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Dare to be Different

Dare to be Different

There is a famous photograph taken in 1937 that records the launch of a newly built ship for the German navy. In the picture, hundreds of shipyard workers have their arms extended in a Nazi salute. If you look closely at the photo, however, you will find one man with a smirk on his face, standing with his arms folded defiantly across his chest. The worker has been identifi...

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Summer Book Club: Life Together

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Years ago a friend gave me a copy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book,Life Together. I have since read it more than once and would list it as one of the most important Christian books I own. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who lived in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. A critic of the Nazi party, Bonhoeffer had escaped Germany to study overseas and landed a ...

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Why Does God Want Us to pray?

Why Pray

According to Scripture, God clearly wants his people to call on him in prayer (Matt. 7:7-8; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2). But have you ever wondered why God wants us to pray? The Bible describes God as all-knowing, all-powerful, and never-failing in his love. So, if God knows what's best for us, has unlimited power to work in our lives, and loves us dearly, why does he require us...

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Book Review: Where the Light Fell

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In recent years, a growing number of people from conservative Christian backgrounds have been questioning the faith commitments of their youth. Sometimes identifying as "exvangelicals", these people often share publicly about the process of deconstructing (and sometimes abandoning) their faith. Generally what leads people to take these steps is their deep disillusionment w...

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Thoughts on Abortion

Made in God's Image

Since the days of the early Church, Christians have taught that abortion is ethically wrong. Though not all Christians hold this view today, it is still the conviction of many believers that, in most situations, the lives of the unborn should be protected. Why do Christians hold these beliefs? Do they simply want to deprive women of their rights? Do Christians have hang-up...

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Fighting for Joy: Part Three

Put into Practice

We are looking at practical instructions the Apostle Paul gave us in Philippians 4 to help us fight for joy during difficult times. In part one of this blog series, we examined the importance of prayer. In part two, we discussed the need to fill our minds with life-giving thoughts. The third practical suggestion Paul gives for pursuing joy is to put into practice those th...

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Fighting for Joy - Part Two

Think on these things

We are looking at practical instructions the Apostle Paul gave us in Philippians 4 to help us fight for joy during difficult times. In part one of this blog series, we examined the importance of prayer. The second practical suggestion we are given is to fill our minds with life-giving thoughts. It goes without saying that if you are filling your mind with garbage, you ...

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Fighting for Joy - Part One

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In Philippians 4:4, the Apostle Paul writes, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" The verb "rejoice" in that sentence is in the imperative mood. That means this is a command. We are commanded to experience joy. How can you command someone to feel a certain way? That does not seem fair. How can we control our feelings? Paul's words seem especially un...

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What We Can Learn From Hard Times

Weeping and Joy

Psalm 30 tells the story of someone who had faced difficult times. Listen to the litany of sorrows experienced by this song writer: Verse 1 mentions enemies, indicating the presence of interpersonal conflict in the psalmist's life. Verse 1 also says that God had lifted the psalmist from "the depths", pointing perhaps to a personal struggle with depression. Verses 2 an...

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Is the Easter Story True?

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According to the New Testament, the gospel message rises or falls on the historical reliability of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke wrote that Jesus gave his disciples "convincing evidence" that he had risen, and that God provided "proof of [the gospel] to everyone by raising [Christ] from the dead" (Acts 1:3; 17:31). The Apostle Paul considered it ridiculous for any...

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