Tag Archives: editorial

Thanksmas

By Jennifer Neal

As an accountant, my approach to Scripture can be pretty formula-driven. I read a text like 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” and I see three parts. First, give thanks; second, in all circumstances, and third, it’s God’s will. This is really straightforward in my mind, but let me tell you a story of just one way this can be demonstrated in our daily lives. Continue reading

From the Archives: The Church of the Living God

By Wayne M. Warner

Calvary knew neither candle nor cathedral. Roman overseas veterans crucified Jesus on crossbars between two filching thieves. This took place near the city dump of a community so cosmopolitan that Jesus’ title was lettered in three languages. Calvary provided a hangout for beatniks and social dropouts who ran the gamut of smut and filth. Thieves cursed. Soldiers gambled. Ladies avoided the place, but God was there. It was the place where Jesus died. Continue reading

Honduras: Hope in the Midst of Suffering

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By Sarah Hunnicutt

Sometimes the broken things can threaten to overwhelm me, to overwhelm us. Sometimes it’s easier to look away from the broken parts and hope for the best. Sometimes it’s a balance knowing when to go deeper and when to step back. Maybe it’s not a matter of choosing all light or all dark, all rainbows or all difficulties. Perhaps the best way to bring a little heaven to earth, and a little healing to this brokenness, is to keep our eyes up and our feet on the ground. Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said to be in this world but not of it. When you know who and whose you are, you can join this world in its brokenness because you know each person has a story, and each broken bit of yourself is what makes it possible to pour out the healing grace and love that’s become a part of you. Maybe this is what it means to love God and love others. Eyes up. Heart up. Hands open. Feet grounded. Continue reading

From the Archives: Beyond Change

By Kathleen Buehler

I learned (or revisited) a bit of information recently that caught me by surprise. I was helping my daughter study for a science test, when I discovered this: Some members of the animal kingdom –adult sponges, to be exact—stay attached to one spot throughout their lives.

Think of it: stuck in one spot for life. It sounds boring and confining. The ability to move, to change, gives so many more possibilities for excitement and freedom. On the other hand, there’s something comforting, safe, and sure about sameness, while change can bring anxiety, discomfort, and even pain. Continue reading

From the Archives: Now I Am Truly Free

By Phyllis Kardatzke Miller

When a person is confronted with the claims of Jesus on his life, he makes a choice—he either accepts or rejects. There is no gray area in between of “tabling for future reference.” After seeing there is one way (and a very narrow way it is!), the person who understands that God is calling him to repentance and consciously takes the truth “under advisement” is choosing not to believe, and seeking his own approach to God. Continue reading

If You’re Thankful

By Carl Stagner

In 1985, Laura Numeroff wrote a book that would become a modern children’s classic. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie soon led to numerous children’s books that filled in the blanks of a variety of “if-then” statements. For example, “if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.” I’ve discovered the same theme in my daily life. Continue reading

From the Archives: In the Studio of the Soul

By Elsie Egermeier

Up two flights of steps I climbed one day to visit the cozy studio of my artist friend. There I found him quietly at work. The canvas before him was bare when I arrived, but soon it began to take on the initial appearance of a painting. I watched with impatient interest in the development of the scene. A stroke here, another there (apparently meaningless to me were some of them), here a deep hue, there a light shade, but all the while the painting grew more harmonious. I noted the unhurried progress of my friend. “Why doesn’t he splash on the paint a bit more lively?” I wondered. Continue reading

The Truth When Jesus is the Subject

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By Dave DeVoll

There are any number of places in Scripture one may cite to support the current theme of our Movement—Jesus is the subject! Here are a few:

In John 5:39, Jesus said to the Jewish leaders who wanted to kill him, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”

Paul explicitly emphasized the centrality of Jesus in his letters. 1 Corinthians 1:23, “…but we preach Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:5, “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.” Galatians 1:16, “I…preach Him [Jesus] among the Gentiles.” Philippians 1:18, “…Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” Continue reading

From the Archives: The Church That Never Fails

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By Henry G. Johnson

In Acts 12 we read of some discouraging circumstances that faced the early church. Herod had killed James with the sword and put Peter in prison, intending to kill him after Easter. If the early church had been inclined to become easily discouraged, it would have failed at this time. But instead of letting these discouraging circumstances drive them to despair, they drove them to their knees in prayer. A praying church is one that will never fail, for when a crisis comes it knows what to do; it is acquainted with the One who knows all things and can work all things out for good to those who love God. Continue reading

Keys to Establishing a Multigenerational Congregation: Part Two

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By Sean Johnson

Josiah enjoyed eggs, hash browns, sausage, and a liberal bowl of strawberries, as he intently watched the e-mail icon on his iPad. Pastor Johnson’s last blog post brightened his countenance, and he looked forward with great anticipation to continuing the discussion of maintaining community while building a multi-generational congregation. How did Soul-Winning do it? Can it be done at South Haven Church? The waitress placed another steaming cup of coffee in front Josiah, and before he could take a sip, “Bing!” Up popped the second blog post from Sean G.L. Johnson, associate pastor of Soul-Winning Church of God, with the subject line, “Four (More) Keys To Establishing Soul-Winning Church of God as a Multigenerational Congregation: Part Two.” Continue reading

Keys to Establishing a Multigenerational Congregation: Part One

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By Sean G.L. Johnson

Josiah Avery watched the steam rise from his cup of coffee as he watched the symphony of city life in full swing from a window booth at Cavanaugh’s Café on Sutter Avenue. The pressures of leading a growing, one hundred-member congregation were much different than shepherding a flock of twenty. Five years ago, in this very booth, over a similar cup of coffee, Josiah had prayed for South Haven Church to grow. The new problem seemed more complex. How do you create opportunities for fellowship and growth while preserving the intimate relationships currently found at South Haven Church? What steps did he need to take? Pastor Josiah took a sip of steaming coffee and pressed the e-mail icon on his iPad. Up popped a blog post from Sean G.L. Johnson, associate pastor of Soul-Winning Church of God, with the subject line “Four Keys To Establishing Soul-Winning Church of God as a Multigenerational Congregation: Part One.” Continue reading