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Pastoral Blessings

When everybody else goes to work on Mondays and Thursdays, I'm reviewing what happened the day or evening before at Bethel's services. I'm thinking about feedback I was offered (intentionally or otherwise), things I observed, lives I saw impacted, and news I heard. These past couple of weeks have been quite memorable in this regard. A couple of Sundays ago, we broke our standing Sunday School record with 152, we topped 200 in worship twice, and on opening night of Awana, we …

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As Much Fun As A Root Canal

Here's a bit of practical wisdom... take care of your teeth. Wednesdays are typically set aside for study time as I prepare for Wednesday nights and Sundays. Today, however, was set aside for a visit with the dentist. Almost a year ago, my #19 molar broke in half. The smart thing to do would have been to go to the Dentist immediately. I waited two weeks. He told me upon my visit that a root canal would be the best option, so what did I do? I waited almost a year. Three weeks …

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Weekend At the Airshow

Yesterday I went to the St. Louis Air Show to see the Blue Angels perform. It was totally wicked (in a good way)! Here are three great videos to enjoy. The first two are of the HV8 Harrier landing and taking off using its hovering abilities. The third is of the Blue Angels doing a fly-by with each one doing a roll simultaneously... The only problem with the Air Show was that, because of my sunglasses, I got a hilarious looking sunburn, and had to preach the next day at …

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This Life Matters

I'm not going to be preaching at Bethel today since I'm in St. Louis visiting my in-laws. My Father-in-law, however, did ask me to preach for him at Lindsay Lane Baptist Church in Florissant, Missouri. I'm going to be speaking from 1 Corinthians 3:10-17. The message was inspired by the second half of my Bible study lesson this past Wednesday night from Zephaniah. Let me share with you some of the principles I plan on teaching today at Lindsay Lane... 1. Our foundation …

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What Is Prayer?

Prayer is something that most people believe in. If you believe in some kind of higher power(s), you believe in some kind of prayer. If you believe that the triune God of Scripture is exclusively God, as I do, then you believe that biblical prayer is the only true kind of prayer. But that doesn't seem to settle the issue. What does the Bible say about prayer? It depends on whom you ask. Within evangelical Christianity in the last couple of centuries, there seem to have …

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The Discipline of Purity and the Growth of the Church

Yesterday, in our Tuesday morning Men's Bible Study, we tackled one of the toughest issues of life - the discipline of purity. We're currently studying through R. Kent Hughes' book The Disciplines of a Godly Man (I'd highly recommend it to all men, more on that in a future post). Allow me to allow Hughes to introduce the topic... “Sensuality is easily the biggest obstacle to godliness among men today and is wreaking havoc in the Church. Godliness and sensuality are mutually …

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Mere Christianity

I just finished reading C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity for the first time (I'll be perusing it again in the future). Until purchasing the book, I had little idea just how much influence the book has had on modern Christianity. I was amazed at how many conversations my copy of the book started. Once in a hospital waiting room, in my office, and in a church camp college class, I met all sorts of people who had not only read the book, but who were deeply impacted by it. In fact, …

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Ella’s First Day of Kindergarten

I've been saying for weeks now that I'm totally okay with Ella starting Kindergarten. Today was the day. We arrived in plenty of time to fight the terrible traffic mess that had gathered in front of the schools (someone thought it would be really bright to place two elementary schools right next to each other on a neighborhood street). We found a parking place and took a deep breath. Ella did great all the way into the classroom and over to her seat. Then the tough moment …

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Bowing Before Aslan

Today, I saw The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time. I have never read the fictional fantasy books by the late C. S. Lewis, but I do appreciate Lewis' other writings very much. The movie itself was, to my taste, not quite as entertaining as it could have been. What I did notice, however, was the beauty of the pictures presented in it. I watched intently, searching for details that were designed by Lewis to mimic the gospel story in …

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Don’t Blame the Church

It's apparent that there is a great departure from the church among twentysomethings. Recent studies have proven this statistically, but as a Pastor, I've watched it happen during my twelve years in ministry. It may be somewhat natural for young people becoming adults to experiment with living life their own way, including making choices about whether to continue the family tradition of church attendance or not. What is most alarming, however, is that about one in four do not …

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