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The Creative Juices Are Flowing

God is the great Creator of the entire universe and all that is in it. He created time and He creates every life that enters into the world. In short, God is extremely creative, so He loves creativity. I agree with many modern church leaders that creativity, in and of itself, is glorifying to God, so long as what we create does not represent any form of idolatry or contradiction to the revealed truth and standards of God's Word. I have two tables in my home made by my late …

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Don’t Lose Your Moral Authority

I am currently reading Andy Stanley's book Visioneering and have just completed the chapter about having moral authority in leadership. Stanley gives a couple of examples of how moral authority works in our lives. One example was Mother Teresa's harsh words about abortion during a National Day of Prayer breakfast in Washington. Though the Clinton's and Gore's gave little response, the room erupted into a standing ovation after she spoke. Why would such a small woman have such …

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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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Hate Sin or Hate Self

Moments ago, I was spending some time in prayer and I was confessing known sin in my life. As I prayed, I said, "God, I'm sorry for this sin, I ought to hate this sin." Almost instantly God spoke to my heart and I blurted out what I heard Him say, "Brandon, you'll either learn to hate your sin, or you'll wind up hating yourself." As we confess sin and seek the Holy Spirit's power to overcome it, we ought to remember that we have a new identity in Christ. We are not to be …

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Glory Filled My Soul

This past Sunday was perhaps the most awesome day of ministry I've ever experienced. Like the old gospel song says, "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul." It wasn't great planning, great music, or great preaching that made the day great, it was our great God visiting us in a powerful way in response to a whole lot of concerted, passionate praying. Last Wednesday, our prayer service, which normally consists of calling out some requests, a short pastoral prayer, and a …

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I Want to Climb Higher

In today's devotional reading from J. Sidlow Baxter's book Awake My Heart, there is a particularly moving paragraph that not only puts into perspective what the Christian's worldview ought to be, but also inspires us to remember the ultimate end of that worldview... Christ's people were never meant to live at the world's sea-level. We are meant to have a mountain view, the long view, the wide view, the really understanding view. We are meant to see the happenings of our time …

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I Want to be a God Catcher

I just finished an excellent book by Tommy Tenney entitled The God Catchers. I bought the book by accident, intending to purchase his best-seller, The God Chasers and simply did not pay close attention to the cover when I made the purchase. It turned out to be a tremendous blessing. Tommy uses the analogy of a child playing hide-and-seek with Daddy. Daddy is hiding but hoping to be found. This really demonstrates what God desires from us - that we desire Him above all else …

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One Very Loud “Amen!”

Today, Jesus got an ovation, and it was awesome! There is something about applause during a sermon that makes me extremely uncomfortable in my own skin, yet today it was highly appropriate. The verse was Revelation 1:7, a strange text for Christmas Eve, though very appropriate when the context is compared to the night before the first Christmas. John relates the truth of the second coming of Christ to a lost world. Billions of Christ-rejectors will “wail because of him” …

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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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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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