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Showing posts from January, 2024

Thoughts From Dr. Mark Hamby

Dear Friends, Today I am simply sending you a link to a message I listened to yesterday after a friend passed it along to me. She did that because it related to a part of the message I preached this past Sunday from Acts 9:19b-25. It was a message in which I suggested (from the text, and pointing to the example of Saul himself, soon to be the apostle Paul) that we should not try to keep newly converted people from sharing about their faith encounter with Jesus until they have read more, or studied more, or are more “qualified” to speak. The title of my message was: “Refusing to Wait! Sharing What We Know, With Those We Know, Without Waiting Until We Know it All.” I would earnestly encourage everyone to take the 10 minutes it requires to listen to this recounting of a true story presented honestly, transparently, and with humor, even though it is serious. I dare say you will not be disappointed. It is an episode from Dr. Mark Hamby’s, “Fastened Like Nails” podcast (and despite

Thoughts From A.W. Tozer

Dear Friends, I am not sure how you happen to feel about praying prayers written by others, but down through the ages there has been such a tradition in the Church. One that supports reading, meditating upon, and then praying the written prayers of others as if they were one’s own. Or as some prefer, a habit of reading them and then praying that person’s verbalized petitions in their own words. Either way, I believe that praying the thoughts and petitions of others as our own can have much spiritual value – when voiced from one’s heart, with an earnest desire to lay hold of such things by faith. Therefore, I offer you three prayers written by A. W. Tozer. Prayers which struck my heart when I first read them in his book, “The Pursuit of God” and immediately felt led to pray them as if they were my own. Something I have done on more than one occasion. For in them I not only sense the heart of a true person of prayer, I sense a desire to possess what he requests. Maybe you will

Thoughts From Ray Ortlund

Dear Friends, As the New Year kicks in I felt this was a good set of thoughts to start off the year! In fact, Ray Ortlund, who posted the first one on the website of “The Gospel Coalition” said of the words of Francis Shaeffer – “Let’s Ponder this Francis Schaeffer Quote About Once a Week.” I would agree. And I include two others who interestingly point out the same truth. Good thoughts to ponder as we start out 2024! Enjoy. “The central problem of our age is not liberalism or modernism, nor the old Roman Catholicism or the new Roman Catholicism, nor the threat of communism, nor even the threat of rationalism and the monolithic consensus which surrounds us [nor, I would add today, postmodernism or materialistic consumerism or visceral sensualism or whatever]. All these are dangerous but not the primary threat. The real problem is this: the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, individually or corporately, tending to do the Lord’s work in the power of the fl

Thoughts From Jacob Waldron

Dear Friends, Have you ever had to fight feelings of not wanting to go to church? Ever struggled to worship when you have gone? Ever been distracted by things going on inside your own heart or head? Things like shame, temptation, or failure. Things like the loss of a loved one, a load of cares, betrayal, infidelity, or straying children. Things like doubts, burnout, emotional numbness, or work issues. The list could go on and on. In fact, after nearly four decades in the pastorate I can say that most people have at one time or another. And it’s not just parishioners – pastors go through the same thing. So, when I came across the following post/poem(?) “CHURCH IS HARD” on a friend's feed, I couldn’t help but share it on mine. And from the feedback I got, and the shares, it was obvious many could relate. In fact, I myself have gone back and reread it a few times, because it helps me remember that on any given Sunday there are people in my flock carrying the same burdens. Bu

Thoughts From Allison Stitzinger

Dear Friends, I know most (at least emotionally) have moved beyond Christmas by now. Yet, I like to remind people we still have until Saturday (January 6th or “Three Kings Day”) before we arrive at the 12th Day of Christmas. On that day many in the world still celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men at the house where Jesus was living when they showed up with their gifts about 1.5 years after His birth (Mt. 2:1-12). So, yes, traditionally the Christmas season does not end until January 6th – the day on which many still give their gifts to one another, mimicking the actions of the Magi giving theirs to Jesus. And since we are still in the Christmas season for two more days, I wanted to share a thought about Christmas written by a member of my church – Allison Stitzinger. It is a short yet insightful summary of why we so desperately need Christmas. It would be hard to summarize it better. Enjoy. “