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Thankful for the Minor Prophets

Imagine that you're a visiting a new Bible study group. You're introduced to the group, there's some small-talk, then what seems like hours of prayer requests for people you don't know anything about followed by a brief opening prayer. And then the group leader says, "Open your Bibles to the book of Obadiah." Before you were nervous; now you're terrified. Where is the boo...

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The Result of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and courage go hand in hand. In fact, the giving of thanks leads to courage. We see this in Acts 28:15, where we see that Paul "thanked God, and took courage." Paul needed courage. On his journey to Rome to testify of Jesus before Caesar, the ship that was supposed to take Paul there was shipwrecked off the coast of Malta. All 276 passengers survived, but i...

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Waiting on God Doesn’t Mean Doing Nothing

Years ago, when we lived in Nashville, our church sponsored a family of refugees from Vietnam. They knew some English, but were a long way from being fluent in our language. We found an apartment for them as well as jobs for the mother and her son, Phuong who was about twenty years old at the time. Our congregation worked with this family of refugees in a number of ways to...

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The Transformational Church Wrestles with Sticky Theological Questions

This week we're going to see what God is saying to us in Acts 27. It's the story of Paul's voyage to Rome and of the shipwreck that occurred on the way. This story presents some sticky theological questions for us. We're going to focus on a few of them. Sticky Theological Question #1Why does God not always intervene and change our circumstances? The Lord Jesus had appear...

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Another Shoe Illustration

It's time for yet another illustration from my days as a shoe salesman. I used to be a shoe salesman. I've worked at four different shoe stores. The different stores had different dress codes. Some were fairly dressy, others were more casual. But there's one item that all stores had in common: you have to wear the shoes we sell. Why? We sold expensive, orthopedically-corr...

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A church that transforms others, is a church that is being transformed.

In Acts 19, unbelievers in Ephesus stir up a riot over Paul's teaching. And yet the catalyst for the riot isn't really Paul's teaching. He'd been in town for over two years, yet there was no riot during that time. Instead, what seems to be the catalyst for the riot is the extraordinary devotion ordinary believers who willingly pay a high price to turn from sin and follow J...

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Semper Reformanda

Semper Fidelis or the shorted version, Semper Fi, is the motto of United States Marine Corps. It is a Latin phrase that means "always faithful" or "always loyal." While just about all of us are familiar with that phrase, a relative few of us are familiar with the phrase, Semper Reformanda, which means "always reforming." For the Marine,Semper Fi is shorthand for a lifestyl...

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The Power of Weakness

People are attracted to power. We crave it for ourselves, or we are drawn to those who seem have it like pilot fish to a shark. Just take a quick look at human history (or current events!), and you'll see people who were willing to sacrifice justice or integrity in order to keep or gain power. Nor are Christians immune to the lust for earthly powerjust take a quick look at...

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Transformation Comes When We Work Together

This week we're going to see transformation at work in a number of different ways. Saul of Tarsus is converted on the road to Damascus. He was on a mission to bring Jewish Christians back to Jerusalem where they could be put on trial and probably executed. But Jesus invaded Saul's life and transformed him. Consequently, Saul's mission was transformed. He went from attackin...

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Stronger Together

In the summer of 1936, nine working class young men from the University of Washington took the rowing world and the nation by a storm when they captured the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Berlin. These sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers overcame tremendous hardshipspsychological, physical, and economicto beat not only the Ivy League teams of the East Coast ...

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