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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


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


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 11, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


In doubt

Doubt happens to the best of us. I know we sometimes put people on a pedestal like famous preachers, authors or even mature Christians we know and then criticize ourselves with comparisons like "I bet they are too spiritually mature to doubt like me. I wish I was more like them." But the truth is, they do have times of doubt because we all do. We have times of doubt when tragedies strike for no reason or prayers go unanswered or we get mistreated for trying to do the right thing, etc. We wonder if anyone else struggles with the ...

September 11, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Blessed to serve

You call yourself a Christian, right? You do realize that just by doing that, you are taking on a very specific job description. You are now "His witnesses". You are the "light of the world" and the "salt of the earth". You are "Christ's ambassadors", a "holy priesthood" you are to be "Declaring the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light". Do I have to go on? Realize it - you have a job, whether you like it or not, you are blessed to serve. There is no such thing as a part ...

August 28, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a thought: The Golden Rule

Is the "Golden Rule" biblical? Yes, but not because it is a "golden rule" but rather because it is a "Kingdom principle." Many people miss the point here. They want to live by the golden rule (and that's fine), but not really according to the Kingdom rule. Ah yes, we are talking about the pickers and the choosers. Jesus asked it this way: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Lk. 6:46) In other words; "Why do you call me Lord when in reality I am not your Lord?" or, "Why ...

August 28, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Get your hands dirty

The church is failing in a big way! Yes I am aware God has, and continues to use, the church to reach the lost and minister to the world in mighty ways. However, one of the greatest and most foundational tasks given to the church by Christ is one of the things the church is neglecting the most - "discipleship." I have often said, "We are outraged at the idea of someone abandoning a newborn and we should be, but yet the church does this everyday to those who are newly born again."

August 21, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Oak Hill earns tenth 4-H trophy

When 4-H leaders walk into a fifth grade classroom, the students smile and start sneaking notebooks back into their desks. They seem to think they get a break from learning for the next hour.

May 24, 2014 | Terri Kimble | Columnists


A voice we can trust

Do you know what a siren is?

May 15, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


How do I know

How do I know this is all true? I mean, we tell our kids stories and explain which ones are true and which ones aren't. How do I know all this stuff about faith, and heaven and hell, and religion - how do I know it is all true? Honestly, I don't know of many people who haven't struggled with that question - either in their own hearts or in the head of someone they love. And since it is a matter of faith, and the devil is constantly attacking faith, it can be a heart-wrenching question on both ...

May 08, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Do what you're best at

What are you "best" at? To what do you give your excellence? Is a mediocre job a good enough job in most of your cases, or do you strive to do your best?

May 08, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


God’s grace

Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our needs - an old hymn with great theology.

May 01, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Risen to free us …For worship!

Last week we worked through the first part of Matthew 28 and saw how Jesus was risen to free us. Since He isn't dead but alive, we are free from the power of nature since he's the one who controls it. Since Jesus lives and reigns on heaven's throne, we're free from the fear of any authorities since they only serve at his command. And since Jesus did what he promised he would do - pay the price for our sins - and his resurrection proves that it was good, he has freed us from our guilt and ...

May 01, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


A death to redeem us

On Christmas Eve, we talked about a child who was born to save us. We talked about his purpose. Tonight, we see that baby, now grown, fulfill it. And I have to warn you - it's not pretty. No longer a cuddly little baby in swaddling clothes, this grown man had been beaten, stripped, mocked, whipped, and could barely physically drag his pulp of a body out to this hill for the climax of this cruelty. It is not pretty. Yet this Friday is Good, precisely because it is Him doing what He came for. In order to save us ...

April 17, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Yes, he rose

Just a Thought: Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And does it really even matter? The answer to both questions is an emphatic YES!

April 17, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


God will have his way

Just a Thought: God will have His way; His will, will be accomplished. If this is so, why do we need to bother to do anything? Why don't we just sit back and "let God?"

April 03, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


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