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Who Are You Hanging Out With These Days?

Jesus, Hanging Out

When I was a college student living on a Christian college campus, I fell into the trap of often staying in the safety of the bubble. On campus, there was a bit of a micro-economy that remained pretty safe. You could eat, sleep, and study on campus and 'do life' only with those kids who were also Christian …

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Is Your Church Against? With? or For the Gay (LGBTQ) Community?

Old Church

I and my fellow church leaders have been floating down the Niagara River, so to speak, trying to determine whether to paddle with or against the current of the culture around us. Now, we're at the brink of the Falls and we're scrambling to know how to navigate. The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's …

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Trying to Follow Jesus with No Help At All

John 6-63 ESV

Trying to follow Jesus is frustrating. We mess up, we neglect spending time with Him, we give into temptation, and we regress into old patterns. It doesn't make sense. This isn't what we signed up for when we followed Jesus. It was supposed to get easier but some days it's like we're trying to follow Jesus with …

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When You Don’t Feel Like Running to God

Running

When you least feel like running to God, that's when you really need to run to God. And when you feel the least lovable, the least acceptable, that's when His mercy shows itself strongest. King David once cried out, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble... Oh, how great is your goodness, which you have …

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To Understand the Gospel, First Understand God

Gospel of God

There are three things I know beyond the shadow of a doubt... There is a God. I am not him. Neither are you. I know that if we were to make up our own "god," he wouldn't resemble the God of the Bible much. I know that because that's what humanity has done repeatedly and still does today. It's easier to serve …

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King Jesus Saves and Reigns!

There is good news.

We love to take biblical words and weaken their meanings by adopting them for our own usage. One such word is "gospel." We use it in a light-hearted way when we refer to something as "the gospel truth." Like when we say, "Donald Trump's hair is amazing - that's the gospel truth!" Not only are we stating …

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The Supreme Sin of Self-Righteousness

Titus 3:4-5

We like to rank sins. The problem is, we really stink as sin-value-estimators. We think about sins as how "bad" they seem to us. So the sin of adultery or murder? Those are really bad while the sin of gossip - not so much. I don't personally believe in the myth that "all sins are the same." They're not. But we …

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The Greatest Songs, We Write from Brokenness

It Is Well

When Paul and Silas were beaten and jailed for the crime of healing a young girl and freeing her from slavery in Philippi, the Bible says "at midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." (Acts 16:25 NKJV) When (the future) King David had lost his …

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God’s Five Purposes for Your Marriage

Brandon and Angie

Angie and I are approaching our 17th wedding anniversary. I'd love to say that we've always been happily married, but that kind of dishonesty wouldn't help you much. Happiness rises and falls, for all of us, married or not. And happiness isn't the real goal of life anyway. Every day, I pray a prayer over my …

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What Happens When We Confess Our Sins?

1 John 1-9

Keeping secrets keeps us sick. Sin, when stuffed and tucked away in our hearts, becomes a raging disease inside of us. Openness, honesty, and confession on the other hand, strip secret sin of its power and produce healing and life in us. One of the verses in the Bible that is vital for every believer to …

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