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2017

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Jan 4, 2018
rural church, small town

I’m a Rural Pastor! What Now?

Do not make any changes in the first year.
I’m a Rural Pastor! What Now?
Image: pixabay

I’ll never forget the sunny day that Carole and I pulled into the parking lot of the Finchford Community Bible Church in Finchford, Iowa (population: 57) with all our possessions in the back of a small moving truck. About 30 smiling, friendly, and curious (“Oh! You ...

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Jan 3, 2018
immigrant, migrant

Migrating into God’s Kingdom: A Testimony

In God, there is a unique identity for every immigrant.

I love being an immigrant.

I never thought I would say that but, in retrospect, I would never change what happened to me as a result of crossing the U.S. – Mexico border.

In one sense, the immigrant experience is very simple, really. To be an immigrant is to cross borders ...

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Jan 2, 2018
book, devotional, interview

One-on-One with Christine Caine on Her New Devotional

"Unshakeable" joins "Unashamed," "Unstoppable," and "Undaunted."

Ed: First, tell us a little about your background.

Christine Caine: I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia, the daughter of Greek immigrants. If you have seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” then you will know my Big Fat Greek Life.

At age 33, I found out ...

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Jan 1, 2018
new year, new year's resolution

The Gospel Turns the ‘Try Harder’ Mentality on Its Head

Our own strength is insufficient to carry us to places of greater faith
The Gospel Turns the ‘Try Harder’ Mentality on Its Head
Image: pixabay

It’s that time of year again—New Year’s resolution time, that is. Just as soon as we finish packing up the lights and de-cluttering our houses from all the Christmas cheer, we’ve moved on to our next task: setting goals.

As we reflect on 2017, many of ...

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Dec 31, 2017
sundry, assorted, disparate, divergent

Top 10 Posts of 2017

It's that time of year.

(10) Hank Hanegraaff’s Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond

Let’s follow Jesus, keep sharing the simple gospel, focus on the Bible, and think like missionaries in order to translate that truth to our modern ...

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Dec 30, 2017
turkey, muslim, christian

Building Bridges of Witness in Turkey

To be Turkish is to be Muslim.
Building Bridges of Witness in Turkey

In the turbulent world of international politics, Turkey sits right in the middle. Here in the historic city of Istanbul, the stakes for one-upmanship are growing. On the day I arrived, the President of Turkey refused entrance to Americans.

There are times when my Canadian passport ...

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Dec 29, 2017
conflict, conflict resolution, leadership

Pushing into Places of Conflict for the Good of the Kingdom

Leadership requires a commitment to solving conflict.

There is a big difference between talking with someone and talking about someone. Yet Christian organizations, churches, and families are full of people talking behind each other’s backs. When conflicts arise—and they will—as leaders we frequently skirt around ...

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Dec 28, 2017
prison, freedom, hosea, gomer

My Story: From Prison to Freedom, and What I’ve Learned about the Promise of the Gospel

Formerly incarcerated person pastors church in Orange County

When a publisher asked me, “Why would someone want to read a book written by you?” it took me longer to answer than I expected.

And my answer impacted my faith.

I come from a broken family. I had a long battle with drugs, was kicked out of my house before I was an ...

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Dec 28, 2017
new book, interview, stranger

One-on-One with Krish Kandiah on Stranger Grace and Stranger Danger

God is strange, unpredictable, and inscrutable
One-on-One with Krish Kandiah on Stranger Grace and Stranger Danger
Image: Wikimedia

Ed Stetzer: What do you mean when you say “God is stranger”?

Krish Kandiah: Well, for a start, God is stranger than we give him credit for. The Bible is full of awkward parts where God behaves in unpredictable or strange ways—although mostly I think we tend ...

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Dec 26, 2017
rhino, rabbit, church planting, church multiplication

Rhinos, Rabbits, and the Challenges of Multiplying a Church Planting Movement

Partnering together for the sake of the gospel
Rhinos, Rabbits, and the Challenges of Multiplying a Church Planting Movement
Image: pixabay

It is unfortunate, but the White Rhino appears to be on a trajectory to extinction. And there’s little wonder why. Human and environmental factors aside, the rhino has a built-in malefactor that hinders their own proliferation—a gestation period of 16 to 18 months. ...

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Dec 25, 2017
christmas day, christmas, humility

What Christmas Tells Us About the Person and Character of God

So the world will know that hope has come
What Christmas Tells Us About the Person and Character of God
Image: pixabay

Today, we celebrate the coming of our Savior and King. Prophets foretold his birth for centuries and, finally, after years of waiting, Christ the Messiah came into the world. The wait for redemption is finally over.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the fulfillment of longings. ...

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Dec 24, 2017
christmas eve, christmas, waiting, anticipation

A Waiting World, the Anticipation of Christmas, and What We Learn About the Love of God

Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.
A Waiting World, the Anticipation of Christmas, and What We Learn About the Love of God
Image: pixabay

The first snowfall of the year is an exciting time for those of us living in northern regions of the United States and throughout Canada. Sure, it’s cold. But it really is pretty.

White clouds cover the horizon from highway to hilltop and from them fall millions of frozen ...

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Dec 23, 2017
Christmas, Hanukkah, Messiah

Wait … Christmas Is Jewish?

Help Jewish people discover the real meaning of Christmas.
Wait … Christmas Is Jewish?
Image: pixabay

When you think about it, isn’t it ironic that Jewish people think, Christmas isn’t for us? As I grew up in traditional Judaism, we observed Hanukkah, a celebration of Jewish survival against oppressors. And Christmas was just an American cultural festivity without ...

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Dec 22, 2017
mary, nativity, advent, obedience

Every Woman Wants a Role Model—Someone to Look Up To. Is Mary that Person?

We see in Mary what God wants from all of us: faithful obedience.

Like most, I’ve spent a lifetime scanning through the pages of Scripture searching to find ‘my’ story: a biblical narrative I could write myself into.

Any woman leafing through the pages of Scripture for a story to call her own will quickly come to discover ...

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Dec 21, 2017
leadership, evangelism

Live First, Lead Second

Pastors have a significant impact on the evangelistic temperature of their church.

This article originally appeared in Outreach Magazine.

You can’t lead what you don’t live.

As pastors and leaders, a good part of what we teach others should come straight from Scripture. We look to biblical models and mandates to be the launching point to teach those ...

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