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Four elements

Do you often find yourself in situations where you are asking God to "get you out" instead of asking God, "What do you want me to get out of this?" The disciples were constantly watching Jesus do miracles. Every day was new. There were healings going on, the dead were rising, the blind were seeing, the deaf hearing, the cripples walking, storms were calmed. One day after another they saw Jesus doing these things and more in their midst.

November 22, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


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


Blessed with adversity

The events of the past 11 weeks have left me feeling like the description of Waffle House hash browns: scattered, smothered, diced and covered. Since the morning of July 26, when my mother fell and broke her back in two places, our experiences have included Dr. Dalton Hanowell's fantastic Kyphon balloon kyphoplasty surgery at Newton Medical fixing my mom's back, her three weeks of rehabilitation at the Morgan Memorial Transitional Care Unit, and 10 days at Merryvale Assisted Living Home re-learning independent living.

My mother-in-law had surgeries for lung and thyroid cancer. My wife's dog blew out ...

October 10, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


About Faith: Butterflies and ants

I recently read an article about a European butterfly known as the Large Blue. Its beautiful iridescent wings would make it a striking addition to any collection. But I was disturbed by an unusual feature of its life cycle that I found on Wikipedia:

October 08, 2010 | Brian Dale | Columnists


About Faith: Hide and seek

Once when I was a very young boy, I created a big stir in my neighborhood by going missing. Apparently, I was being loosely supervised by the older children as they played hide-and-seek around the yard. Of course, I was not as good at hiding, and my attention span not as long. I soon grew tired, and it being close to my nap time anyway, I went inside and crawled under my covers.

As my older siblings and their friends emerged from their hiding places, they realized I was not among them, and a search ensued. No luck. They looked ...

October 01, 2010 | Brian Dale | 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


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