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My Barnabas Suspension

“…and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us…” (Romans 5:5) I have—like many of you—been struggling since our regular lives have been getting shut down in the last week or so.  During times of stress—and I can’t remember of a time of more stress, fear, and worry—I believe it …

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The Strength of Jesus

I can do all things through [Jesus] who strengthens me.   (Phil. 4:13) Paul wrote today’s scripture while in prison.  Every time he was behind bars, he was facing death. Being chained to a Roman guard, he would’ve been deprived of any privacy.  Under such conditions you might think Paul would’ve been daunted or depressed—but read …

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Seek First the Kingdom of God

Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.’    (Luke 12:22) I don’t consistently live by today’s scripture.  Whenever I read Jesus’ admonition to not worry, I cringe when I remember the nights I’ve been awake at …

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Cast Your Burden Upon the Lord

Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you…    (Psalm 55:22) About a year after starting to serve at the church, I was invited to participate in a golf tournament that was raising money for our outreach ministries.  After praying to begin the day, someone said, “Please join me in my cart.  I …

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Jesus is Our Peace

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups one….  (Eph. 2:13-14) The man was dragging his wife to church.  It was clear she didn’t want to be there.  I didn’t …

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Seeing, Finding and Serving Jesus

Jesus said, “… I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Having gone through Hurricane Harvey I was reminded of another storm—Katrina. In 2005, we watched whole neighborhoods being flooded, people looting, and some even dying, and horrendous conditions throughout New Orleans. In response to the horrendous conditions in New Orleans, …

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God’s Peace and Strength

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.” (Psalm 46:1-3) Soon after entering one of the shelters for …

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Battling for God’s Kingdom

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him… But David remained at Jerusalem.” (2 Sam. 11:1) We don’t know why David didn’t go into battle.  Maybe he was tired.  Maybe he forgot how important he was to his …

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Traveling with Jesus

He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two…  He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts…   (Mk. 6:8) Recently I was behind a woman in the check-in line before a flight.  When she put her suitcase on …

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A Journey That May Heal Your Own Hearts

Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.    (2 John 12) I once had a serious break with my daughter that was breaking my heart. …

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