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The Most Dangerous Sermon in the World

At a routine medical examination in 1992, Christine Maggiore tested positive for the HIV-virus. Initially, she accepted her condition, even participating with AIDS charities, including The AIDS Project and Women At Risk. ...

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May We Abound in Simple Love

SimpleLoveBlog

When asked what is the greatest commandment the Lord answered that it is to love God with everything you are and to love your neighbor as you love yourself (cf., Mark 12:28-31). The infinite Creator and Sustainer of the universe provides for us one word to define how we ought to act, feel, and think toward God and man. Love. ...

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Culture Check: Is My Church Culture Healthy?

CultureCheckfortheBlogIsMyChurchCHealthy

I once heard a church planter tell pastors, “Your culture will eat your philosophy of ministry for lunch.” What did he mean? On paper, your church may have a clear vision, carefully crafted mission, and sweet doctrinal statement. But in practice, it may reek. Church culture is the smell that lingers in the room long after you’re read the doctrinal statement. ...

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Culture Check: Sabbath Regularly

CultureCheckfortheBlogSabbath

“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Hurry is the great enemy of your soul and will sabotage your spiritual life.” That was what a Christian leader on the verge of burn-out heard from his mentor. It saved his life. ...

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Culture Check: Sending Servants

CultureCheckfortheBlogWk7

Farmers in Oklahoma during the late 1930’s faced an excruciating choice: would they hold onto their last seeds for self-preservation, or plant them for a larger harvest that would feed many? ...

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Culture Check: Serving Others

CultureCheckfortheBlogServingOthers

It’s 1935. Germany is under the tyranny of Hitler and he is forming a powerful army trained to inflict cruelty and death. His tactics include fear, brainwashing, and domination. At the same time, Dietrich Bonhoeffer...

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Culture Check: Seeking God

CultureCheckfortheBlogSeekingGod

What do you do when your life becomes a dumpster fire, burning out of control? It’s scorching others, destroying relationships, pushing you closer to the edge, and you suddenly realize you struck the match? When you look in the mirror and see not an innocent victim but the guilty fool whose selfish actions are tearing the kingdom apart, then what? ...

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Culture Check: The War

CultureCheckfortheBlogWk5

About 15 years ago my wife and I vacationed in Hawaii. Upon landing, we were asked multiple times by the airport authorities if we were carrying any plants, fruits, vegetables, birds, mammals, or reptiles. We were repeatedly warned, especially about smuggling in a snake...

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Culture Check: The Walk

CultureCheckfortheBlogWk3

Culture is the “unspoken rules about the way we do things around here." Unspoken. Unanalyzed. Unchallenged. Unquestioned. Every church has a culture. Doctrine involves spoken rules, written rules...

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Culture Check: The Welcome

CultureCheckfortheBlogWk2

Our church culture should match our church doctrine. The latter shapes and informs the former. Since our primary doctrine is the Gospel, then our culture should align. Do we have a gospel culture? ...

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Heaven

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Have you ever heard, or maybe even thought: “I want Jesus to come back, but first I really want to experience _____.” What occupies your blank? Marriage? Sex? Children? Retirement? Some kind of bucket list item like skydiving, hiking the Appalachian Trail, seeing the Grand Canyon, or climbing Mt. Everest? Those sound amazing. But do we really think God would allow some...

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The Gaze of God

GazeofGodBlog

Grace is confusing. Have you noticed? It provokes two completely different reactions. In one sense, we find grace attractive. Our hearts long for the one-way, unconditional acceptance that grace delivers. Love, not judgment. Pardon, not punishment. Who wouldn’t sign up for that?...

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New Year, New (Broken) Resolutions

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A few years ago, TIME Magazine published an article listing the top ten commonly broken New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s three of them. ...

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Celebrating Peace at Christmas

OverProject 4

Have you heard of Hiroo Onoda? He was the last Japanese soldier to surrender in World War 2. But he didn’t wave a white flag in 1945. Hiroo held out for nearly 30 years deep in the Philippine jungles of Lubang. Obeying orders, he refused to surrender under any circumstances—including villagers leaving notes declaring that the war was over, the Japanese government d...

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Broken Pencils, Dynamite & Christmas

OverProject 5

Years ago I caught my son breaking pencils. Little convict had a whole pile of splintered number 2’s hidden in a drawer. I confronted him. “Why are you breaking all my pencils, buddy?” His answer? “To show how powerful I am.” I haven’t forgotten his response. It’s comical. It’s human. It’s an opportunity to think more deeply about “power.” We prove ou...

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