Some keep the Sabbath by going to church

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church BY EMILY DICKINSON Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – I keep it, staying at Home – With a Bobolink for a Chorister – And an Orchard, for a Dome – Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice – I, just wear my Wings – And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church, Our little Sexton – sings.   God preaches, a noted Clergyman – And the sermon is never long, So instead of getting to Heaven, at last – I’m going, all along.   I have liked poems for a long time, and…

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Show me the scripture

After my post yesterday, at least two concerned readers questioned my youth ministry reference.  They both made similar comments and asked me to show them scriptures to defend youth ministers.  There is no explicit mention of youth ministers in the Bible.  Now, before you throw your hands up, pat yourself on the back and claim a decisive victory over the “liberals,” read the rest of the post.  Over time the church realized the enormous pressure modern society was having on the teens of the day, and as a result, youth ministry developed.  The spiritual needs of “children” are the same…

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You are the most beautiful person in the world

“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psa. 139:13). During my time as a youth minister, more than one teen would come to me for help with self-image problems.  I recall one particularly distressing conversation when a beautiful young girl was sitting in my office.  As often would happen, one of the teens would come and visit with me just for the sake of doing so.  We would speak about their families, school, a crush, youth ministry, or whatever else they wished to talk about.  It was during one of those treasured, unannounced…

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Not a resolution, but a wish with a prayer

“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3). If this article sounds familiar to some of you, it is because I wrote a similar one not too long ago, but the topic is so perplexing to me that I wanted to address it again.  Millions of people worldwide will reflect on the past year, remembering both the happy…

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There are too many fools

“A fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds” (Psa. 14:1).  Most of us know this verse, even if it is only the first part.  There are many reasons people choose not to believe in God, and I believe it is a choice.  We make a conscious decision to believe and, likewise, to reject the idea of God.  Either we admit we are sinners in need of salvation and embrace the redemptive work of Christ, or we don’t care to admit our sin(s), and we say, “He does not exist.”   For the…

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Fight to save one more person

“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:12-14).  Not everyone is as fortunate as you are this beautiful day the Lord has blessed us with.  Some are in danger every moment as they courageously take the Gospel to areas in dire need…

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An ode to mothers

This is unapologetically long because it is for our mothers, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all” (Prov. 31:25-31).  Since it is a time for family, I want to single out our mothers this morning.  These women…

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When the happiest time of the year isn’t.

“…I will never leave you nor forsake you…” (Heb. 13:5).  If you believe the Bible and honestly believe it is the inspired Word breathed out by the Almighty God, then this is one of the most comforting verses.  I think we can all agree there are times when the future looks particularly bleak.  Times when your finances are not doing so well, you lose a job you need, your marriage has run into onto some rocky ground, a friendship you cherished suddenly ended, or someone you love gets taken from this life.  The joy we are supposed to feel in…

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Whom do you serve?

“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Jos. 24:14-15).  Most of us have a plaque, or something similar with this verse inscribed on it, put up somewhere in our house.  If not in…

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Confusing Bible Words

Confusing words Several words in the Bible are not that easy to understand, like the following, atonement, propitiation, redemption, justified, righteous, and sanctified. On more than one occasion, an individual has asked me to explain them.  Usually, I define each term first and then put them into a sentence to further clarify their meaning. Atonement is universal in nature and refers to Christ’s death for every person.  It was the reconciliation of God and humanity through the work of Christ on the cross.  It allows any individual who desires to approach God to do so with the secure knowledge that…

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