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Rolling back the film
Oct21

Rolling back the film

I love seeing old pictures or films that give a glimpse of how life was lived and what culture looked like in bygone days, exposing me to history I never could have lived or reminding me of the now-changed landscape of my past. I like to be able, somehow, to grasp what came before or recapture my own life lived. Abandoned places intrigue me, too. They hold a bit of mystery. The why’s, how’s and what’s. What circumstances led to its...

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Text talk: What is good preaching?
Oct14

Text talk: What is good preaching?

Frequently at the end of a worship service, as church members greet their pastor on their way out the door, you hear these words, “Good sermon, preacher!” Sometimes when pastors get together and the conversation turns to church life, a particular pastor is mentioned, and someone says, “Man, he’s a good preacher!” But what is good preaching? Some may see it as being entertaining. Perhaps the speaker is a good storyteller or maybe can...

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Shine: Diminishing the significance of baptism
Oct07

Shine: Diminishing the significance of baptism

Recently I had two experiences that caused me to wonder if we have lost the significance of baptism in some of our churches. The first experience was a baptismal service in which anyone and everyone who wanted to be baptized was invited to come and be baptized. People came forward for the celebration of baptism and made statements like: “The rest of my family was being baptized, so I decided to get baptized again;” “I have never been...

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Pure and undefiled religion
Sep30

Pure and undefiled religion

“Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27). Growing up in northern Oklahoma, my father served as a deacon in our church. He often took me along to make hospital visits, welcome new members to our church and serve the widows in his care. I have great memories of serving alongside my dad to care for our widows....

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Powerful prayer: The greatest pastor appreciation gift
Sep23

Powerful prayer: The greatest pastor appreciation gift

On Oct. 14, many churches observe Pastor Appreciation Sunday. Today’s leaders face spiritual attacks and pressures like few previous generations. If ever there were a time church leaders needed encouragement and prayerful support, that time is now! No doubt, a most crucial way to encourage and support leaders is to pray for them. Yet, it is vital that we go deeper than the occasional “bless them” prayers that characterize far too...

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Christian health: Daily breakfast for good health
Sep16

Christian health: Daily breakfast for good health

Spending time with the Lord, reading our Bible and praying, first thing in the morning is the best way to start a new day. It is spiritual food for spiritual health. Mark 1:35 says “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” We grow in our walk with the Lord when we spend time with Him. We also need food for physical health. Breakfast is defined as...

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