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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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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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The Fruit of the Spirit

…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.   (Galatians 5:22) When I moved into town as a new pastor, I heard terrible stories about George. He had chased the ladies, been too fond of liquor, and been a shady businessman. Every time I heard one of these …

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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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Through the Lens of Gratitude or Ingratitude

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord…    (Hab. 3:17-18) Every year …

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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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“Jamie, who are His People?”

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham….   (Mt. 1:1f) If Jesus had lived in the neighborhood where I grew up, my grandmother would have been worried about me playing with Him.  She would have wanted me to shy away from Jesus because He came from …

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