God

Do You Want to be Happier?

By: Dr. Norm Wise Happiness is one of the goals that people consider of significant value in their lives. However, if happiness comes from outside circumstances and other people, then only to the extent that we can control these factors will we be happy. Therefore, happiness is very fragile because we have little or no control over our circumstances. What can be done? One key to feeling greater happiness is having realistic godly expectations of life “East of Eden” and a committed acceptance of our community of imperfect people. If we can lower our expectations and increase our forbearance of […]

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Prayer and the Path of Life

By: Dr. Michael Allen Sometimes pastors point out that a person’s checkbook says quite a lot about them: their priorities, their loves, their values. That’s surely true. Perhaps not so frequently mentioned is that our prayers serve as a barometer of sorts regarding our loves and passions. What do we pray about? What things do we praise God regarding? What experiences summon forth our thanks? And what leads us to cry out in desperate need and longing? The psalmist prayed for many things. In fact one of the endearing qualities of the Psalms is that they do serve as what one […]

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Does the Bible Contradict Itself?

Never! . . . Right? The Bible is an amazing book, written by forty people over thousands of years; yet, it has only one author: God. If we were to invite forty people to dinner and asked them to tell us about their experience, we would likely get a wide variety of reports. Those who loved the filet mignon would focus on how it was cooked to perfection, seasoned just right, and served with butter sizzling on top. Others at our imaginary dinner party may have given slight mention to the steak because they were overwhelmed with the novelty of […]

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Spirituality vs. Christianity

“I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God. I pray all the time—for self-control, for humility,” pop culture icon Katy Perry tells Marie Claire. Though Katy Perry has only one voice, her opinion speaks volumes about the spiritual-but-not-religious trend that is taking place in this day and age. According to a Pew report, almost 1 in 5 Americans identify themselves as “spiritual, but not religious.” These people were identified as having a connection to God but not with any form of institution. As Christians, we certainly believe […]

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Rise Above the Rubble

(How does God make you rise above rubble? Please comment below.) Life is marked by painful providences. We face trials and tribulations throughout our lives, from the moment we are born until the moment we die. As my momma was fond of saying, “Jesus never promised you a rose garden on this side of the grave.” No, in fact He promised just the opposite:“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). As a pastor I have the […]

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Four Keys to Understanding the Bible

By: Dr. Sam Lamerson Whether you have been in church your entire life or are brand new to the faith, you will undoubtedly, at times, encounter Bible passages that are difficult to understand. The scriptures themselves speak of this, as the Apostle Peter says, “. . . just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as […]

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Love Needs No Legislation!

(Scroll down to leave a comment on why love needs no legislation) Back in August I had the privilege of marrying Mark and Kaitlin, the young couple who head up our Young Adults ministry at Cross Community Church. Starting with pre-engagement coaching, we spent a considerable amount of time over the past year talking together about the stuff of marriage. I remember discussing the all-too-common prenuptials that many bring into their marriages today, even Christian marriages. A prenuptial is defined as: “A contract entered into prior to marriage which commonly includes provisions for the division of property and spousal support […]

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Living the Good Life

How do you live the good life? What do you need to know or do in order to really live life as it’s meant to be lived? Jesus taught that, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). This means that there are two ways to pursue this sense of life to the full. There’s one approach that works and one that doesn’t. What you can’t live on What does Jesus mean by “live” and “bread”? The Greek word he uses for live is zoe, and it means […]

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Punk’d by Grace

During a radio interview last week, the interviewer told me a story that gets to the heart of how grace transforms. He was a camp counselor one summer and one of his responsibilities was to go around with another counselor and check the cabins every morning while the students were at breakfast. In order to motivate them to keep their cabins clean, awards were given at the morning assembly to the students who had the cleanest cabin. One morning the counselors walked into one of the cabins only to discover that it had been intentionally trashed. The students thought it […]

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