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Promise of Better Days Ahead

Early this past fall, as my wife was cleaning out our son's closet, she came across his North Face winter coat. Our son, Jacob, had not taken it to college, because the zipper was broken. But then my wife remembered North Face's promise, their lifetime guarantee behind defects in all materials and workmanship. So we decided to test their promise. We sent the coat back to ...

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Essential Prayer

"Prayer is one of the most important aspects of building disciples. If one is to help men grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, he must pray. Indeed, if he does everything else right in terms of building disciples, yet fails to pray, nothing significant will happen." (Carl Wilson) As I am preaching through Philippians, once again I am reminded of the importance of prayer...

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Three-Legged Stool

Have you ever tried to sit on a one-legged stool? Or a stool with just two legs? Hard to do, isn't it? Stools with one or two legs will never hold you up for long. What you need is a three-legged stool. Just as three legs are required to sit on a stool, three essential ingredients are required to live and grow in our Christian journey. The first ingredient is the Holy Spi...

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Taking on the Giants

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Ph. 3.13b-14, NIV). Fighting giants is, by definition, hard work. We don't call them giants for nothing. The giants of fear and anger, bitterness and temptation are more likely to present ...

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Killing Giants

Giants are tough. Even though they might be a long way off, you can hear them coming, can't you? You might be able to run, but you cannot hide. You might as well come out and fight. They cast a long shadow over everything we aspire to do, every dream we hope to pursue, every new land we seek to inhabit. Today we would call them bullies, but they are the same old giants....

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Faith Rooted in Fact

We are nearly 2000 years removed from Jesus' resurrection. Given that significant gap in time and culture, it can be easy to lose touch with what it was like for early believers. We live in a world and culture where Jesus' bodily resurrection is celebrated annually, where even those who don't believe it are at least used to the idea. Jesus' resurrection has even, in wester...

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A Passion for the Lost

There are a lot of titles that Jesus uses to describe himself: Bridegroom, Bread of Life, Cornerstone, Good Shepherd. But there is another one that stands out as completely different than all the rest: "friend of sinners" (Luke 7:34). Jesus loved lost people. He loved spending time with them. He went to their parties and enjoyed their company. From the Gospels it appears ...

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Working the Father's Blueprint

Have you noticed? It is much easier to make a case for a commitment to Christ than a commitment to the church. Christ is awesome, majestic, compelling. But the church seems so human, so ordinary and too many times downright dull. Christ is pure, the church is deeply and tragically stained. In Paul's letter to the church of Ephesus, he lists three important opinions of the...

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Above All

I love the the Acts of the Apostles. Once again I have been reading this New Testament story and I have been caught up in the expectant and vibrant faith of the early church. Their zest for Christ and for sharing His good news, their sacrifice, and their ministry all draw me up short. The power of the Holy Spirit displayed every day in the lives of those first disciples a...

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You Are What You Celebrate

As I prepared to "be" Gideon for VBC, and then to preach about Gideon, my initial response to the story was the same as it has been for years: I was staggered by the foolishness of the Israelites, by their capacity to forget and abandon God. When you think about their history from Egypt up until the time of the Judges, it seems almost impossible to comprehend. Surely they ...

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