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Why Sing Psalms?

For a while now, I've been chewing on the idea of incorporating Psalm singing into our worship services. I've introduced a couple of Psalms settings by singing them as we gather before the service starts. You might be wondering, why sing Psalms? While it is practiced in some churchesand there are even some churches that only sing Psalmsmost churches today do not regularly ...

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A Crisis of Faith

This morning I read where Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson has decided to walk away from the faith. A few hours later, I saw that Sampson had retreated from that announcement a little by saying he hasn't totally walked away, but his faith is on shaky ground. Sampson's announcement follows on the heels of high profile pastor Joshua Harris' announcement a week or so ago...

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The Case of the Invisible Heart

We can't know what's in someone's heart." I read that all-too-familiar sentiment expressed on social media recently. A Christian ministry had released a video that attacked some other Christian leaders, associating them with demonic opposition to the gospel. Many people rightly rebuked those responsible and called for an apology. Predictably, though, someone came to their ...

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Where Does it Say, “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves?”

In the Bible? If you said "yes," you would be in the majority. According to a Barna Research Group survey in 2000, 75% of Americans and 40% of Christians believe this popular phrase is a truth found in the Bible. A more recent survey says that 68% of Christians believe this statement is in the Bible. So, the majority of those around us believe this phrase can be found in t...

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The Honeymoon Is Over

When we start something new, such as a new marriage or a new job or even a new church, there is typically a "honeymoon" phase. The honeymoon phase is when we're excited about new opportunities and optimistic about the future. Everything seems perfect. Then the honeymoon ends. We find out that we're all sinners. Our relationships with others don't have to grow very deep be...

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More Depressing Sermons?

Well, Pastor Mike recently finished a sermon series from the book of Ecclesiastes, and while he's on vacation, I'm planning to preach on a couple of passages from the book of Jeremiah. These books have reputation for being the most depressing parts of the Bible, (along with Lamentations, of course). Ecclesiastes points to the futility of life apart from God, and Jeremiah p...

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God and Politics

Ah, summertime! Besides hot, humid weather, summer means vacation. It means a break from the routine. And this week, it means fireworks. The 4th of July is coming up as I write this. So, all of these factors are figuring into what I have to say this week. We just finished our sermon series on Ecclesiastes, so it seems logical to promote the new series at this time. But I'm...

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Everything’s Meaning(less)ful

Why bother? Sometimes I wonder why I bother writing these articles. Most of these newsletters get tossed out along with the credit card offers and the cable TV promotions. So, it seems like my efforts in writing or saying something that will actually make a difference in someone's life is pretty much a waste of time. This is basically what The Preacher, whom we belie...

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Tangles and Mysteries-Insights into life from kite-flying

The weather has been gorgeous lately. Monday was almost perfect; the sun was shining, the air was warm, the humidity was low, and a gentle breeze wafted through the trees. It was perfect kite-flying weather. And I had the perfect excuse to fly a kite. Ephram and Naomi, two of our grandchildren, are staying with us this week. Their parents, Joshua and Bryn, are in Nicaragua...

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Live Like You Were Dying

You've probably never heard of Samuel Timothy Smith. But there's a story about Tim Smith that I think you'll find interesting. An only child, Tim was eleven years old when his parents divorced. When Christmas rolled around a few months later, Tim decided to conduct a search of his mother's closet while she is at work to see if he can find any Christmas presents she mi...

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