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Thoughts From Martin Copenhaver

Dear Friends, This week’s “thought” expresses one of the repeated themes of the New Testament, even though the author uses an Old Testament verse as his starting point. Of course, since the entire Old Testament in some way points forward to Him, and the entire New Testament either points back to Him, or forward to His 2nd coming and eternal reign, it matters little! This selection captures a theme I have spoken on often – the importance of Jesus in our understanding of God. It is by Martin Copenhaver, and comes from his devotional book, “The Gospel in Miniature.” Enjoy. “For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night.” - from Exodus 40:34-38 “In this passage, the presence of God is described as a cloud. That image reminds me of a parishioner’s description of his concept of God as, “a sacred blur.” When we recognize God in Jesus, however, that sacred blur is brought into stark, startling foc
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Thoughts From Thomas Wilcox

Dear Friends, Today I send you a “thought” from a booklet (or lengthy 16 page tract from the 1600's!) that literally changed my life. And should you grasp what he says in it, it would change yours also. I had never seen the booklet before, nor even heard of it, until I was taking one of my doctoral classes with the well-known Christian author Jerry Bridges. In our first 3-hour-long class session, he had us read it (in the class), underline all the parts that spoke to us, and then discuss its content with his help and guidance. The problem (at least for me) was that by the time I was done reading it, 80% of the booklet was underlined! It was that good, and that jam-packed with insights and challenges to truly believe the gospel without polluting or distorting it. It was written by Thomas Wilcox (1621-1687) and was originally called, “Honey Out of the Rock” (now re-published by Chapel Library under the title “Christ is All” with a preface by Horatius Bonar). It is (despite the anti

Thoughts From the Once-A-Day Devotional Walk With Jesus

Dear Friends, This week’s “thought” addresses a persistent, age-old, seemingly impossible to kill heresy. One that was used against Job by his “friends” (in the book of Job which most generally agree to be the oldest book in the Bible) and one that’s still parroted today (to one degree or another) in many contemporary, “Health and Wealth,” “Name It, Claim It,” or “Prosperity Gospel” circles (and others too I am sure). It’s the heresy of thinking that those who suffer are being punished by God or experiencing God’s wrath. It’s a spiritual virus that refuses to die, even though it is clearly rebuked by God as being wrong (Job 42:7)! This selection comes to us from the, “Once-a-Day Devotional Walk with Jesus” published by Zondervan. Each day has a New Testament Scripture, a contemporary introduction to the topic which will be addressed, a quote about that topic from a well-known Christian from the past (today’s is by the great Protestant Reformer

Thoughts From Alianore Smith

Dear Friends, Today’s “thought” comes from “across the pond” as a couple of my friends in England like to say! It’s a short message on pride. Actually, the sin of pride – a suggestion that might come as a surprise to many in America where pride (especially pride of self) is seen as a virtue. And while it is true Paul does suggest there is a good form of pride (Galatians 6:4), we must be extremely careful that we do not in any way condone (or feed) those forms of sin which God condemns. Today’s excerpt from Alianore Smith - Associate Speaker for the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity - helps us to distinguish between the two forms of pride, and clarifies the types of pride God is sure to oppose. Enjoy. Amos and the Sin of Pride “The Sovereign LORD has sworn by himself – the LORD God Almighty declares: 'I abhor the pride of Jacob and detest his fortresses; I will deliver up the city and everything in it.'” Amos 6:8 Last week

Thoughts From Pastor Jeff

Dear Friends, I don’t usually send out a “thought” from myself, but I decided to do so today. In between series where I preach through books of the Bible – chapter by chapter, and verse by verse – I have occasionally asked my congregation for topics they would like me to address or preach on. Interestingly no one has ever asked me to preach on, “Why do we bother praying if God knows everything we need before we ever ask?” Yet, in conversations I‘ve had with people over the past 35 years, I’ve been asked that question so many times I’ve lost count! Yet, as I read over Matthew 6:8 this morning, I thought I would give it a shot. If you’ve asked that same question, I hope this helps. As a new believer (back in the early 1980’s) I asked it as well. This is what I’ve come to believe. FIRST, it helps to remember that these words are spoken in the context of Jesus encouraging His disciples not to pray like the pagans, who, “think they will be heard for their many words.” “Pagans” were

Thoughts From A.B. Simpson

Dear Friends, This past week as I was preparing my sermon I was reminded of a book I read way back in 1982, called, "The Love Life of the Lord" by A. B. Simpson (1843-1919). Through that book Simpson (who started the "Christian and Missionary Alliance" denomination) helped me learn how to grow in my love for Jesus. Or as John Bunyan (of 'Pilgrim's Progress' fame) would put it, "improve my love to Jesus." Yet, as I went to find that book on my bookshelf, I discovered it was nowhere to be found (like about 100 other books I have loaned to people over the last 35 years and never gotten back). At any rate, I went online, ordered another copy, and with it I also bought a copy of Simpson's 365 Day Devotional entitled, "Days of Heaven on Earth." It's from that devotional that I share today's two short thoughts. The FIRST thought has to do with prayer, why we need prayer, how God blesses prayer

Thoughts From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Friends, Last week I sent out some of the simple yet wise thoughts of D. L. Moody, in honor of his life and ministry, and in the hopes that you might find encouragement through them. This week I send out thoughts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Yesterday we celebrated "Martin Luther King Jr. Day" here in America. Yet, for many, other than King's efforts at working for racial equality in America, and his assasination for doing so, many know very little about him or what guided him. Therefore, I offer you some of his "thoughts" to give you an idea of the beliefs and principles that guided him in his life and work. And as I read some of them, in light of the somewhat polarized state of our country at the present time, I couldn't help but feel it would do us well to hear some of them again. In fact, if you have the time, I'd be interested in hearing which of them you found the most