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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


Grace Notes: Live like the church

Last week, God's Word in First Peter 2 showed us that we are the Church, not a building, but a body of believers. But we only got part of the way through that text. Today, let's look at what that means. Today, let's look at how that changes your life. Peter writes this about you, the Church, the ones who see Jesus as the living Stone:

"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into ...

May 14, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | 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


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