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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 for you to carry your cross

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." Jesus said that. And remember, in his day, when you heard the word "cross" you weren't thinking jewelry or art. You were thinking torture and blood and suffocation and death. All that considered, his recruitment pitch seems to leave something to be desired, doesn't it? But that's what he said.

In fact, in the words we're looking at from I Peter, Peter even goes a step beyond that and tells us to rejoice in our sufferings, rejoice as we ...

October 02, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: An unusual connection between Christ and Oprah

I was listening to the evening news Sunday night (9-20-09), and the anchor reported yet another scam that is taking place in our nation. This one is in the name of Oprah Winfrey.

Ms. Winfery's generosity is well known. Now, a group of con-artists are cashing in on her reputation and instead of rewarding people with cash gifts they are scamming people; stealing large sums of cash from them on the promise of being a recipient of one of Oprah's generous gifts (in this case, one million dollars).

October 02, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to person: We remember history the way we want to

I was reading in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings 18 and another passage popped into my mind. Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us "History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new" (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NLT). Perhaps this passage in Ecclesiastes is true because mankind has an appalling record of refusing to learn from history, so much so that today if we don't like the lessons of history, we simply rewrite that history. But I digress.

September 25, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace Notes: God’s grace fits all

"One Size Fits All." Have you ever heard that one? I've been mocked by that one on both ends of the scale. As a small child, I remember swimming in things that supposedly "fit all" - and now I'm more likely to stretch things that "fit all." You know the truth - one size doesn't fit all. Our Savior knew that too

September 25, 2009 | Jonathan Scharf Columnist | Columnists


Grace Notes: Choose ye this Day!

You wrote "friends forever" in her high school yearbook, and you meant it. But you haven't spoken to or heard from her in years. You vowed to love your spouse forever, but somehow wound up in divorce court. How did it happen?

So many things in life seem to "just happen," even though we never would have chosen them. They just sneak up on you. Little by little they grow on or away from you. No addict chose to be addicted. No buddy chooses to disappear from the life of their friend. It just sort of happens. Why? It ...

September 18, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Why so dogmatic?

Occasionally I am asked, "Why are you so dogmatic?" And of course the connotation is that it is a bad thing. After all, shouldn't ministers be the most open and accepting of other views and other religions? Let's look at this for a minute.

We live in an age of relativism where very few people seem willing to take a hard stand on anything. According to the relativist, no one can know truth dogmatically or absolutely, all truth is relative, and that truth is changing. Those who promote relativism want dogmatically to apply their view to every area ...

September 18, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: Spiritual health reform

Health care seems to be the center of discussion these days. Mind if I put in my two cents?

September 11, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: God challenges us for a reason

It always amazes me to see people who are so willing to accept the truth of anything written in print, with the one exception being the Bible. Though there is more evidence for the accuracy and authenticity of the various books of the Bible, many today feel compelled to accept the alternate texts of the Gnostic gospels, texts that have been proven to be bogus, while rejecting that which has proven to be genuine. Why is this?

I think that the answer to that "why" question has more to do with the implications that accepting Scripture as true would have ...

August 28, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace notes: God’s grace for you to get some rest

Are you tired? Has summer worn you out? Or is it the school starting? Or work? Maybe it's the stress. Doctors say that stress directly affects the amount and the quality of the rest you get, making you feel so tired. You could use some rest.

August 21, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: It’s about the relationship

We who are Christians are called to live different lives. Not a message we hear much about today, but certainly the message of our Lord and his followers. Jesus said, "In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16, NCV). Peter reminds us, "Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when ...

August 14, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: It’s about the relationship

We who are Christians are called to live different lives. Not a message we hear much about today, but certainly the message of our Lord and his followers. Jesus said, "In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16, NCV).

Peter reminds us, "Be careful how you behave among your unsaved neighbors; for then, even if they are suspicious of you and talk against you, they will end up praising God for your good works when ...

August 14, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace notes: ‘Do you believe in miracles?’

"Do you believe in miracles?"

August 07, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Whose word can you trust?

Who do you go to for advice? Family? Friends? What if the advice they give you is not what you want to hear? What do you do then? Truth be known, most of us don't look for "advice" - we want agreement. We want someone to tell us exactly what we want to hear.

The story is told of a little monkey who desperately wanted to go swimming in a forbidden lake. He had seen the lake from a distant, and its waters looked cool and inviting in that hot-humid climate, and its setting was serene. But he had heard ...

July 31, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Grace notes: God’s grace to get you to speak up!

You see a family member mistreating their spouse. You have a co-worker that's probably an alcoholic. There's a brother or sister in Christ who's spending less and less time in God's word and his house. Someone should say something, right? Of course, what they are doing is harmful to themselves, to those they love, even to their relationship with God. But do you want to be the one to have to speak up?

It's just that it's so hard, isn't it? We've all fallen down at times God has wanted us to ...

July 24, 2009 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Parson to Person: Don’t mess with the ingredients

Psalm 19:7-11 reads, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great ...

July 17, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


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