with an office building or someone's house. It was supposed to "look like a church." Have you seen ...

May 07, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Christianity and hypocrisy?

Jill Carrattini, managing editor for the Ravi Zacharias e-newsletter, "Slice of Infinity" writes, "one of the comments that I hear most often as a reason for rejecting Christianity is that of its followers: 'Christians are so hypocritical!' 'The problem I have with Christ is that his followers do him more harm than good.' 'I am continually disappointed by Christians; why should I consider their religion?' 'The problem I have with Christianity is Christians.' I can try appealing to these voices to see the gap in their logic; I can try reasoning that the abuse of a religion must never stand ...

May 07, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Has the message of The Bible been preserved?

There is a popular misconception among people in general and even among some Christians. The misconception held my many today is that the Scriptures we have today are not an accurate copy of the originals but were changed by a deceptive church in the 4th Century. This idea, popularized by Dan Brown in the "DaVinci Code," might lead to breath-holding, action-packed adventure but it is not good history. The Councils which codified our modern Bible were not secret meetings of the church but open discussion of the information available, and they did not "invent" the Bible, the simply recognized the ...

April 30, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Lord is returned, part II

Last week, we looked at John 21:1-14 and marveled at what it meant for those disciples that Jesus appeared to them again after all their failures. Last week, we read in awe of how Jesus keeps coming to us in his word with his forgiveness even after all of our failures. Today, I want to explore that third appearance Jesus made to his disciples and see how all of the details of this appearance highlight just how awesome our Savior is. Let's look again at what it means that this guy in the text "is the Lord."

April 30, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Why is attendance higher on Easter?

Happy Easter. Yes, we're still celebrating Easter. Let me tell you why that is so important. A couple weeks ago, we saw the angels telling those women at the tomb to "remember" what Jesus had said and "remember" what that meant. That week, my article probably used the word "remember" 20 times. Then, last week, the word was "believe" as Thomas got his doubts smashed by the absolute facts of the truth that Christ is risen.

April 23, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Uncovering the Jesus Family Tomb

Over the past few weeks we have been examining the claims of the book, "The Jesus Family Tomb." The authors of this work want their readers to believe that we now have hard physical evidence that Jesus did not rise from the dead, but rather has been found interred in what they claim is the family tomb.

April 23, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Believing Easter changes everything

Last week, I wrote about how one little task changes entire lives: Just Remember! The women at Jesus' empty tomb went from shock and sorrow to hope and joy because they were reminded of Jesus' promises. They remembered that they should have expected this victory. They should know it: Jesus lives. And that means your life has purpose.

April 16, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: The miracle of Christ's resurrection

Last week in this column I introduced the subject of the Jesus Family Tomb. According to the authors of the book by that title, this tomb, officially called the Talpiot Tomb, is the final resting place for Jesus of Nazareth. The authors claim that the odds for this tomb being the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth is 2.5 million to one in its favor. Startling odds. If it can be proven, the whole message of the New Testament is destroyed. So what are the facts?

April 16, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Was Christ resurrected?

Last week, being Easter, I wrote on the resurrection. Thomas Arnold, chair of modern History at Oxford, said, "I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of the fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead" (McDowell: "The New Evidence that Demands ...

April 09, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Some things to remember

What makes that picture bring tears to your eyes? What makes that song bring a smile to your face? Or, on the flipside, what makes that voice to you like fingernails on a chalkboard? One thing - memories. Memories change all your experiences; they fill your life with emotion. Now, the big thing is - what are you remembering? Because what you remember will change your life, for good or bad.

April 09, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: What makes this

We call this Good Friday. Think about that - "good." We call it good when we see a man die - and not just die, die brutally. "Good." On this day we contemplate the most famous six hours in the history of the world. We witness through the record in scripture the most talked about execution that has ever happened. On Good Friday, we remember the blood and the brutality of scourge and nail and thorn. And we call it "Good."

April 02, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Why am I a Christian?

There are two questions I often ask people who claim to be Christians. First, I ask them why they are Christians and second I ask them what I would have to do to make them doubt the validity of their faith. Now that second question may seem strange coming from a pastor, but it is a question that we as Christians must adequately answer.

April 02, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Live your Hosanna!

March Madness! You know what I'm talking about. Our country goes crazy over this basketball tournament. If you've ever found yourself yelling your cheers at a television set watching a game, you get it. If you've ever seen the fans who are actually at those games - you understand why we call it March Madness. Can you explain the urge to wave signs, scream yourself horse and high-five complete strangers? Madness.

Well, this Sunday in the church year is what I like to think of as March Madness - God style. It's Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode ...

March 26, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Proof of God: the teleological argument

I am in a series exploring the classic proofs for God. Let me clarify for you that these "proofs" are not final proof positive for God, rather they are more like clues or evidence which, when looked at, lead us to certain conclusions concerning the existence or, for some, the non-existence of God. Personally I find the clues given us by the arguments of these classic evidences compelling.

March 19, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s grace to make big decisions

Do you like to make big decisions? There are so many factors to weigh, so many pros and cons to sift through, so many variables to consider. Wouldn't it be nice if God just made all the decisions for us?

Well, he loves us too much for that - so, after making us his own, he gives us the ability to make some decisions. Realize, this is not something to take lightly. The decisions we make have a pretty profound impact on who we become. Thankfully, God gives us some guidance.

March 19, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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