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Dare to Be More Than a Copy

The world around us lives by values that are the product of its dominant philosophies such as materialism ("things" matter more than anything), humanism (we are all basically good without God's help), and secularism (the majority determines right from wrong without God's Word). Each of these, and many other false ways of thinking, results in decisions and behaviors that lead nowhere good. Paul told us, "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God …

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It’s Not That We DON’T Know, It’s That We WON’T Know…

The "wrath of God" is a touchy subject in our current culture, partly because we have a broken sense of fairness. We have the assumption that what we think we know ought to count in the place of what we really should know about God. In our arrogance, we assume that our postulations and philosophies are so amazing, God should somehow be impressed with the conclusions we've made up about Him. And if He is still upset about our lack of response and obedience to Him, then He's …

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Servanthood: A Birthmark of a Born Again Believer

"This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus." - Romans 1:1 (NLT) What a way to start a letter! That's how Paul opened his letter to the believers in Rome, and I think Paul had two meanings in mind when he identified Himself as a slave. Paul lived in the days of the height of the Roman Empire. Rome would conquer a land and that land's citizens would become slaves of the Emperor. That’s how Paul identified Himself… conquered! We become God's children by adoption …

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Passionate Leadership Is Highly Biblical

One of my favorite little Bible verses might seem somewhat obscure, but in its original language, it's packed with meaning. Paul wrote to the Romans, "I am eager to come and preach the gospel to you..." (Romans 1:16) The word translated as eager comes from a compound Greek word that means "on heat," or as we would say it today, Paul was on fire to preach! Passion is a priceless aspect of leadership. It's something that can be faked, but only temporarily. We can only keep …

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Edify One Another

As we've journeyed through some of the "one another's" of the New Testament, I've become more and more convinced that these are some of the Bible's most difficult teachings to keep. I can look in my own life each week and see examples of times I've not honored these principles. But to ignore them will destroy the fellowship of God's people. We (beginning with me) must use them as an evaluation tool of our willingness to relate to one another differently than we would if we …

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The Rush of Summer

Isn't summer supposed to be our vacation from the busyness of life? This summer, for the Cox family, is flying right by in a whirlwind of activity. We've traveled to see family in three different states (Missouri and Georgia for Angie, Kentucky for me). We're getting ready to spend a week at church camp. And then, it will be time for Angie to return to work, for me to get busy with a new church year, and for Ella to begin Kindergarten. In the midst of being busy in these …

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Unique Car Tricks

This past Sunday, I began preaching a revival meeting for Beacon Baptist Church in Gravette, Arkansas. It's been a real privilege and honor to do so, especially considering that the church's Pastor has been such a great leader within our association. Bro. Dan Fagala has remained at the same church for over thirty-five years and has served in a multitude of denominational capacities. On Monday, he and I went out on Beaver Lake in his boat to fish for crappies, to no avail. We …

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Let It Roll

Live peaceably with all men... Easier said than done. Everything in us wants to fly off the handle when we are inconvenienced or insulted. Paul's words were nothing new, they had been modeled by Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Nonetheless, these words are revolutionary as far as human society is concerned. To seek peace, to refuse the right to get even, is one of the greatest accomplishments any person could ever make. My Sunday began on the wrong foot. First, I'd gotten pulled …

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Life… In All Its Complexity

The blog has been put on hold for a couple of weeks now, primarily because of all that my wife and I have been experiencing in our personal lives. Here's a recounting of it... On Monday evening, October 30, Angie left her ladies' Connection Cafe meeting feeling well, but by the time we drove from the church to our house (just a couple of minutes) she was in terrible pain. We decided to go to the emergency room. Our beloved friends, Cory and Lachelle McCaig, came to sit from …

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The Spiritual Mind

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." -Romans 8:6 Have you ever watched a dog protect its turf? A dog makes decisions based on instincts, which are natural inclinations built in by the dog's Creator. Human beings are different from the animal world in that we possess a soul, a will with which we make decisions. Nonetheless, we also have our own natural inclinations. Paul described our basic human nature with the word sarx which …

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