I recently preached a sermon about Peter’s denial of Jesus, as recorded in John 18:15-27. In my study of that passage I saw something I never noticed before—something which I think highlights the blessing of doing ministry in the company of fellow disciples.
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The Final Four is done. I picked the two final teams in my bracket and also picked the winner as Kentucky rolled over Kansas. I loved picking correctly. I love basketball. I played basketball in high school because I was tall. Coach Swanson was my coach. He taught me important life lessons.
There is no greater thrill in ministry to watch a person move from death to life and put their trust in Jesus. But is conversion to Jesus and his gospel enough? What I mean is - is this the only conversion that needs to happen in the life of a Christian? Or could there be more “converting” work that needs to be done...
The highway lays before me, curving off to the left over the bridge and I am nine years old, bringing my Schwinn Stingray bike to a sudden halt as I round the base of the hill. Slightly to the left of me is a red Honda 70. A blanket lies over a mound stretched across the centerline and perpendicular to the road. I notice the...
Some folks assume that forgiveness and reconciliation are the same thing. They aren't. Forgiveness is what *I* do; Reconciliation is what *we* do. Forgiveness has to do with releasing a debt caused by behavior; Reconciliation has to do with re-building broken trust.
On April 16-18, a first-ever Prayer Summit for our denomination will take place in Los Angeles, Calif. By way of the “Each Church Send One!” campaign, I am inviting — and strongly encouraging — your congregation to send at least one person to this event.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing for Protestants to poke around a bit more in the early history of the Christian church. Ignorance of this era has allowed a fair amount of sloppy skepticism regarding what is pretty solidly knowable about the origins of the founding of our faith.
There is a journey of renewed identity that some churches experience. They remember fondly the fruitfulness in their land of the past. Then they cross the first holy river into the desert where, through prayer and holy conversation, they climb the jagged mountains to discover renewed vision. They cross deep valleys
When Lent rolled around and I began to think about the state of my life, I decided it was time to stop using online Tetris as a crutch. It was keeping me from building a life, for crying out loud! It was keeping me from flourishing, which is what God desires, isn’t it?
I’m writing to ask for your help with an issue that affects all Christian Reformed churches. Faith Alive, as you know, is the publishing ministry of the CRC. But like many denominational publishers, Faith Alive is facing significant financial headwinds in today’s tough economic times.
He asked them the simple question, “What are your expectations for your next pastor?” Someone immediately chimed in, “We want a heroic leader who will fill our pews.” A statement like this sounds ridiculous and yet it sheds light on some of the unhealthy, unrealistic, and unbiblical expectations that churches and pastors come to expect from the role of pastor.
Contrary to popular understanding, the 9th commandment is less about lying in general than it is about slander. The 9th commandment reads: “You shall not give false testimony about your neighbor.” It seemed to me as I listened to the political ads this morning that the purpose of these soundbites is to do exactly what the 9th commandment forbids – give false testimony about your neighbor.
I will admit that certain rituals do become dead routines in particular communities where their meaning is not taught and their mode is irrelevant. But the assumption by many Protestants that ritual itself is meaningless is theologically flawed and spiritually hazardous.
The Canada Revenue Agency has changed the requirements for the Clergy Residence Deduction (CRD).
Scripture’s authority is not like a rule book or an instruction manual that locks us in and orders us around. Its authority is akin to God’s authority – to liberate us and the world from the evils of our own doing and, in the process, to make us more fully human.
For the first time in living memory, and recent history, the church in Egypt seems to be waking with a renewed vision, with hunger for prayer, thirst for justice, seeking to be salt and light, to intercede for neighbors, and to stand up for their faith, with confidence, even in the face of threats and violence. And what is blossoming from this development is amazing.
Van Gogh once wrote, “I prefer painting people’s eyes to cathedrals, for there is something in the eyes that is not in the cathedral, however solemn and imposing the latter may be – a human soul, be it that of a poor beggar or of a street walker, is more interesting to me.” I will never forget the day I experienced Van Gogh’s truth for myself.
I’m curious how widespread Facebook’s influence is in redefining friendship. Several years ago, we would not necessarily have thought of everyone in our online friends list as friends. That doesn’t mean we don’t like them; it’s just that these people are now lumped into a single category
It is almost here. And it would not be hard to miss it. Really! It is such a hectic time of year. Calendars are so cluttered with activity. The worship schedule is heavier than usual, and it was already heavy. The only relief this year is that the holidays fall on Sundays.