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Catechizing into the Kingdom?

Galatians 1:11-12 11For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. 12For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Let's all agree that parenting is hard. My father once had an old, heavy, early-70's era car with bad shocks. On rural, crowned Illinois r...

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Pondering Ezra's Mass Divorce

Sometimes in this space, in the coming year, I will reflect on a passage from M'Cheyne's Bible Reading plan. Today includes Ezra 10. It's worth reflecting on the goodness of what is recorded here. The people of God, right after their return from exile - which was itself God's discipline for disregarding His law - disregard His law, and marry women from foreign nations. Ez...

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Six Rules for Bible Reading in 2019

Six rules for Bible reading, in 2018: 1. Don't make it a rule. The hinge upon which our lives turn is not whether we have satisfied rituals that please God. Jesus himself became THE ritualistic sacrifice, that satisfied God, in our place. The measure of our Christianity is not whether we've done sufficient devotions, but whether we believe that God is there, and that He i...

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The New Year and the Proverbs 31 Woman

The voices speaking to women today are endless. This is the time of year when many of these voices "come calling", and their demands transmogrify within us into new New Year's habits and goals (we no longer call them "resolutions", but the behavior is there all the same). The Christian form of this is to look at the Proverbs 31 woman, and be found wanting. Who can keep up ...

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The Prologue, by D.A. Carson

The Prologue Before there was a universe, Before a star or planet, When time had still not yet begun I scarcely understand it Th' eternal Word was with his God, God's very Self-Expression; Th' eternal Word was God himself And God had planned redemption. The Word became our flesh and blood The stuff of his creation The Word was God, the Word was flesh, ...

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What's Expected of You?

What is expected of each of us in this church, when we are outside of Sunday worship? Let's work our way out from the center: We are to glorify God. We do this best, as others have said, as we enjoy Him. In enjoying Him we have all the inner power we need to make much of Him. We find this joy in the gospel. Thus one of our first responsibilities is to pursue our own joy, ...

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Toxic Masculinity

I'm told the Oxford Dictionary named "toxic" its "word of the year". For good reason - it describes well our political discourse, our relationships, Utah's air this time of year . . . but especially men. We've heard so many stories where men have misused others, especially women - where "toxic masculinity" is an understandable description. Therefore I would like to speak ...

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You, God's Mask

No matter what work you have been called to today, Martin Luther has a word for you: "God could easily give you grain and fruit without your plowing and planting. But He does not want to do so. . . . What else is all our work to Godwhether in the fields, in the garden, in the city, in the house, in war, or in governmentbut just such a child's performance, by which He want...

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Kids in Church: Thoughts for the Team

In our church we want to make space for children to be in church with their parents, almost regardless of age. The purpose is not to fawn over children, or to make our worship kid-centric instead of God-centered. It is instead to raise up young adults who are authentic worshipers of God. Reflecting on this endeavor, and without repeating what was shared in last week's semi...

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How Firm a Foundation

Our modern, technological age speeds us up. In many respects, this is good: we get more good things done in less time. But one downfall is that we forget ourselves, and we forget God. In this sense, it's true: speed kills. Actually, that's not quite right. To quote an old comedian, it's not the speed that kills you - it's the sudden stop. We don't realize how fast we're g...

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