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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Order matters

As the Israelites came into the promised land, Moses began telling them their history.  A whole generation had passed away while in the desert, so it was important for them to have everything straight before they crossed the Jordan.

In Deuteronomy chapter 7, the warnings come from Moses about the importance of Israel staying away from the gods of other cultures.  Just so they know who they are, just so they don't forget where they came from, Moses reminds them.

For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.  "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,  but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh …

The Forgotten Part of Prayer

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It’s no surprise that the Apostle Paul talks about prayer a lot.  Living on the road, sharing the gospel, or being shipwrecked, beaten, or jailed are things that would drive anyone to pray.  In his books in the New Testament Paul mentions prayer (prayers, prayer reports, prayer requests, exhortations to pray), 41 times.  One of those times you might be familiar with in Philippians instructs us to pray, but also reminds us about the most forgotten part of prayer, and it’s benefits.  Philippians 4:6-7 is a pretty well known passage, and for good reason.  
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:6-7
Many, many sermons have been preached on these verses. They are full of deep theological truths that have brought comfort and peace to multitudes.  But the little phrase tucked in the mid…

Social Media Discipleship

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I had a conversation with another pastor about two church members of my church that were fighting on Facebook.  He lectured me a little about the need to be careful with Facebook.  He’s 30 years or so older than me and told me “that is why he’s not friend with young people on Facebook.  They just don’t know how to control themselves.”  The advice he gave was sound, but the problem is that a 75 year old was fighting with an 85 year old online!
The world of social media is a new one for most everyone to navigate.  By that I don’t mean about figuring out how to get an account or follow somebody.  I mean figuring out how to deal with conflict, differing opinions, and even threats on social media.  There are many, many, many ways that a person can get in trouble online, and social media can just make it all worse.   And there are many ways that it is used to hurt, harm, and spread gossip rather than inform and unite.  There is one way, though, that you can use social media can be a blessing…

When did you start to die?

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June 28, 1914.  Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary,  was assassinated by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in in Sarajevo.  

Sometimes it's easy to look back and see the beginning, how something started,and what events led to the place you're at today. The Great Recession can be traced to Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929.  World War 2 began with September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland.  Even in your own life you might note when you first met your spouse, your first date, or your wedding day.  The death of a loved might also mark change in your life, easily traced back to the day of their first signs of illness or diagnosis.

Other times, it's not so easy to see the beginning.  It's harder to pinpoint when you begin to get old, when a marriage begins to fall apart, or when a church begins to die.

I recently saw two churches, within one mile of each other. They  actually had the same name, (NW Baptist vs NW Christian) Bo…