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Getting Explicit About the Gospel

Rick Warren said, "If you read only one book this year, make it this one. It's that important." The gospel is a message that never loses its relevancy and always needs retelling. I found Matt Chandler's The Explicit Gospel to be an awesome retelling of it. Chandler's explanation of the gospel is ultra-clear, and while I detect that hint of his Reformed leanings (to which he alludes a time or two), his book avoids extremes, stays between the theological rails, and at least …

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Start Your Family Well (What To Pray Over Your New Home)

Last night I had a pretty neat experience. A couple who have recently married and begun their new life together asked me to come and bless their home, something I've never been asked to do in almost 14 years of ministry. The short version - we talked about Jesus and prayed over their family's future. The long version... They showed me around each room and then we talked for a while about some friends of theirs whom they are praying for over various needs. Then we talked …

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FaithOut.com, Godtube.com, and Our Online Ivory Tower

I've been getting a lot of email invitations to join FaithOut.com, which claims to be the first "Christian alternative to Facebook." If you want to join FaithOut, go right ahead. I'm sticking with Facebook, and I 'm a Christian. My spirit is stirred at what some believers are doing in the online realm of things. Instead of engaging and impacting the online culture for the Kingdom, we're attempting to create an online Christian subculture into which we can retreat. GodTube is …

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Ending the Creation-Evolution Debate

In our midweek Bible study last night, we went through a supplementary study on creation and evolution. There were many things I wished I'd had time to cover in the Sunday messages but simply couldn't. In preparing, I studied areas of science that fascinate me. I wanted to have some basic knowledge on everything from the fossil record to quantum physics (like I said, fascinating!). I was so blessed by the exchange. People asked questions, gave their thoughts, and generally …

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Remembering the Fallen

Yesterday was a very special day at Bethel. Though we had a lot of folks out on vacation for the holiday weekend, we who remained celebrated God's greatness in raising up heroes throughout the centuries. From Hebrews 11, we recounted the lives and deaths of some of God's greatest servants. Many in the chapter remain unnamed, but their works and martyrdom are mentioned. My favorite line in the passage says, "Of whom the world was not worthy!" Those words reflect my feelings …

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The Nightline Debate: Proving the Existence of God

Last night, millions watched the debate between Kelly and Brian Sabient (representing atheism) and Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (attempting to prove God's existence without using faith or the Bible). I have reviewed as much of the video as I can stand and have come to some interesting conclusions. At first, I was disappointed in Ray's use of Scripture in his opening comments. He had made a commitment to prove God's existence without the Bible and then proceeded to use the …

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The Lost Tomb of Jesus

It has taken me several days to sit and write my conclusions about the Discovery Channel documentary on The Lost Tomb of Jesus. I find it ironic how dramatic the title seems when the tomb is neither lost (they've found it), nor does it contain Jesus ("He is not here; He is risen..."). Kind of like those "lost books of the Bible" which are also not lost, nor are they in the Bible. Overall, this film is intriguing drama at best. It's very entertaining and gives a glimpse into …

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Just Walk Across the Room

I just finished reading Bill Hybels' newest book Just Walk Across the Room. I was so impacted by its content that I changed my sermon for this past Sunday. Instead of preaching on "The Power of Proper Life Stewardship" I preached on "The Power of a Walk Across the Room." …

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Fresh Power

I just finished reading Jim Cymbala's book Fresh Power and it has again revived my thirst for God. One of the most impactful insights from the book is the revelation that if we can explain the success of our churches in terms of programs, personalities, or well-oiled machinery without the power of the Holy Spirit, then we've missed the point. Cymbala appeals to A. W. Tozer who proclaimed that if the Holy Spirit were removed from our midst today, most of our largest and most …

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Are You Breathing?

"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!" -Amos 6:1 I remember a movie I saw as a kid about a family that was moving across the country. They owned a Saint Bernard dog that was so fat and lazy they only way they could tell if the dog was alive was to place a mirror under its nose to see if it was still breathing. Spiritually, we ought to check our breath every day to …

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