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The Word Became Flesh

About this time last year, a young man wandered into the church building, looking for a place to get warm. A tire on his car had gone flat, and he didn't have a spare. We managed to get his car to a local tire store which happened to have a tire to fit the man's car. The price was right, so I authorized the technician to install the tire. While standing there in the lobby ...

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God Comes to Us in Unlikely Places

On the first Sunday in Advent, we remember that Christ comes to us in darkness. Jesus was born at night, in a messy stall. This indicates that his presence, our healing, and our salvation, are always taking place in the dark and messy parts of life. During this season of encroaching darkness, we celebrate the coming of the Light of the World, which dispels the darkness. An...

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Why Do We Celebrate Advent?

This Sunday morning, we begin our celebration of the season of Advent. The word "Advent" is derived from the Latin word adventus, which means, "coming" or "arrival." Scholars believe that during the 4thand 5thcenturies in Spain and Gaul (France), Advent was a season of preparation for thebaptismof new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany. During this season of prepa...

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Thankful for the Minor Prophets

Imagine that you're a visiting a new Bible study group. You're introduced to the group, there's some small-talk, then what seems like hours of prayer requests for people you don't know anything about followed by a brief opening prayer. And then the group leader says, "Open your Bibles to the book of Obadiah." Before you were nervous; now you're terrified. Where is the boo...

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The Result of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and courage go hand in hand. In fact, the giving of thanks leads to courage. We see this in Acts 28:15, where we see that Paul "thanked God, and took courage." Paul needed courage. On his journey to Rome to testify of Jesus before Caesar, the ship that was supposed to take Paul there was shipwrecked off the coast of Malta. All 276 passengers survived, but i...

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Waiting on God Doesn’t Mean Doing Nothing

Years ago, when we lived in Nashville, our church sponsored a family of refugees from Vietnam. They knew some English, but were a long way from being fluent in our language. We found an apartment for them as well as jobs for the mother and her son, Phuong who was about twenty years old at the time. Our congregation worked with this family of refugees in a number of ways to...

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The Transformational Church Wrestles with Sticky Theological Questions

This week we're going to see what God is saying to us in Acts 27. It's the story of Paul's voyage to Rome and of the shipwreck that occurred on the way. This story presents some sticky theological questions for us. We're going to focus on a few of them. Sticky Theological Question #1Why does God not always intervene and change our circumstances? The Lord Jesus had appear...

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Another Shoe Illustration

It's time for yet another illustration from my days as a shoe salesman. I used to be a shoe salesman. I've worked at four different shoe stores. The different stores had different dress codes. Some were fairly dressy, others were more casual. But there's one item that all stores had in common: you have to wear the shoes we sell. Why? We sold expensive, orthopedically-corr...

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A church that transforms others, is a church that is being transformed.

In Acts 19, unbelievers in Ephesus stir up a riot over Paul's teaching. And yet the catalyst for the riot isn't really Paul's teaching. He'd been in town for over two years, yet there was no riot during that time. Instead, what seems to be the catalyst for the riot is the extraordinary devotion ordinary believers who willingly pay a high price to turn from sin and follow J...

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Semper Reformanda

Semper Fidelis or the shorted version, Semper Fi, is the motto of United States Marine Corps. It is a Latin phrase that means "always faithful" or "always loyal." While just about all of us are familiar with that phrase, a relative few of us are familiar with the phrase, Semper Reformanda, which means "always reforming." For the Marine,Semper Fi is shorthand for a lifestyl...

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