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Church Blog

Fog

Seeing through the fog

It was a fog-shrouded morning on July 4, 1952, when Florence Chadwick dove into the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean. She intended to become the first woman ever to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast, but after she had been swimming for over fifteen hours she became exhausted, cold, and discouraged. She asked her trainers in the boat beside her to take her out of the water. They pleaded with her, telling her they could see the…
Reusable face masks and single use medical masks in hands

God’s Pandemic Response

If you’ve lived on Earth for the past 6 months, you know the world has experienced a tumultuous year. And during this year, some have wondered what exactly God has been doing. Does He care? Does He even notice? These aren’t simple questions, but I’m going to use my space today to give one simple answer. What is God’s answer to the problems our world is facing? Answer: you. God came to earth to become the perfect sacrificial lamb for…
Faith

Prayer works

Maybe you’ve occasionally wondered if there’s any point in prayer. Does it work? Is God listening? Does he even care? Whenever I start doubting, I go back and reread James. Here are a few translations of the end of James 5:16: ‎The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (ESV). The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (NKJV). The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (NASB). The prayer of…
Two women talking about problems at home

Why don’t we confess to one another?

I don’t know why we ignore this verse, but I’m pretty sure we do, or at least we skip over the plain sense of it. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16). When’s the last time you did that? When’s the last time you got your sin laundry list out, sat down with a Christian friend, and confessed the many ways you’re struggling in your relationship with Jesus?…
Teddy bear sick in the hospital

If you’re sick

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (James 5:14-15). Everyone reading this has been affected in some way by sickness—some sicknesses that are quite serious. We know people…
happy

If you’re cheerful

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise (James 5:13). I suppose we’re more likely to obey the first part of that verse than we are the second. It’s easy to let all of life’s stresses cause us to forget our need to praise God for everything good. If we’re not careful, talking to God can be more like a 911 call—something when do only when we find ourselves in a very difficult…
Woman with bible

If you’re suffering

We’ve got a few different options when we’re suffering. We can complain about it, something most of us have done more than we should have. But it doesn’t really do any good, does it? We don’t particularly enjoy it, and the people around us certainly don’t. We can blame God and fuss at him about it, but that probably suggests a lack of confidence on our part. We can finger-point and talk about why our problems are someone else’s fault.…
handshaking in office

I swear

You’ve probably heard stories of the good ole days when people just shook hands over deals . . . when the attorney-written, loophole-closing, 200-page contracts of today were unknown. “A person’s word is his bond,” people said. “A handshake is as good as a contract.” I’m not sure if this is a case of romanticizing and therefore exaggerating the past, or if some people really did make big deals with nothing more than a nod of the head and a…
Young hipster man sitting in a cafe.

He cares

In the pre-pandemic days (remember those?) I was sitting at a coffee shop doing some reading and writing, and I couldn’t help but overhear bits of the conversation coming from the table behind me. They touched on different topics—divorce, job problems, their kids’ lives, etc.—but disappointment and concern seem to be resting just beneath the surface. It’s everywhere, of course, from the coffee shop in the suburb to the mill in a small town to the boardroom in a downtown…
wheat field at sunset

He’s coming back

Some things are happening in our world right now that are disheartening. I sometimes wonder how much longer God will put up with it. There’s hurt, there’s anger, there’s injustice, there’s violence. More people are rejecting God’s plan for marriage for a less offensive, more “tolerant” approach. Unborn babies are still being killed, and fewer people believe in Jesus Christ as God’s revelation of himself. And then, of course, there’s the virus, and the uncertainty, confusion, anxiety, and division that…