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Precious moments

We have all seen them, those precious moments when a soldier surprises his wife or kids with a special unannounced visit home. How touching they are to see the emotion and joy that overcomes those who have been waiting so long for a glimpse, a touch and some time with their loved ones from whom they have been apart.

May 03, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


The good shepherd

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are ...

May 03, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


The good shepherd

Jesus said: I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture. A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep

April 26, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Peace, be still ...

Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

April 19, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Where is your heart today?

Where is your heart? When we say the pledge to the flag of the United States, we place our hand over our heart on the left side of our chest, is that where our heart is?

April 19, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


J. McCoy: Pass it on ...

Along the coast line of the Sea of Galilee lies a little stop in the road community in the middle of a very green farm area, called Kibbutz Ginosar. We stop to see the 2,000-year-old boat at the museum, but outside, like an overlooked simple lace collar on a beautiful dress, the mosaic benches line the sculptured lawn, making a welcoming place for people to sit as they soak in the fresh air and sunshine. A kibbutz is a place of growing, a farming area that sustains the people of the area. This is not the only kibbutz in ...

April 12, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Burnham: A true disciple

A true disciple of Christ has more to do than just be a faithful follower.

April 11, 2015 | David McCoy | Columnists


What is God seeing when he looks at you

Jesus gives six "woes" in Luke 11, I wonder if any of them would cause us to say, "Woe is me?"

April 05, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a thought

Just a Thought: Are you ceremonial, or spiritual?

March 29, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Telling your story: a Christian duty

Beside the Sea of Galilee and up from Tiberias lies the Kibbutz Ginosar. A kibbutz is an area in Israel rich in farmland and vegetation. Kibbutz communities rely on agriculture for their income, and much of the area's fruits and vegetables come from these communities. The Kibbutz Ginosar is also known as the place for the "resurrection" of a 2000 year old fishing vessel which dates back to the first century. Known as the "Jesus boat," this boat was probably in use for many decades on the Sea of Galilee, and was the kind of boat that Jesus and ...

March 29, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Grace Notes: Get Real with Christmas

You know the artists have it wrong, don't you? I'm talking about Christmas. When you think of Christmas, do you see a cherubic baby on bed of sparkling clean hay, parents peacefully looking on - halos shining over everyone in the scene, shepherds, wise men, everyone awash in starlight, maybe even a few angels hovering over the manger? Is that what you think of when you think of Christmas?

December 25, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Luke’s honest reporting

Luke 2:1-20, the account of Jesus' birth, is probably one of the most widely known passages of Scripture. During this time of year, one might hear it in the most unexpected places. Religious or not, it is nigh impossible to get through the Christmas season without at least a passing reference to this important passage.

December 18, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Joy to the World

It's amazing what a song can do, isn't it? Not that it's stopped me, but it's not politically correct anymore to say "Merry Christmas" in some places, you know. I have to admit a smile crossed my face at the store as the cashier told me to have a "Happy Holiday" even as my kids were singing along to the words of a very "Christ"mas song playing in the background of that same store.

December 18, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Savior of the Nations, Come

I'm surprised you're taking time to read this, what with all the things you've got on your "to do" list. I'm just glad you know how important it is to take time out of the busy-ness of this month to remember what it is all about.

December 04, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Christ’s message is love

There is a Christian song the chorus of which goes, "Oh, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all! Just to think that God loves me." I love that song. It carries with it some reminders that we tend to forget.

December 04, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Thanks for nothing, God

Blah blah blah... You've heard it a thousand times: "We have so much to thank God for." But it's hard to argue with that. God has protected us from so much we don't want and given us so much we do. Our standard of living, even for the poorest among us, is light years beyond the standard of living for the majority of our world's population. And now just try comparing it to the standard of living even in our country 200 years ago. We have plenty to thank God for. Even King Solomon, richest man ...

November 27, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Is Christmas a Christian day?

Inevitably during this time of year, I will receive brochures and letters from well meaning people informing me that Christmas is not a Christian holiday and Christians ought not celebrate it. These letters and brochures claim (rightly so) that originally Dec. 25 was celebrated as a heathen holiday and, therefore, is not really Christian at all. Is that true? Partially yes, and partially no.

It is true that prior to 336 A.D. Dec. 25 was the time when some polytheistic religions celebrated this day as the day of the rebirth of the sun. So, yes, in perhaps its roots ...

November 27, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: God's Grace to give you confidence

This Sunday is the last Sunday in the Church Year. In a few days we celebrate Thanksgiving (Check out next Friday's column for that). After that comes the season of Advent, the season of preparation for the coming of our Savior. Really it's a two-fold preparation. We prepare to witness again and celebrate his birth in that manger. And we prepare to see him when he comes back at the end of time to take us to be with him. But as we prepare, there's the question I heard still hanging in the air for some - maybe ...

November 20, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: The behavior of many is not "Christ-like"

When the missionary E. Stanley Jones met with Mahatma Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader who led India in its quest for Independence, he asked him, "Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?"

November 20, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Christ is the only way

Recently I was having a discussion with a man from another faith. He was trying his best to convince me that, though our faiths were different, we really believed the same thing, He claimed that the only difference between us was that was the prophet we were following. Mine being simply an earlier and therefore less enlightened prophet than his. He actually made the fatal mistake that so many make, assuring me that "We (who are Monotheists) really are all related and we really believe the same things - we believe in the goodness of man, trying to better ourselves, etc ...

November 13, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Grace to face Judgment Day

Have you ever noticed how one person's big moment of absolute joy is another's worst nightmare?

November 13, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s grace for you to reform

Quick quiz: What was last weekend? Hint: Oct. 31. My guess is that most of you were thinking of ghosts and goblins and trick-or-treat. Everyone knows that Oct. 31 is Halloween, right? What not everyone knows is that something else is celebrated that day too - Reformation.

On Oct. 31, 1517, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany, Martin Luther posted 95 theses, 95 statements for debate and discussion among the scholars and churchmen. He wanted his church to start evaluating some of its practices in light of Scripture and not just do things because "that's what ...

November 06, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: The Jesus of scripture cannot be rewritten easily

Jesus today has been the victim of deconstruction theology. In an attempt to remove the Jesus of history from the Jesus of faith, a whole lot of views have been advanced in an attempt to explain why we cannot believe in the Jesus of the Bible.

November 06, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


God’s Grace in making a helper suitable

Last week, millions of people had birthdays, but when my son turned 3 and my daughter turned 6, those were special days. Why? Family. The wall at my daughter's school is full of pictures of "Students of the Month." But one is more heart-warming to me than any other. Why? Family.

October 30, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Our God does the impossible through us

Remember that story of the Feeding of the 5000 (Mark 6:30-44)? It shows Jesus to be true God, right? Absolutely. It shows Jesus' inexplicable and self-sacrificing love, right? Absolutely, as he puts his own needs for rest and relaxation aside and helps those people. It shows so much about our Savior. But it also shows us something about ourselves.

October 23, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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