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Articles by Section - 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


Are you a faithful follower?

"As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem." (Lk) 9:51 Jesus is looking for faithful followers. He is not interested in hearing people "say" they want to follow.

January 24, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


We still have work to do...

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

January 24, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Finding direction, encouragement and advice

When you need a little encouragement who do you go to?

January 18, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Even the elephants and ducks …

"Your love is faithful, Lord, and even the clouds in the sky can depend on you."

January 18, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Grace Notes: The comfort of Revelation

What do you think of when you think of the book of Revelation? Try describing it in one word. I asked that question to begin our new Bible study series on that last book of the Bible last week. And you can probably guess some of the answers I got: "Scary"... "Confusing"... "Destruction"... "Difficult." Then one person said - "Comforting."

That answer is almost shocking compared to all the other ones, but when you think about why the book was written, why God gave us this record of this vision, "comforting" is right on the money.

October 01, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: Manufacturing community

When I was a child, my social studies teacher taught us a lesson in civics through the ancient medium of storytelling. "There once was a company that decided to build a new plant out in the desert of Arizona, next to the Colorado River," she began. As the story unfolded, the plant manager moved into a trailer and lived next to the plant site. At first, they hauled water in five gallon containers, and ran a generator for electricity. But as more people moved in, a community began to emerge. Trailers lined up in orderly rows. Rows became streets, underscored ...

September 24, 2010 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Grace Notes: The story of the lost lamb

The recognition of Sept. 11 has come and gone - and all those images of violence and hatred were revived in our minds…again.

September 24, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: The kingdom of God is at hand

"Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand," Jesus said. Returning from spiritual and physical fasting, having just encountered and conquered the temptations we face daily, Jesus wasted no time picking up the urgent message of his cousin, John.

September 17, 2010 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Grace Notes: Let the gospel fly

Are you familiar with North Carolina's vehicle license plates? There's a sketch of an antique airplane in the background and this slogan on top: "First in Flight." That's a pretty bold claim, isn't it? Sure, I'm familiar with the Wright brothers and Kitty Hawk and Dec. 17, 1903, but that wasn't the first thing ever to fly.

September 17, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Be a hero

Nine years ago tomorrow, one of the most significant events in United States history occurred. "9/11" is now much more than a date on the calendar between 9/10 and 9/12. Just hearing that string of digits now fills us with emotion.

September 10, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Does he know you?

If you've ever been asked the question "Do I know you?" You know how devastating that can be. Whether it's someone you've had several conversations with that you thought you had made a connection to or someone you haven't seen in a while, it is tough when you find out your relationship isn't what you thought it was.

September 03, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: A word of hope

Remember the TV series, MASH? In one episode, someone asked B.J. Honeycutt why he didn't give into temptation in the midst of the Korean War. He answered, "I live in an insane world where nothing makes sense. Everyone around me lives for the now, because there may not be a tomorrow. But I have to live for tomorrow, because for me there is no now." Without using the word, he was speaking of hope.

September 03, 2010 | By Brian Dale | Columnists


About Faith: Deeds along the road

There is a legend about a very wise king who decided to build a highway from one end of his kingdom to the other. Everyone approved of the king's plans, and watched with anticipation as road crews went to work. This highway would be the pride of all who lived there. It would be used by soldier and monk, royalty and pauper, citizen and sojourner alike, and all who traveled it would bless the king for the ease with which they covered the hilly terrain. Merchants with caravans passing through the kingdom would gladly pay the toll the king ...

August 27, 2010 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Grace Notes: Put on the full armor of God

You are at war. I know, you probably didn't have to swerve to miss any IED's on the road today, and I'm sure you weren't dodging any heat-seeking missiles when you went to get the paper. Nevertheless, you are at war. That's the way God's Word describes your life here on this earth: War.

August 27, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: This is hard!

In the gospel stories, I do not recall any occasion when the disciples complained of being hungry, or tired, or of pain. As followers of an itinerant rabbi, they were prepared to hike for miles over rough terrain, sustained by meager fare and perhaps suffer violence at the hands of their detractors. We see stories where the disciples note a lack of food ("send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves"). We even see them falling asleep from exhaustion, as in the Garden of Gethsemane. We see them plucking grains out ...

August 20, 2010 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Grace Notes: Your treasure, your heart

Have you ever had that feeling like you're spinning your wheels? Does it ever seem like you work work and work and don't seem to get anywhere? You know you make as much as a bunch of people, but it just doesn't seem like you can ever get ahead? God's Word for us today in Haggai 1 explains why that happens.

August 20, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


About Faith: Peace amidst the storm

The news recently has celebrated the antics of Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater, who pulled off his version of "Take this job and shove it." He made his grand exit from the plane (and his employment) by shouting a series of expletives, opening the emergency escape door, deploying the escape chute, and sliding down to freedom. The two beers he took with him added a dramatic flourish. But more notable is the public reaction to his clearly inappropriate behavior. Nationwide people are celebrating his misdeed. Television, radio shows, blogs, Facebook and Twitter are burning up with support for him ...

August 15, 2010 | Brian Dale | Columnists


Grace Notes: Be joyful always

"Be joyful always." That's what the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to tell us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16. Now, if you're looking for a verse of the Bible to memorize, that is one of the easiest, right alongside the classic "Jesus wept." Actually, did you know there is a shorter verse in the NIV translation? Job 3:2 is just "He said." But I digress. I was saying that "Be joyful always" is a real easy thing to say, and almost as easy to memorize… but how hard is it to do?

August 13, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Thanks, but no thanks

I disagree with both the liberal and conservative approaches to the current economic crisis.

August 12, 2010 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


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