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Aug 2013 22 Aug 22, 2013
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Many Christians have a less than biblical understanding of what being a Christian is all about. More than a few liken it to a casual stroll down the proverbial yellow-brick road on our way to some heavenly OZ. Others think that being a child of God entitles a person to a pain-free existence, or at least an existence in which all pain is easily, if not automatically, eliminated. Of course, there are plenty of Christians who err at the other end of the spectrum. They have ...Read More

Aug 2013 21 Aug 21, 2013
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The Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Gifts (a review from www.verticallivingministries.com). As someone who was brought up in Cessationist churches and schools I was always taught that the miraculous gifts in the Book of Acts and 1 Corinthians had ceased and were no longer in use today. In 1999 I went on a missions trip to India and witnessed several healing miracles, heard several prophecies, and personally experienced the power and presence of the Holy Spirit like ...Read More

Aug 2013 21 Aug 21, 2013

Petition, in which we seek blessings that we need, and thanksgiving, in which we are grateful for blessings received, together constitute the language of dependence, a constant reminder to us that in God “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Petitionary prayer is based on the scriptural declaration that nothing in the lives of God’s children is too trivial or unimportant that we should hesitate to bring it to the throne of grace. If the p...Read More

Aug 2013 20 Aug 20, 2013

“And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals. And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (Rev. 5:5-6). Edwards continues his meditation on ho...Read More

Aug 2013 20 Aug 20, 2013

A brief review of Tough Topics by Jason Garwood, Lead Pastor of Colwood Church in Caro, MI. Jason blogs at www.jasongarwood.com. In his book ‘Tough Topics,’ Pastor Sam Storms attempts to tackle some of the most often asked questions in Christianity today. I applaud Storms’ efforts because the church must be able to answer them in accordance with the Scriptures, and Storms does a masterful job at doing so. To pick out my favorites would be an impossibl...Read More

Aug 2013 20 Aug 20, 2013

J. I. Packer has great insight and excellent advice for us when it comes to the discipline of self-examination and our battle with pride. “Whereas introspection, whether it ends in euphoria or in the gloom of self-pity and self-despair, can become an expression of self-absorbed pride, self-examination is the fruit of God-centered humility, ever seeking to shake free of all that displeases the Father, dishonors the Son and grieves the Holy Spirit, so as to honor ...Read More

Aug 2013 19 Aug 19, 2013

I began following Jesus at a time when the Left Behind series of books was entering the height of popularity. I was reading each one that came out, and as a new believer I just assumed this was how the end times were going to happen. I stopped reading the series about halfway through when I realized that one of the books I had just read covered only one day in what was supposed to be a seven year tribulation. I got weary of how long the story was going to drag out, but I...Read More

Aug 2013 18 Aug 18, 2013
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[The following is a selection taken from a sermon I preached yesterday at Bridgeway, Sunday, August 18, 2013.] Most are probably unaware of this, but I frequently speak with people who are new to Bridgeway and I hear one of three observations. Almost all of them are somewhat surprised by what they encounter and experience here. It certainly wasn’t what they expected. First of all, there are those who have come to Bridgeway because they are desperately hungry for ...Read More

Aug 2013 17 Aug 17, 2013

J. I. Packer defines “complaint” in prayer as “a kind of speech that blends lamentation (raging, glooming and despairing over what is bad, frustrating and hurtful) with supplication (begging and pleading that someone will do something about it)” (Praying 190). But is it ever permissible to “complain” to God in prayer? Or should the believer gird up his loins, grit his teeth, and keep his mouth shut? More than permissible, it is often ...Read More

Aug 2013 17 Aug 17, 2013

“The bottom line for us all is: Choose togetherness, the radical togetherness of those who know they are inseparably and eternally one in Christ and whose relationship is rooted in praise and prayer together. Choose not to be held back by shyness, embarrassment, social convention or any form of personal inhibition (attitudes anchored not in concern for dignity and good taste, as some make themselves believe, but in a panicky fear of vulnerability). Choose to give a...Read More