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So Moses told the people of Israel what the LORD had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. Exodus 6:9 (NLT)

If we are rebuffed when sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must be very careful that we do not assign the wrong attitude or motivation upon those who do not receive our message. Without complete understanding, which is very difficult when it comes to other people, we may perceive that rejection o...

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In California where I live, we have been facing drought conditions for several years. The solution to a drought crisis is obviously water. Even in the best of times there is not enough rainfall to supply all of the needs in Southern California. We depend upon rivers and aqueducts to bring the water to us.

It is impossible to sustain life, physically or spiritually, without water. The Psalmist declared, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you...

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And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of a...

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Just in Time

27th Mar 2020

Waiting patiently is not high on the list of my attributes. I am much happier when things go according to my schedule. I know that I am not alone in my impatience because we live in a society that caters to instant gratification. We have fast food and microwave ovens. The cable and satellite television companies offer movies on demand. Many areas of life are tailored for convenience and hurriedness. However, patience is something that God wants to develop in each one of us. In 1 Corinthians 13 w...

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Recently, I listened as someone offered a prayer for someone who was traveling. They prayed for smooth flights, easy connections and no interruptions. I’ve heard prayers before a church service asking that everything would go according to plan, smoothly and once again with no interruptions. On the surface, these seem like very normal, even noble prayer requests, but what if it is really better for us to pray that instead of our journey being on a smooth path, we ask for a road of opportunity.

T...

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Last week we looked at the contrast between the desire to have things go smoothly, as planned and without interruption versus the realization that interruptions and obstacles might actually be divine appointments that allow us to see God at work while ministering to others. We looked at a few examples from Jesus’ ministry in which he was seemingly interrupted by those in need. Now in the 2nd part we will examine some steps that we can take so that we are not caught off guard by opposition or any...

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Which End of the Pool

27th Mar 2020

One of the ways to stir up lively discussion among Christians is to bring up the subject of “Seeker Sensitive Churches.” Inevitably, blood pressure will rise and charges will be thrown back and forth. For some, “Seeker Sensitive” is a code word for a gospel message that has been compromised or watered down while others view it as a way to introduce people to Jesus in a nonthreatening manner. A question that often comes up in my mind is this: “What do we call the opposite of seeker sensitive?” Se...

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Reconciliation

27th Mar 2020

It doesn’t take a genius to look around us and see that we have a problem. It is not about the specifics of any one incident, but rather it is an environment that breeds contempt and distrust. It is ridiculous to think that we can either ignore or deny that there is a problem with racism in our country today. Benjamin Watson, a football player for the New Orleans Saints wrote an essay in which he said the following, “…ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the...

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The Christmas story is filled with contrasts and extremes. On one hand Christ birth brought some extreme joy, while others were filled with terror. One of my favorite opening sentences in all of literature is from Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities.” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

What a great impact was made when the One who is the Light entered our world as a man. To those shepherds, wise men, and others like Simeon who welcomed and sought after the LIGHT OF THE W...

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My blog post is a day late this week because I was preoccupied with a more pressing issue. On Sunday around midnight, the AGIF website stopped working after an automated system upgrade. I spent several hours on the phone with various technical support people and I kept pressing the point that this situation was their fault because everything was working fine before the upgrade and now it was broken. There was no clear indication of what the problem was and it took many hours of diagnosis on my p...

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Preparing the Way

27th Mar 2020

God says, “Rebuild the road! Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from captivity.” The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. Isaiah 57:14-15 (NLT)

There are Scriptures which call us to “Prepare a way for the Lord.” However, our text clearly directs us to rebuild...

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Give Me This Mountain

27th Mar 2020

The account of Caleb’s life in the Promised Land is found in Joshua 14:6-15 and there are four lessons from his life as we begin this New Year. “I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out, and I am just as ready to fight now as I was then. So give me the mountain country the LORD promised me that day long ago.” Joshua 14:11–12a (NCV)

The first lesson that we can learn from Caleb is to have a passionate heart for God. There are six references in Scripture that indicate to...

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