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Blessed are the Peacemakers….

The Mount of the Beatitudes sits on the top of a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. As we approach the park that now encloses the top of the hill, signs remind us to be silent because we are on holy ground. It was here on this very hill that Jesus sat down with his disciples and taught them about the Kingdom of God. Here in this place, as groups gather in various small clusters around the mount, one gets a feeling of what "Blessed" really means. The verses of Matthew 5 that capture the words of Jesus line the ...

June 28, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Pride and pride

Two words come to mind when we consider the parable of the prodigal son "Pride and Pride"

June 28, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


From weeping to joy

"Alongside Babylon's streams, there we sat down, crying because we remembered Zion."

June 20, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Find them all

Do you see them? No really they are everywhere! Come on surely you do see them.

June 14, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a thought

I once went for a job interview and was offered the job based upon my passing the physical. It was as a result of the physical exam that I discovered I had a tumor in my bladder. Praise God! The short story is that I was blessed to be able to have the tumor surgically removed and have been bladder cancer free ever since.

June 07, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


Trust in the Lord

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (Common English Bible)

May 31, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Jockeying is for small people

Just a Thought: Jockeys are typically small people. Interestingly enough typically so are those people who spend much of their time "jockeying" for position (regardless of their physical size).

May 31, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


From a mother's heart

"Three days later Mary, the mother of Jesus, was at a wedding feast in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited and were there. When the wine was all gone, Mary said to Jesus, "They don't have any more wine." Jesus replied, "Mother, my time hasn't yet come: You must not tell me what to do." Mary then said to the servants, "Do whatever Jesus tells you to do." John 2:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

May 10, 2015 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


A clear and present reminder

Just a Thought: God's Word, prophetic or otherwise, is a clear and present reminder to us that He has all things under control. He has a plan both for our lives and all of eternity. There is to be a balance between knowing and studying what will one day happen with what we ought to do about today.

May 10, 2015 | William Burnham | Columnists


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


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Grace Notes: God's grace to go to God

Do you want to be with God? That sounds good, doesn't it? Think about it for a minute. You see, before God gave Isaiah his job of representing him, he wanted to make sure Isaiah knew the One he'd be working for. So God let Isaiah see him. This is how Isaiah records it: "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple." Isaiah saw God, and the only thing he could find words to describe was that his robe ...

February 05, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: Wedding gifts of grace

For all of the drama that goes into planning and pulling off a wedding, what really lasts from that day? Really, two things: The vows and the gifts, right?

January 29, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Two misconceptions

I would like to use this week's column to dispel two misconceptions that prevail in Christianity.

January 29, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s Grace to help us wait

Do you like waiting? I don't. It was hard enough waiting a few months for all the permits and permissions on our building project. I can't imagine having to wait years for something you wanted to happen that much. You see, waiting brings with it some problems.

In our text from Luke 3, we see some of those problems, and they all stem from the first word of verse 15 in the original Greek: "Waiting expectantly." You see the Jewish people had been waiting for more than a few months. They had been given promises of an amazing ...

January 22, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: God is not to blame

The devastating earthquake which hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, has dominated the news. Haiti, once considered the pearl of the Antilles because of its beauty was once one of Frances richest colonies. In our day however, Haiti has the distinction of being the most impoverished nation in the Western Hemisphere. Even before this devastating earthquake, stories coming out of Haiti told of people making mud pies and eating them in an attempt to stave off the hunger and get at least some form of nourishment.

Since the earthquake I have both read and heard people's opinion on why ...

January 22, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s Grace to give you hope

I like funerals. I know, that might sound a bit odd. Sure there are some bad parts: the tears, the pain, the loss that caused the funeral. But the good far outweighs the bad. For one, it seems that funerals are times people who don't listen too often are really listening - listening to what God has to say. So, yes, I like funerals, because what God has to say at the funeral of a believer is pretty amazing.

January 15, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: A pastor’s life from behind the scenes

"Minsters don't know anything about real life." "When are you going to get a real job?" "So, how does it feel to only have to work one day a week?" Comments and questions such as these are often directed at those of us in ministry. Yes, many times they are said "tongue in cheek," (at least the two questions), but even then they show the misconceptions that many have when it comes to the ministerial profession.

January 08, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: Wise Men bow down before Christ

You might not have noticed it, but this Wednesday was Epiphany, the day after the 12th day of Christmas, the day the church has decided to celebrate the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem, and really the "Revealing" (that's what Epiphany means) of Jesus as true God and Lord to all nations.

January 08, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Grace Notes: The New Year

Happy New Year! As you're reading this, chances are the streamers of celebration are still on the ground, the decorations still up, and the resolutions still resolute. New Year's Day. It's a great day, isn't it? It's a day of hope and confidence, a day of optimism and potential. It's a great day. All those promises you made last night to change your life for the better are still within the realm of possibility.

But let's be real. Sure there's a lot of potential with this fresh start, but that means there ...

January 01, 2010 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: 2010 is here

2009 has come and gone. Many have high hopes for 2010. Perhaps we will experience a surge in the economy, the creation of new jobs to put people who lost their jobs in 2009 back to work, maybe 2010 will be the year my ship comes in.

Traditionally in preparation for the New Year people make themselves wonderful promises of how they will be different in the coming year. While perhaps sincere the vast majority of our New Year's Resolutions are quickly sacrificed on the altar of same old, same old. The truth of the matter is outward reform ...

January 01, 2010 | Dr. John Pearrell | 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


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