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Archives for December 2019

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Active Waiting: Expectant Worship

In a season regularly portrayed as "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," it is hard to imagine that for many people this is a season full of brokenness, loneliness, and unmet expectations. Every box, sign, and commercial has all the common phrases we are used to seeing and hearing, which happen to all be about, joy, happiness, and positive vibes. Yet for some of us, this ...

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Rejoicing Exceedingly With Great Joy

How is it possible that one event could produce such polarizing reactions? When we look at Matthew 2, the star that appeared marking the birth of Jesus drove some to the heights of joy and drove others to total madness. Not much has changed in 2000 years. Still the name of Jesus is seen as the sweetest of all names or an total intrusion into a conversation depending on wh...

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Long Walk Part of Gift

This morning, I was walking the kids through their bible curriculum. This story from 30 Days to Understanding the Bible really impacted me. I am preparing to teach through the visit of the Magi this week and this missionary testimony of a "long walk" that was in itself, part of the gift, really touched my heart as I considered the long trek that the Wise Men took to follow...

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Advent Devotion #3: Oh Come, Let Us Adore Him

O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.... "Jesus," the angel said I am to give the child the name Jesus. "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no ...

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Why we need new church plants on the Jersey Shore

In the famous words of Dave Letterman, "96% of all statistics are made up on the spot." Yes, it is true that according to whomever does the research, it is difficult to have no bias whatsoever in the work. And it's also true that you can often hear two statistics concerning the same topic that completely and utterly contradict one another. In prefacing with this, I want t...

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Advent: Using Handel's "Messiah" as an Advent Devotional Guide

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Everyone has family Christmas traditions. I'm sure one of yours instantly was brought to mind. After years of Alexandra and I trying to establish our own for our kids, we have finally discovered one that was an instant hit, and that is being repeated as we speak - hopefully to be repeated year after year: Using Handel's "Messiah" as a sort of Advent Devotional Guide for ...

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The Sad and Joyous Passing of Our Friend Syd Lawrence

I got a call early this morning from my dad. His dear friend and ours, Syd Lawrence, had gone home to be with the Lord at 4 AM. Syd always referred to me as "The Part-timer", an old joke that people make about pastors "only really working on Sundays" but that joke never got old to Syd. He welcomed me with it just this past Sunday, 2 days ago, so "The Part-timer" would like...

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Advent Intro: Where Your Treasure is: Longing for the future through the lenses of history

Jesus says in Matthew's Gospel that "the kingdom of heaven is like atreasurehidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Thenin his joyhe goes andsells all that he hasand buys that field" (Matthew 13:44). Imagine discovering something so wonderful that you were willing to sell all you possessed to acquire it? In the world of Facebook Marketplace and eBay, selling...

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