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Joyful Generosity

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Have you ever felt uncomfortable when "money" or "giving" is talked about at church? You are not alone. There are very few topics about which we are more reticent to share with other believers than the topic of how we handle our personal finances. And yet, Jesus spoke frequently on the subject. Perhaps this is because He knows how money can uniquely displace God as the foc...

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Church Health

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Let's admit it: church life can be difficult at times. Why is that? Perhaps it's because living in community exposes our flaws and shortcomings. That is uncomfortable. Not to mention that at some point we will inevitably hurt others, and be hurt by others. Consequently, some of us have concluded that life is better lived with a bit of distance from other Christians. The ra...

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Selecting Elders

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When you picture a "church leader," what comes to your mind? Are you filled with gratitude and gratefulness for those who have loved you, cared for your soul, and humbly taught you the Word of God? Or do you picture someone who has hurt you, disappointed you, or someone whose behavior has disillusioned you? Regretfully, many of us identify with the latter description more ...

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Prayer Meeting

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As we begin the New Year, the elders have called a prayer meeting for this Sunday evening (1/8) at 7pm at the church offices. As you contemplate whether to attend, you might be asking yourself, "Why should we pray together?" It's a valid question. Here are 10 reasons, in no particular order: We pray together because we are completely dependent on God for everything. We...

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New Year

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Somehow January 1st feels different than other days. It feels like change is more possible. It feels like there is a bit of a reset, a blank slate ahead. Now if we're honest, we know that we won't change just because the calendar does. However, in a very real way, the beginning of a new year can provide the motivation to do things we've been meaning to do. Like exercise. O...

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Christmas

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It's hard to believe that Christmas is only two days away. The anticipation is building. Presents are getting wrapped, and last-minute gifts are on their way (Please get them here soon, Amazon!). Holiday traditions are in full swing. As we hurry around, readying ourselves for the big day, have you stopped for a moment to consider your motivation for all this busyness? The...

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Thankful

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As Christians we always have an occasion to give thanks. The apostle Paul exhorts us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to "give thanks in all circumstances." So as Christmas approaches, don't let it pass by without spending many moments giving thanks to God for sending his Son Jesus. Last week's passage in John 1 reminded us of this unfathomable truth: God became a man. Amazing. Jes...

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Black Friday

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Black Friday. It’s a day where marketers are vying for our attention. The promise of life-changing deals on everything, from clothing to new technology, bombard us from all directions. Companies are desperate for us to spend money on their products. It is out of control. In any case, the good news of Black Friday is that Christmas is not far away. As followers of Jesu...

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Praying & Living for the Advance of the Gospel

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Why is it so challenging to pray, or at least to persevere in prayer? Perhaps it is because prayer feels unproductive in our efficient age. Perhaps it is because our minds are so easily distracted. Perhaps it is because we are unsure of its effectiveness- we secretly think "Is God really listening? Does He really care?" Perhaps we forget the intense spiritual battle ...

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Living for Christ in Your Closest Relationships

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This Sunday, in Colossians 3:18-4:1, we come to a passage that continues to answer the question: "How do I walk in Christ throughout my daily life?" It's a section of scripture that Martin Luther called "household tables," which are commands related to how a household should function. Three sets of the typical 1st century household are addressed: wives and husbands, childr...

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