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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


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 11, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


In doubt

Doubt happens to the best of us. I know we sometimes put people on a pedestal like famous preachers, authors or even mature Christians we know and then criticize ourselves with comparisons like "I bet they are too spiritually mature to doubt like me. I wish I was more like them." But the truth is, they do have times of doubt because we all do. We have times of doubt when tragedies strike for no reason or prayers go unanswered or we get mistreated for trying to do the right thing, etc. We wonder if anyone else struggles with the ...

September 11, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Parson to Person: Are we falling back into superstitious dark ages?

Can you believe we are nearly half-way through another year? When I thought of that fact the lament of Jeremiah 8:20 came to my mind: "'The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,' the people cry, 'yet we are not saved!'" (NLT).

May 29, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Parson to Person: No such thing as a liberal Christian

In his "Breakpoint Commentary" of May 19, 2009, Chuck Colson commented that "On Sunday, President Obama delivered his controversial and much-awaited speech at Notre Dame. I found little surprising about the speech itself. Not that I agreed with it - far from it. What I mean is that the speech was what I and anyone who has followed the president's political career should have expected: he has repeatedly affirmed the position that a woman's right to an abortion takes precedence over the unborn child's right to life" (Breakpoint: May 19, 2009).

May 22, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Mother’s Day everyday

Sunday is Mother's day. It appears that a day honoring mothers dates back to ancient history. Our modern official holiday was begun by Anna Marie Jarvis. According the historical record Ms. Jarvis swore at her mother's grave-site in 1905 to dedicate her life to her mother's project, and establish a Mother's Day to honor mothers, living and dead.

May 08, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Postmodern contradictions

Philosopher and Statesman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is credited with saying, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results."

May 01, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Discerning the essence of Christianity

"My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world," (1 John 4:1, The Message).

April 24, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


The brother of the Prodigal Son

Before we broke for my Easter article, we had been in a series looking at Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son. We've seen the prodigal leave home in a hunt for hedonistic pleasures. We walked with him as his dreams turned to ashes. We traveled with him as he took the long journey home. We marveled at the father's reception and restoration of this wayward son. We explored various applications of this parable and God's love and acceptance of us - no matter how far away from him we may have roamed. But there is one more character ...

April 17, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


The Prodigal Son heads home

We've been exploring the parable of the Prodigal Son in our last few articles. We've walked with this boy as his dreams drove him from home, and we stayed with him when those dreams turned to dust. Friendless, penniless and hungry, the prodigal finally "came to his senses" and headed home.

In our last column we saw that his motives for heading home were not all that noble. His heart didn't lead him home, his stomach did. One of the biggest hindrances to people coming to Christ is they feel that somehow they must either have noble ...

March 27, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Coming to your senses

Over these last few weeks my articles have centered on the parable of the prodigal son. The Biblical reference for that parable is Luke 15:11-32. As we've looked at and sought application to this account in this series of columns so far, we have seen the boy reject everything in hopes of gaining everything with the result that he lost everything. That's pretty much where we left him.

March 20, 2009 | Dr. John Pearrell | Columnists


Handling the economic crisis

News commentator, author, columnist, adviser to three presidents (Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan), and one-time Presidential candidate (Reform Party, 2000), Pat Buchanan is a person of strong and often controversial views. Recently, like the ground hog, Buchanan has predicted a gray future; but, instead of six weeks of winter, Buchanan sees at least six more months of recession. In his March 3, 2009, column, titled, "Pitchfork Time," Buchanan wrote, "Markets are not infallible. But the stock market has long been a "lead indicator" of where the economy will be six months from now."

March 20, 2009 | John Donaldson | Columnists


Rejecting everything, gaining nothing

In our last few articles we have been looking at the story of the lost son, more commonly referred to as the parable of the prodigal son. We have followed this boy as he made one disastrous decision after another. Those decisions it seems were fueled by resentment over the restrictions of home and a glorification in his imagination of the pleasures of what he thought would be the good life.

March 13, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


Journey away from home begins in the mind

In our last column, we began exploring the parable of the Prodigal Son. Last week we left the prodigal son as he headed away into a far country with his cash and dreams. No more rules, no more regulations, he was going to live the good life, and like many today he was too short-sighted to consider the ultimate cost.

March 06, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


The Prodigal Son defaults

One of the most loved of Jesus' parables is the parable of the lost son. Generally we refer to it as the story of the Prodigal Son. Trying to do the story justice in one column is nearly impossible, but we will try. This may end up being a short series of articles so check your paper each week (and, no, I don't get royalties for paper sales.)

February 27, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


Let worries become prayers

Philippians 4:6-7 in The Message translation reads, "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

February 20, 2009 | By John Pearrell | Columnists


Loading up the iPod

"The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot - that God is at the center of the jaunt" (Bono).

February 06, 2009 | John Donaldson | Columnists


Real change

Recently Matthew Parris wrote in the "London Times," "Missionaries, not aid money are the solution to Africa's biggest problem - the crushing passivity of the people's mindset." He says he has "become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa." Wherever missionaries lived, he wrote, "something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to. They see themselves as individuals who stand in direct relationship to God - not as subservient subordinates who must kowtow to tyrants." He concludes, "In Africa Christianity changes people's hearts. It brings spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real ...

January 29, 2009 | John Pearrell | Columnists


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