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    Accountability, A Timely Lesson from Culture and Jesus

    Whatever our circumstances, the hope and will of the Father is that we would use the gift of the church and our community to go through this life together. If your world feels dark, you are always one step away from the light in Jesus Christ found in him and fellow believers carrying the torch, ready to the light the way for each other.

  • Heartprints

    Called To Disciple

    Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to have experienced and learned from Jesus during His earthly ministry?  The other day my husband and I were having a conversation regarding the way we respond towards different people and their circumstances.  He told me that I was like the apostle John and he was more like Peter.   Who was John?  Well, John was spoken of as the disciple Jesus loved.  (John 13:23) The Scripture is clear that John was the brother of James and the son of Zebedee. (Matt. 4:21-22; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16).  He was a fisherman by trade and an ordinary man.  Many are familiar with John because he wrote five books…

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    Who Do You Say I Am?

      Most of us know the greatest stories ever told. Noah, his ark in the flood, and the promise of the rainbow. Moses parting the Red Sea as the Israelites escaped from Egypt. The baby Jesus lying in the manger with shepherds and wise men paying honor to the newborn King. The empty tomb on Sunday morning. Often in stories our focus is on the action or the players or the outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose––to turn our focus to the Author of life. To fix our minds on God. Renowned theologian A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing…

  • Heartprints

    Painting Rocks for Pennies

    When I was eight-ish years old, a neighbor friend and I gathered a bunch of rocks, painted them, and sold them door to door for a quarter. We did surprisingly well…well enough to buy some candy from Pauley’s Grocery Store.   I don’t know why I love rocks. I don’t know their appeal. I just know that when I see one with unique characteristics and hidden qualities, I have to pick it up. I feel like that’s how Jesus felt picking his disciples. Seeing someone that others have overlooked. Appreciating a deeper quality only He could see. Overlooking rough edges knowing He could redeem it and redirect it for a…

  • 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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    The New Testament Embraces Suffering

                  God never intended for his creation to suffer. And most would agree that foolish choices by way of sin and rebellion can lead to suffering. But should suffering befall disciples of Jesus Christ? In a word, yes. If my last four blog posts have not convinced you, then let’s dive into the New Testament for more evidence.                 Jesus suffered more than any human before or after him. He had first-hand knowledge of rejection, humiliation, injustice, and shunning by friends and family. He prepared his proponents to expect the same (Matt. 5:44–45). The one who has…

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    Holy Week – Jesus Praying in the Garden

      After sharing the Passover meal Jesus and his disciples begin walking toward the Garden of Gethsemane. Anticipating what was going to happen to him in a matter of hours, Jesus goes ahead to a place to pray asking Peter, James and John to wait with Him while he prays. He was deeply distressed and troubled (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14: 32-41; Luke 22:40-46). He falls to the ground burdened with excessive sorrow. He prays to the Father for Himself, for His disciples and for all who would ever believe – for you and for me. Can you imagine what it would have been like to overhear the prayer conversation between…

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    Maundy Thursday: A Covenant of Hope

    The room was dark, somber, even gloomy. Heaviness clung to the air and caught in their throat. The disciples didn’t understand what would transpire in the following hours. But they sensed a growing somberness about Jesus and growing uncertainty within themselves.  For the past several days, Jesus increasingly talked about his death. And now, as the gathered round the Passover table, the theme emerged again.  Jesus picked up the bread and broke it—his body, he said. Then he passed the cup, telling them to each take a drink. This wasn't like the other Passovers that the disciples had celebrated since youth. There was something new and different about this one.…

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    An Exercise in Observation

    This painting is by the famous seventeenth century Dutch painter and printmaker, Rembrandt. He is praised as a master storyteller who captured intricate details with his paintbrush. Go ahead and study this painting. What do you observe? Who are the four figures represented? What are they doing? Do you recognize this scene? This painting is titled, The Supper at Emmaus, and it is based on Luke 24:17-35. It is a powerful story that reminds us of the personal and real nearness of God. Notice in this painting: Jesus is the central figure.   Jesus’ glory is represented by the glow emanating from him. Additionally, his light colored robe stands in…

  • Impact

    Live the Jesus Lifestyle: Make Disciples

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken The most disobeyed directive Jesus ever gave is the last directive Jesus ever gave: make disciples. Nothing could be plainer than Jesus’ final marching orders: make disciples!  That’s what He said, that’s what He meant.   Yet all over the world we find pastors, churches, deacons, elders and church members who are radically disobedient. Some are ignorant, others are willful, but they are disobedient nonetheless.   Pastors give in to tradition and the demands of their people and choose to disobey Jesus’ final command. Many seem to think that ministry is about making them successful, or keeping their job secure, which they…