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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


In the Shadow of the Cross

I was blind for an hour. And that was enough. Granted, I paid for the privilege when that exhibit "Dialogue in the Dark" was in Atlantic Station. It gave you the chance to experience life blind for a short time. I'll just say it was an eye-opening experience. I don't know how truly blind people do it.

April 03, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


See sin for what it is —

Last week, we started looking at Genesis 3, that story of the first sin, to try to understand why we do some of the things we do. We compared it to the victims in a horror movie opening the door that we know so much danger is behind. Like helpless moviegoers, we watched Adam and Eve walk through that door. We saw how dangerous Satan's lies are to lead us to sin.

March 20, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Understanding death

Just a Thought: Have you ever contemplated death? No, I don't mean causing death, just "death." Where did it come from? Why does it come? What hope do we have in light of God's truth: "…you are dust, and to the dust you will return" (Gen.3:19) "What man can live and not see death?" (Ps. 89:48a) It is appointed for men to die…(Heb. 9:27; James 4:14).

March 20, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a Thought: It begins with individuals

Just a Thought: Let the church rise up!

March 13, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: See sin for what it is

I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.

March 13, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: Callous about sin?

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).

March 06, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Son shines proof

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.

March 06, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: What is your life?

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.

February 27, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


If I only had a year to live ...

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.

February 27, 2014 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Grace notes: What's the point

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?"

February 20, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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Grace Notes: Do not be afraid!

Last week, we noticed the difference between the soldiers (Jesus' enemies) and the women (Jesus' friends) at the tomb that first Easter Sunday morning. The soldiers fainted in fear. The women listened to God's word and found joy. Here's Matthew 28:5: "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay."

May 06, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: The battered oak

I remember a tree house that my older brother and his friends once built overlooking the creek near our elementary school.

May 06, 2011 | Brian Dale | Columnists


What should a Christian think about capital punishment?

A great sigh of relief swept through our nation on Sunday night as President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed in a covert military raid.

May 05, 2011 | By Jason Dees Columnist | Columnists


Grace Notes: Do not be afraid!

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Yeah right. Try telling that to the man being mauled by a bear, or the woman about to be hit by a car, or anyone facing a life-threatening danger. Just telling them they don't have to fear it doesn't quite do the job.

April 29, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: Tomb for sale

"For Sale: one empty tomb, like new, sure to increase in value. Make offer."

April 28, 2011 | Brian Dale | Columnists


About Faith: It's Friday

Christian writer, preacher and teacher Tony Campolo famously tells a wonderful story of a "preach off" in which he competed with several pastors in his predominantly African-American church.

April 22, 2011 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Grace Notes: Good Friday: The Door to Paradise

It's Good Friday, the pivotal date in world history.

April 22, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Forsaken by God

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?"

April 15, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Christ conquers our selfishness!

What's your problem?

April 08, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


One important word

In 1998 the American Film institute listed the 100 greatest movies of all time. At the top of the list was Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane."

April 08, 2011 | By Jason Dees | Columnists


Grace Notes: "I told you so"

As childish as it sounds, you hear that refrain repeatedly in the Passion History, the story of Jesus' suffering and death that takes center stage during Lent.

April 01, 2011 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: The gift of encouragement

A friend returned from a mission trip to Central America with a renewed sense of excitement about doing God's work. "I went down there to help other people," she said, "but I didn't expect that they would help me. I thought I had something to give, but what I got back was so much more."

April 01, 2011 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Dees: Feeling Strong

Have you ever felt strong? I mean truly strong, as in invincible?

March 31, 2011 | By Jason Dees | Columnists


About Faith: The strength to let go

As a child, I used to play a game of endurance with my friends. On the school playground, we would all hang from the bars of a "horizontal ladder" and see who could hang on the longest. Eventually, our hands would get tired, and one by one, we would drop to the ground. Last one hanging wins.

March 24, 2011 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Dees: Fathers to their children

Fathers,

March 24, 2011 | Jason Dees Columnist | Columnists


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