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A death to redeem us

On Christmas Eve, we talked about a child who was born to save us. We talked about his purpose. Tonight, we see that baby, now grown, fulfill it. And I have to warn you - it's not pretty. No longer a cuddly little baby in swaddling clothes, this grown man had been beaten, stripped, mocked, whipped, and could barely physically drag his pulp of a body out to this hill for the climax of this cruelty. It is not pretty. Yet this Friday is Good, precisely because it is Him doing what He came for. In order to save us ...

April 17, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Yes, he rose

Just a Thought: Did Jesus really rise from the dead? And does it really even matter? The answer to both questions is an emphatic YES!

April 17, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


God will have his way

Just a Thought: God will have His way; His will, will be accomplished. If this is so, why do we need to bother to do anything? Why don't we just sit back and "let God?"

April 03, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


In the Shadow of the Cross

I was blind for an hour. And that was enough. Granted, I paid for the privilege when that exhibit "Dialogue in the Dark" was in Atlantic Station. It gave you the chance to experience life blind for a short time. I'll just say it was an eye-opening experience. I don't know how truly blind people do it.

April 03, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


See sin for what it is —

Last week, we started looking at Genesis 3, that story of the first sin, to try to understand why we do some of the things we do. We compared it to the victims in a horror movie opening the door that we know so much danger is behind. Like helpless moviegoers, we watched Adam and Eve walk through that door. We saw how dangerous Satan's lies are to lead us to sin.

March 20, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Understanding death

Just a Thought: Have you ever contemplated death? No, I don't mean causing death, just "death." Where did it come from? Why does it come? What hope do we have in light of God's truth: "…you are dust, and to the dust you will return" (Gen.3:19) "What man can live and not see death?" (Ps. 89:48a) It is appointed for men to die…(Heb. 9:27; James 4:14).

March 20, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Just a Thought: It begins with individuals

Just a Thought: Let the church rise up!

March 13, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: See sin for what it is

I just can't watch horror movies. I get too frustrated. You see, it bugs me that they always go through that door.

March 13, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: Callous about sin?

Do you have any features that look like your mom's or dad's? Maybe you have his eyes, her nose or some other characteristic. Do you have any of your heavenly Father's features? "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God…" (Rev.4:8) But what about His children? We are told throughout scripture that we are to be as He is; (Lev. 11:44a; 19:2; 20:7,26; 1 Peter 1;15; 1 John 1:7).

March 06, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


Grace Notes: The Son shines proof

Last Wednesday, at about midnight, one guy shoved something up my dad's nose, another person shoved something down his throat, and then the kicker – this guy took a knife and cut my dad's midsection wide open. And we thanked him for it.

March 06, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Just a Thought: What is your life?

Psalms 139 is the strongest, most undeniable argument for when "life" begins in the womb. This passage makes it very clear all life is divinely ordained by God, formed by God, and designed by and developed by God. Having said that, let's talk about our own life.

February 27, 2014 | William Burnham | Columnists


If I only had a year to live ...

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (Contemporary English Version): "What do we gain by all of our hard work? I have seen what difficult things God demands of us. God makes everything happen at the right time.

February 27, 2014 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Grace notes: What's the point

We go through a lot to do "church". Think of the time and money and effort and energy put into making sure we've got a place to meet on Sundays, all the work that goes into the various events and traditions. People give up so much in the name of church, so today I ask you, "Why?" What's the point?"

February 20, 2014 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Dees: Have the guts to keep going

In the late 1950s, the University of Georgia football team had an outstanding lineman who was voted All-SEC and an All-American in the 1959 and 1960 seasons. He would go on to coach under Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama, and eventually he would become the head football coach of Auburn University from 1981–1992. Pat Dye won 99 games at Auburn, including four SEC Championships; he also coached many All-Americans and even a Heisman trophy winner named Bo Jackson.

January 24, 2013 | Jason Dees | Columnists


Wilma's courage

First Baptist has had a partnership with church planters in Indonesia now for three years, and because of this partnership, in 2010 and in 2012, I have had the opportunity to go to Indonesia to teach these church planters.

January 17, 2013 | Jason Dees | Columnists


Be strong and courageous

When Moses had finished giving these instructions to all the people of Israel, he said, "I am now 120 years old, and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has told me, 'You will not cross the Jordan River.' But the Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua will lead you across the river, just as the Lord promised... So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your ...

January 17, 2013 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


God keeps his resolutions

Well, we're three weeks in to 2013. Have you kept your resolutions so far? Or are you realizing again this year that the New Year's resolutions were tougher than they sounded on Jan. 1?

January 17, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Scharf: When were you saved?

"When were you saved?" Have you ever been asked that question? When were you saved? Maybe it's just because of my line of work, but I get that question all the time.

January 10, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


McCoy: How is it with your soul?

"Therefore, let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified." Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away ...

January 10, 2013 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Scharf: Finding God in the strangest places

They say you find God in the strangest places. Well, the story of Christmas proves it. Read Luke 2. Even though the text starts in the Emperor's palace of the most powerful nation on earth, when "Caesar Augustus issued a decree," and it passes through every place of power and beauty you can imagine from the Governor's mansion of Quirinius to every corner of the known world - we find it settling down in Nazareth, a nothing town. We see the spotlight rest on a poor engaged couple with not enough resources to even secure a decent bed. That ...

January 03, 2013 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Burnham: You can never fool God

"You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all the people, all of the time."

We have all heard that quote, but here is another: "You can never fool God or yourself." Those two always know the "real" truth. So, let's ask the tough question, "Are you for real?" Or you do look like you have it all together on the outside, but on the inside you're not who others really think you are? May I remind you, God sees and knows all things. His name "El Shaddi" means "One ...

January 03, 2013 | William Burnham Pastor of Point of Grace Church | Columnists


Dees: A new year to evaluate

Are you a New Year's resolution maker? Or are you someone who used to make New Year's resolutions but never kept them and so now you don't even bother? Wherever you fall on this paradigm, a New Year is a good thing. It is a great time to evaluate your life and to make adjustments if needed. There is an old adage that rings true, "A life not evaluated is not worth living."

January 03, 2013 | Jason Dees | Columnists


McCoy: The basic essentials

"Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?" [Jesus] replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.

January 03, 2013 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


Looking back

"Therefore, as God's choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other."

December 27, 2012 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


The word made flesh

Wives, do you wish your husbands were better communicators? Guys, do you wish your wives didn't read things into what you say that were never there? You know what I'm talking about.

December 27, 2012 | Jonathan E. Scharf | Columnists


Does Walmart have more money than God?

In 2011, Walmart's total worldwide net sales total topped $418 billion with $309 billion coming from sales within the United States. You read that correctly, $418 and $309 billion. If Walmart were a country, its GDP for 2011 would have edged out the entire GDP of Austria, making it the 27th wealthiest nation in the world. Walmart's commitment to always giving the consumer the low price has paid off and Walmart's revenue will likely only continue to rise.

December 27, 2012 | Jason Dees | Columnists


What should Christians do with Santa?

I am always asked this time of year, "What should Christians do with Santa?" In America, Christmas has become a time of incredible materialism that is driven by companies doing whatever they can to take advantage of holiday shopping, and Santa Claus has become the symbol of this consumerism. Therefore, some Christian families feel that Santa takes the focus of Christmas away from Jesus. So what should Christians do?

December 20, 2012 | Jason Dees | Columnists


Who knew?

"Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, And they will call him, Emmanuel (God with us)."

December 20, 2012 | Jan McCoy | Columnists


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