Christian Living

The Fine Line

To be a Christian is not easy. There is a constant battle between who we could be and who we should be, what to desire and what to turn away from. No one of us is perfect and yet God calls us to strive for it.

At times we walk along a fine line and have to choose a side to fall on. Culture makes us choose. Work makes us choose. Maybe it is family or friends. In a world constantly flipping over or twisting around us, it could simply be the gnawing in our guts driving us to pick a side.

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Christian Living, Faith

The “Magic” of Christmas (1) ~ 3 Reactions

Our Town recently hung new banners for the Christmas season. We use banners in our downtown area throughout the various seasons and special days of the year.

This year’s Christmas banners invited passersby to “Believe in the magic of Christmas.” Reactions to such a phrase could swing between the dismissive to the outright hostile.

It isn’t too far a stretch, though, to apply the idea of magic to a Christian view of the holiday. It might even open some doors of conversation to share the Hope we have as we near the end of a frightful year.

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Bible, Ministry

Which Messiah are You Looking for?

Jesus made a lot claims during His life. Son of God. Forgiver of sins. Son of David. Lord of the Sabbath. The “I AM”. When Jesus asked what the Disciples thought of Him, Peter called Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-16).

Messiah literally means “anointed one”. It is, in part, a reference to the anointing of a new king. It is a perfect match for the One destined to ascend the everlasting throne of David, to rule over Israel, every nation, and all of creation.

When Jesus was received like a king to Jerusalem, everything the people hope for falls into the picture of Messiah. The title drew a very distinct picture in their minds. it should do the same for us. But are we looking for the right Messiah?

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Inspirational

Stop reading the Bible like it’s meant to be a “feel good” book

The Bible is the single most important book every written. It describes how God created a universe to be the home for a people He made and gave life to, so He could forever live in relationship with them.

I could rattle off a bunch of statistics of how the Bible was written, has survived centuries, and its spread through languages, people groups, and nations. But many books have traversed the world with their stories and messages.

I’m not here to convince you of the uniqueness of the Bible. I’m not writing to convince you of its place in the world or the truth of its message. Chances are high that if you’ve read this far, you already own a Bible and believe at least some of what it says.

The Bible is more than a story. Its message is beyond “inspirational”. But when we open the Bible to read “a good book” or even to feel better about ourselves or life because we read a few lines or pages, we end up putting it down in disappointment.

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Inspirational

You CAN be super at spiritual disciplines

Prayer. Bible reading. Scripture memorization. Fasting. Worship. These are a few of the spiritual disciplines we hear about the most. We know they are valuable. We understand how they should have a regular place in our lives. When pastor preaches it, we “amen” him all day long. But it still seems so hard.

If you are waiting for spiritual disciplines to become easy, you’ll wait for a long time. No fresh recruit goes straight into S.E.A.L. training. No one who sees a video of that training thinks they can jump off their couch and jump right in.

Spiritual disciplines are essential to spiritual living because of the spiritual battle we face all day, every day. Yet they rarely come naturally. They take work. We face challenges as we attempt to integrate them into our daily lives.  But they don’t have to be as hard as they sound, and we don’t have to master them overnight. Despite the difficulty, we can learn to be “super” at them.

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Inspirational

If your personal harvest is coming … are you ready for it?

Autumn is a time when leaves change and crisp air moves in for those of us in North America. School is in full swing and Thanksgiving holidays are planned. Living in Canada as an American, I get to celebrate one in October and another in November.

Harvest and Thanksgiving fit together easily, and a message of personal or congregational harvest follows the theme. “Your harvest is coming.” “God has promised us a harvest, and we’ll be blessed as we receive it.”

According to Scripture, there is one important qualifier to the personal harvest headed our way. If you believe God’s harvest for you is about land in your life, you should buckle your seat belt and remind yourself of this truth. You might be in for more than you’re prepared for.

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