• The Rage Against God
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    Book Review: “The Rage Against God” by Peter Hitchens

    “In the names of reason, science, and liberty they [have] proved, rather effectively, that good societies need God to survive and that when you have murdered him, starved him, silenced him, denied him to the children, and erased his festivals and memory, you have a gap that cannot indefinitely be filled by any human, nor anything made by human hands…. [Yet] A new and intolerant utopianism seeks to drive the remaining traces of Christianity from Europe and North America. This time, it does so mainly in the cause of personal liberation, born in the 1960s cultural revolution, and now inflamed into special rage by any suggestion that the sexual urge…

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    What Could Responses to Mask Wearing Tell Us About Ourselves?

    Masks[1] were used in the 1600’s plague by doctors[2]and in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic by the public.[3] Meriam-Webster defines a mask as-a protective covering for the face; a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infectious material. Masks have been around for a long time. With COVID-19, the wearing of masks has resurfaced and has become a divisive topic among church goers. Both sides seem passionate about their choice. I have been a Christian for about 40 years and I have not witnessed a division like this before. Admittedly, school choices, hymn versus choruses, and vaccinations have caused some divisions. These topics might have been as divisive, but with time…

  • Heartprints

    Has 2020 been crazy or what?

    Isn’t it weird that 2020 seems so out of control?  Does this mean that God is preparing us for the end times, or has he officially got the ball rolling on that?  Is this just another year that we will look back at and say, “boy that 2020 was a crazy year?” or will we forget this year even happened except when it’s brought up in conversation or on the History Channel?  Is 2020 a year of correction from God designed to remind us that He’s still in charge?   I’ve asked all of these questions and I think I have the answer to them all and the answer is probably…YES! I have to…

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    What Is the Church—Really?

    In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said “The meek shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). Think about what the righteous will inherit: the earth. Literally. And the earth would make for a pretty pitiful inheritance if God planned to obliterate it. But he doesn’t. Instead, he has big plans to restore it. God has a good plan for this planet that does not involve its total annihilation.  In Ephesians 1, Paul seems to have in mind the same future that Jesus promised to the meek (v. 3). The heirs of God are said to possess the current spiritual blessings as a mere down payment or deposit (v. 14); in the future,…

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    Sacraments and Spit-Up

    It was a no good, rotten Sunday. My husband and I both overslept, resulting in a thrown-together breakfast. My daughter refused to nurse. My son instantaneously despised his church shoes. No one got coffee. The car ride to church resembled a chaotic symphony of yawns, bickering and tears. We arrived at church with forced smiles. As we grabbed seats in the last row, I glanced to the front of the sanctuary, and my stomach dropped. There it stood–a pristine table of bread and juice. I sighed, attempting to curb my rotten attitude, while inwardly thinking, “Of course, communion would be today.” I used to love communion Sundays–a day in which…

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    Praying for the Impossible

    I was recently convicted about the power of prayer. Reading through the book of Acts, I came to the story of Peter’s imprisonment.  If you’re just skimming your reading or you have read the story many times over, it’s tempting to take this moment for granted. With a fresh glance, I was struck by this encounter in the early church and all that it implies for my life and yours. The infamous King Herod was at it yet again. Actually, this time it wasn’t Herod the Great, the famous King who slaughtered many children, hoping to find baby Jesus among the carnage; this was one of King Herod’s legacies, his…

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    Baby Steps toward Racial Reconciliation

    Racial injustice. Color blindness. White privilege. Reparations. Christian unity. Woke up. Systemic racism.  A few years ago these were terms that I as a white woman knew little about and rarely even considered, much less understood. I grew up in the Jim Crow South surrounded by people who looked just like me. Although Brown vs. The Board of Education had demanded an end to school segregation years before, the reality was that my schools were as segregated as ever until high school. My parents were strong Christians who had been taught that white people were superior. But I noticed the inconsistency of their faith and actions and wondered. After the…

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    Why Kids Leave the Church After High School

    The Youth Transition Network has released the results of research about why 70% of students in high school youth groups have left the church within a year after high school graduation. One big reason is the unrealistic expectations that our young people sense from parents and church authority figures. When asked, “What does it mean to be a good Christian,” students responded with a long list of do’s and don’ts, always and nevers: No sex No secular music No fun No profanity No bad attitudes Be perfect Be a virgin Be wholly devoted to God Be righteous Be a role model Don’t doubt Have all the spiritual answers Always be…

  • Heartprints

    Christian Cliques – A Problem to Overcome

      What we want and what we get are often two very different things! You would think that inthe church of all places we would easily find community. However, our churches often consist of a large group ofpeople coming together for worship but leaving in cliques. New comers may be welcomed in word while excluded from our conversations and activities.   Even Jesus had close friends with whom He spent more time than He did with the large crowds that came to Him for healing or to hear Him preach. Was that a clique?  By definition a clique is “a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons; especially:one held together…

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    Becoming a Welcoming Church

    As parents, we know all too well the pressures of simply getting out the door on Sunday mornings with kids in tow. Along with that comes the added pressure of checking our children into their classes, making sure teachers know about a child’s allergies, or calming a tearful toddler. When it comes down to it, welcoming new people isn’t always on our radar. And sometimes, the bigger problem is that we think our church is already so welcoming that it won’t make a difference if we fail to greet a guest. Thom S. Rainer (church consultant and author of Becoming a Welcoming Church) learned not to ask church members if…