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Diversity Was God’s Idea to Begin With

Diversity and equality have been hot topics in the last decade of American life. We're in the midst of various shifts in our culture surrounding these concepts, especially in relation to ethnicity and gender, and some of these shifts are good. When my family lived in southern California, we were ethnically not in the majority in our neighborhood, and we appreciated it greatly. Our church was home to people from dozens of ethnic backgrounds, and we loved that even more. All …

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Make Disciples Out of Everybody, Without Limits

When I was a kid, we sang a sweet song that went Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world. Years later, I saw a different take on that song designed to point out our tendency to be ethnocentric. They edited the words to White and white and white and white, they are precious in His sight... And the point was proven. Sometimes, even passively or …

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People of Every Color: You Must See Lee Daniels’ The Butler

What have we done, and why would we do it? That's the pair of questions that kept going through my mind as I sat in a theater in Rogers, Arkansas last night as we watched Lee Daniels' The Butler. The synopsis is: As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society. (via IMDb) I've always been a Forest Whitaker fan, and he …

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Everybody Belongs, Starting with You

Everybody belongs. When we say everybody, we mean every color, every shape, every personality, and people with every kind of story imaginable. Everyone belongs, even before they believe. It's sad that we have to expound on the word "everybody" to make sure people know that we mean everybody. This is the fourth core value of Grace Hills, and like the others, it is rooted both in our understanding of the biblical role of the church as well as our overarching passion for …

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I Am a Foreigner

I don't like that word. I don't like to hear people called "foreigners" on American soil. And frankly, I just don't care that much about the politics of immigration. I'm a Christian, a stranger and a foreigner in this culture. My citizenship is in another kingdom, so I'm odd and strange because of my beliefs and values. Right now, I'm a foreigner in a more real sense. I'm writing this in my hotel room in the Dominican Republic. I'm on a mission trip, visiting Pastor Aridio …

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Book Review: The Race by Rick Lemons

The Race...from Pit Row to Victory Lane by Rick Lemons, Pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Forney, Texas, is the first book even remotely relating to NASCAR that I've ever read, much less enjoyed. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the... "sport." What I am a fan of is the way Rick uses the details of a race to illustrate what basic Christian living is all about. …

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Racism is Every Christian’s Problem

There are Baptist churches today in America who don't want African-Americans attending, much less joining. It's been said that Sunday morning at 11:00 is the most segregated hour in America. I was once confronted by a Deacon who was upset that I had chosen a bulletin cover that featured a group of African children on the cover... for "World Missions Sunday." This is a problem. …

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