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Great Opener for Sermon to Teens

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A Friend of mine asked me if had any good "Openers" for a sermon he was going to give at the local Lutheran High School chapel. After giving a little thought, I told him that I had one I've used many times, and it pulls the teen right in-without fail. I told him that you could speak on just...

Stephen Furtick’s 12 Audacious Faith Confessions

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These confessions were written by Stephen Furtick, Pastor of Elevation Church. He wrote them in his book, "Sun Stand Still." They following statements should serve as claims for confidence in Christ because who He is and what He can do through us. I am fully forgiven and free from all shame and condemnation (Romans 8:1-2, Ephesians 1:7-8, 1 John 1:9) I...

The Messiah in the Book of Isaiah

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The storyline of redemption unfolds throughout the Holy Scriptures and reveals God’s intent to reconcile people to Himself and establish His kingdom on earth. With each turn of the page we find a piece of His plan fall into place, His promises kept, and His prophecies fulfilled. The book of Isaiah is one of the clearest depictions of all...

The First Thanksgiving and a Grateful Heart

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Do you remember as a kid making those turkeys out of a traced handprint or a pinecone? Do you remember the stories about the pilgrims and Indians in elementary school? In the midst of all the turkey decorations and historical stories, have you ever wondered what the first Thanksgiving was like? I started to dig for answers from historians and...

I Want to Punch God.

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Life is not fair. God is always fair. Shelly (name changed) is a woman who has had a very hard life. The things she has told me in our counseling sessions are enough to make me depressed. I’ve told her time and again, “I wish there was a ‘reset’ button I could push for you. Life has been so hard...

A Unexpected Meal with A Soldier and 3 Insights for All of Us

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Travelers from around the world scurried through the walkway in front of me. I grabbed my dried-out breakfast burrito from a hole-in-the-wall cafe and found a seat. The few tables that were located in the hallway were occupied by others just trying to find a restful place while filling their stomaches. I found one empty table and sat down across...

You Can Cry On Me. Your Tears Are Warm.

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Loss hurts no matter when it comes. Even necessary endings have a way of hurting – though we knew that or they had to go. As a biblical counselor, tears are a regular part of my day. When people come in my office and feel the freedom to cry, I am honored. I don’t take it for granted when someone...

No One Admires Busy, Right?

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I hate that the main characteristics of my life is that I am so busy. If you ask an of my friends or acquaintances what they would say about me, I am sure that 9 out of 10 of them would say is that “he is so busy”. How dreadful is it that when I am talking to someone and...

Life Balance is a Myth

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 This is a guest post from Brian Davis Several years ago, I was seeing a counselor in an effort to work through a bevy of issues in my head, not the least of which was how to "balance my ministry, my home life, and everything else I had going on." My counselor's words shocked me: “The idea of a balance is...

That Hunk of Wood

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In 2002 I was speaking at an event in Ocean City, Maryland where my friend, Ron Hutchcraft, was also speaking. The second night of the event was the night that we had all been praying for; it was the night that Ron was going to share the gospel message.  We were all living with anticipation and hope that many...

Where is The Recipe for Raising Kids?

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Making pumpkin pancakes is much harder than I thought. So is being a dad. Last Saturday I thought I’d try out our new mixer. After all, it is fall, so pumpkin pancakes seem to be calling my name. As for the mixer, well, we got it last Christmas and I wasn’t about to let a whole 12-months go by without...

How to Encourage Yourself in the Midst of Discouraging Circumstances

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This is a guest post by Daniel Henderson at www.strategicrenewal.com David, the great Old Testament figure, was no stranger to fatigue, fear, confusion, doubt, bad decisions, and second chances.  Like refreshing rain on parched ground, his raw humanity, disarming transparency, and persevering pursuit of God give us encouragement in the occasional, even frequent, messes of our own lives. In one of the...