But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Church - Apologetic Report
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When the new creation comes, it’s going to be unbelievable. Psalm 126 can help you imagine it.

A Song of Ascents.

1 When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream.2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue...

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Monday, 24 July 2017 15:10

Two Views a Pastor Must Have

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What do all businesses, schools, non-profits, and churches have in common? They all have leaders. Leaders are important. They are the ones who determine the vision and set the direction for the future. They are also the ones making sure everyone is equipped to play their part in...

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I had invested half a decade into the lives of this group of students. I’ll be honest, their big day of celebration was bittersweet for me. I knew what it meant for them to graduate high school. Most of them would be moving on to college or a job somewhere in a different town. Everything...

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Sunday, 23 July 2017 15:15

The Gospel is Like an Old Hymn

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The gospel is an old hymn. The gospel is sheet music printed in antiquarian typeface on a yellowed page in a dusty book. It's the "old, old story" and the "old rugged cross." It is four verses--and please don't skip the third verse to expedite the invitation! The gospel is an invitation to a bygone...

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Sunday, 23 July 2017 15:00

Links For The Church (7/24)

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Parenting As Narrating

Children are inquisitive and parents are responsible to answer their questions with grace and truth. Abby Perry explains how to share the story of the hard parts of life. 

Real Friendship: Trading 'Likes' and 'Follows' for Love and Authenticity

Scott Sauls writes on the...

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Saturday, 22 July 2017 15:15

Don't Side with the World

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"Even thou wast as one of them."-- Obadiah 1:11

Brotherly kindness was due from Edom to Israel in the time of need, but instead thereof, the men of Esau made common cause with Israel's foes. Special stress in the sentence before us is laid upon the word thou; as when Caesar cried to Brutus, "and...

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In the kind providence of God, I’ve had the opportunity to serve under a faithful pastor in the local church. As I near the end of my seminary degree, I reflect on ways the Lord was good to reveal numerous ways to encourage my pastor as I wait to begin ministry. By God’s grace, I have...

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Thursday, 20 July 2017 15:00

Why We Sing With The Lights On

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I’m a pastor at a church plant primarily comprised of Millenials in an up-and-coming city. Our church is a prime candidate for loud, attractive music sung in a dimly lit room with an impressive worship team. Yet the music sung in our service isn’t loud, not necessarily attractive,...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 15:10

You Have No Heart

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“You have no heart! You are heartless!”

These are phrases we often hear in response to someone who has just done or said something we consider to be quite inhumane or inconsiderate of another human being. The phrase is meant to convey the idea that the human heart is loving, kind,...

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 15:05

A Pastor's Character Over His Competence

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An alternative, but much longer title for this post could be: ‘Why You Should Choose a Godly Man Who is an Average Preacher, Over the Worldly Man Who Can Preach Up a Storm.’

‘Character Over Competence’ is an issue that relates to far more than leadership in the local...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 15:05

Learning to Talk About Disability

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As someone with a disability (I am hard of hearing), I’m thrilled to see more and more Christians blogging, tweeting, and even preaching about disability. People with disabilities are sorely overlooked in the Church—in fact, a 2010 study by the Kessler Foundation indicated that people...

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 15:00

How Do You Respond When Corrected?

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As we pulled into one of the gates at the Atlanta airport, I knew I would miss my connecting flight. Nevertheless, I sprinted through one of the world’s largest airports to a gate that was a few terminals away, hoping that I could still make it. I didn’t, so they put me on standby for a...

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Monday, 17 July 2017 15:10

Pray for Forgetfulness

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Few thoughts are more haunting for a preacher than forgetting: forgetting one's Bible, notes, illustration, outline, or conclusion. Several hours of preparation, hopefully, have readied one to explain and apply a passage of Scripture to a group of people. To forget aspects of that...

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Monday, 17 July 2017 15:05

Misusing Your Spiritual Disciplines

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Once upon a time I ran a marathon. For years I had heard experienced runners talk about this sense of euphoria that happens during a long race – they called it a “runner’s high.” It’s that moment when the pain disappears and, like magic, your legs are filled with...

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Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:15

5 Words of Advice for Young Seminarians

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For those starting college or seminary education, I know it can sometimes be intimidating or overwhelming. And for those who don’t feel a little intimidated or overwhelmed, you may need to prepare yourselves, lest you get caught off-guard by the challenges of your studies and the seminary...

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Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:10

When Serving The Local Church Isn't Fun

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It was an early Sunday morning and I was preparing to get my kids ready for worship. I opened my dresser drawer and pulled out my blue volunteer shirt. I was serving in our children's ministry for the morning. 

I serve in various areas of the church, and I take advantage of the childcare for my...

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Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:05

The Bible is Better Than Google

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I have three kids: that means three different opportunities for random diseases and injuries and weirdness to pop up. When there are spots on my 3-year-old’s arms, when my 1-year-old’s hair smells like it’s burning, or when my five-month-old is eating twice the amount his formula...

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Sunday, 16 July 2017 15:00

Links For The Church (7/17)

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Climate Change and the Church's Mission

How should evangelicals think about climate change? Or do they even consider it? Matthew Arbo explains the moral responsibility of the church to care for the earth.

"But I Didn't Mean to be Racist."

Jemar Tisby explores the difference between intent and impact...

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Saturday, 15 July 2017 15:15

Try This When You Are Sad

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"Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof."-- Psalm 102:13-14

A selfish man in trouble is exceedingly hard to comfort, because the springs of his comfort lie entirely...

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Thursday, 13 July 2017 15:05

Dignity over Despair

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Pretty cursive designs filled my Pinterest screen. At the flip of my thumb, fonts, pictures, and water-colored flowers flew past—all communicating one verse:

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come."

(Proverbs 31:25 ESV)

Yet one does not need to get on...

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There is much talk about being “gospel-centered” today. I’m thrilled that there is.

But what does it mean, precisely, for a pastor to minister in a “gospel-centered” way? Here are three quick thoughts.

First, the pastor’s theology is gospel-shaped. In...

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 15:10

A Church Where Everyone Can Grow

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In Psalm 119, David prays for God's helping hand in good judgment and knowledge. We all need teaching from God. Without it, we remain lost and confused. With it, we grow in his ways and find joy. Charles Spurgeon comments:

Again he begs for teaching, as in Psalm 119:64, and again he uses God's...

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 15:05

Remember the Sabbath: Part 4

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In the last post, I outlined the first two components of the actual practice of the Sabbath. Here, I will share the final two along with some encouraging application from Psalm 23.

Relationships

Certain people drain us; other people restore life to us. This is a simple truth of life. On the Sabbath,...

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Monday, 10 July 2017 15:05

Why Ministers Should Learn to Write Well

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Recently, a fellow member of the faculty told me that a student in one of his classes this past semester displayed a negative attitude towards learning to write well. The student expressed the belief that, since he was called to preach, he did not have to do well in written...

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Monday, 10 July 2017 15:05

A Faithful Steward of My Other Pulpit

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The pastor lives under a divine charge to preach the word. He does not have the right to proclaim his own message. He is a herald assigned to declare the message of the King.

Every pastor has multiple responsibilities. But the pastor’s primary, central, and definitive function is to preach the...

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