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Does Heaven Matter?

Public-opinion polls show that most Americans not only believe in God but also anticipate some kind of Heaven. A Gallup survey conducted in June, 2016 indicates that about eight in ten say they believe in God and one in ten say they aren't sure. About seven in ten say that they believe there's a Heaven. Among those believers, three out of four rate their chances of getting...

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When Knowing the Bible Isn't Enough

Knowing the Bible doesn't necessarily mean you know God. You can have a thorough knowledge of Scripture, and still have a darkened heart toward God. This was the case with Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish Ruling Council. He was known as the most outstanding Bible teacher in Jerusalem. Only the High Priest was better known in the capital city than Nicodemus. Yet, despite a...

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What's In A Name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." These words from Shakespeare's play,Romeo and Juliet not only ask an important question, but also imply an interesting answer. The answer which Shakespeare assumed is probably the same answer you would find prevalent today. Most people would say that there is really not much in a name. Aft...

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The Interrupted Life

We interrupt this article before it even begins to communicate this vitally important message Interruptions happen.Last weekend we were hit with a snowstorm that blanketed the earth with about seven inches of the white stuff. The snowstorm interrupted our plans. Cameron and Casey Fisher were scheduled to be baptized. But the snow made travel inadvisable for Cameron and Cas...

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Why Be Baptized

Why be Baptized? In our culture, we engage in some significant ceremonies to declare that a significant change is taking place in our lives. Graduation is one of those ceremonies. It signifies that a young person is stepping out of adolescence into adulthood. A wedding ceremony is another public declaration that something in your life is changing. Baptism is also such a c...

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Epiphany Sunday

Epiphany is the holiday that Wise Men remember, but the church forgot. Epiphany falls on January 6, 12 days after Christmasthe day you're supposed to get 12 drummers drummingand the day we commonly remember the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem. For those few who might have heard of Epiphany, chances are that you will know it as the day the Wise Men came. And that is ri...

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Hard to Accept

Some time ago a man whose name I do not knowwent to China to be a missionary. He was what youmight call an agricultural missionary. As a gardener,he taught people how to raise different kinds ofvegetables, how to feed their children better, howto raise a cow and have milk. He also told storiesabout Jesus, and he translated some of them intoChinese. He was perfectly at home...

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The Word Became Flesh

About this time last year, a young man wandered into the church building, looking for a place to get warm. A tire on his car had gone flat, and he didn't have a spare. We managed to get his car to a local tire store which happened to have a tire to fit the man's car. The price was right, so I authorized the technician to install the tire. While standing there in the lobby ...

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God Comes to Us in Unlikely Places

On the first Sunday in Advent, we remember that Christ comes to us in darkness. Jesus was born at night, in a messy stall. This indicates that his presence, our healing, and our salvation, are always taking place in the dark and messy parts of life. During this season of encroaching darkness, we celebrate the coming of the Light of the World, which dispels the darkness. An...

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Why Do We Celebrate Advent?

This Sunday morning, we begin our celebration of the season of Advent. The word "Advent" is derived from the Latin word adventus, which means, "coming" or "arrival." Scholars believe that during the 4thand 5thcenturies in Spain and Gaul (France), Advent was a season of preparation for thebaptismof new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany. During this season of prepa...

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