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    Decrease, Increase?

    John the Baptist’s words in John 1:29 cause me to pause and wonder. Why would his simple words, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” seem so profound? Who was John the Baptist? What can I learn from this unique man that lived over 2000 years ago? These types of questions sent me on a search that revealed some life lessons for me. By God’s great mercy, John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth and Zachariah. Elizabeth was from Arron’s line, Zachariah was from the division of Abijah, they were both elderly and considered righteous in the sight of God (Luke 1:5-7). Because there…

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    Tell the Next Generation About the Lord

    “You’re the writer. Take this,” my siblings said as we cleaned, sorted, and emptied my parents’ home after they both passed away. Everything that appeared to document their lives, ministry, and testimonies was stuffed into an overflowing box and handed to me. For three years the box sat in my office closet. My husband, the one who loves to take out the garbage, queried, “What are you going to do with it? You know someone’s just going to throw it away someday.”  Despite that reality (which I accept), I finally opened the contents of my parents’ lives and dove in. I categorized and read, scanned and discarded. Ray Dubert’s baby…

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    Are the End Times Near? Why you can ‘Keep Calm and Carry on.’

    Sometimes it feels like there is no doubt that we are living in the End Times. Fires burn, pestilences rage, and unrest abounds. What does that mean for us now? Nothing. Well, nothing different anyway. What makes today unique is that despite what sometimes feels like rising tension in the world, the mission hasn’t changed. In these moments of history, when it feels like hardship is coming at us from every angle, it feels as though Jesus should return. It’s easy to ask oneself, where is the Lord? Isn’t today a good day to be rescued? Something about that feels like the wrong question. A better question might be, what…

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    The Thanks Giving Key

    A few years ago I was invited to go on an overseas mission trip. This journey was to a country on the other side of the world with a foreign culture and language, and would take almost 24 hours to get there. No doubt many of you readers have done the same, and know the planning, anticipation and excitement of such a trip. Still, it’s not unusual to have a little nagging insecurity regarding the unknowns, and that was how I was feeling. I would be traveling alone on a long leg of the trip, navigating an unfamiliar airport with a tight connection and felt a little uneasy about it.…

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    Has the Church Forgotten Its Task?

    I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of time we as believers put in to “doing” church. There is a never-ending deluge of conferences, retreats, board meetings, choir practices, devotionals, books, and sermons to choose from; however, the average Christian has never shared their faith with an unbeliever. While these activities are not bad, it seems to me we have spent so much time doing Christian things that we may have forgotten the very task that God has entrusted to us. God did not leave us without purposefully outlining a task that is attainable and measurable. We refer to this task as the Great Commission.      Matthew 28:18-20 …

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    Running Towards Giants

    All my life I have heard the story of David and Goliath preached with an emphasis on personal application. "Defeating Your Giants" or "Five Stones of Faith That Lead to Victory"  -These typical homilies are focused on encouraging believers to slay impossible giants in their own lives. However, I believe it is time to take a fresh look at this age-old passage.    I had the privilege to hear Bob Sjogren, president of UnveilinGLORY ministries, speak and he suggested something quite strange. While Goliath is usually presented as a stumbling block best avoided, Bob suggests that we run towards our giants in the name of God’s glory. Personal giants are…

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    The Birth of Christmas: The son of god and The Son of God

    The year was 4 BC, and much of Galilee was in turmoil.   Caesar Augustus, the son of god, had ordered a census for tax purposes, and some in Israel had to go to their home communities to comply. So it was that an unknown couple, Joseph and Mary, from an obscure town called Nazareth of Galilee had to go to a small village named Bethlehem nearly 100 miles away. To complicate things even more, Mary was pregnant and about to deliver her firstborn son, Jesus.   Caesar Augustus, Gaius Julius Octavius, was one of the greatest leaders in history. A brilliant administrator, a talented team builder, aware of his…

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    Planning Like Jesus this Year

    Meet Michelle Oney. She’s the Director of Development at Josh McDowell Ministry and has a passion for strategic planning, developing people, and making the most of every opportunity to share the gospel.  From the Old Testament with Moses, Joshua, Nehemiah, and David to the New Testament with Jesus and Paul, the Bible is full of examples of leaders who strategically planned in order to accomplish what God had called them to do. As we look to planning for 2016, we can’t just look at what worked and what didn’t last year. We don’t have to rely on brainstorming, ideation, skill, experience, or creativity. Of course we may use some of…

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    All In, Running Flat Out

    I am certainly not a runner. I tried it a few years back and never made it much beyond the end of the block. But I am a runner in the race of the Christian life, and I want to finish strong. I want to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” when my race is over. The other day a good friend sent me a John Piper post highlighting 88-year-old J.I. Packer’s latest book on aging. I haven’t yet read the book, but Packer is reported to say that the message of our culture to take our last years easy comes from the evil one, not God. Packer says, ”My contention…