REAL HOPE Because Jesus Lives !

 

REAL HOPE.  Everyone needs it.  Everyone longs for it.  Young or old, rich or poor, new Christian or seasoned saint, there is no one who doesn’t find himself yearning for REAL HOPE.  We need hope because of our own sin and because of the sin of others. We need hope because of the effects of sin on this old sin-cursed broken world. We need hope because of sickness, pain, death and evil. We long for REAL HOPE, not just a fantasy of some positive future or pie in the sky by and by,” but REAL HOPE anchored in the solid foundation of God’s eternal Scripture.

 

The good news is that there truly is REAL HOPE  found in the Bible.  Hope abounds for the true child of God who has a REAL relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. Here are five reasons for REAL HOPE; each one is wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ including his death, burial, and resurrection.

 

  1. REAL HOPE abounds for the Christian because of Jesus’ perfect shed blood, His death and His bodily resurrection. Jesus died and shed his sinless blood so that He could be the substitute for us. Christ took the wrath of God His Father upon Himself so that we could be forgiven. Because of this sacrifice, God promised restoration, cleansing, forgiveness, and mercy.  Of course, Christians are already declared totally righteous for all eternity, but those of us who are believers still need God’s forgiveness throughout this life. Our failures, accidental or purposeful, hinder our walk with God, and we need restoration, just as we do in earthly relationships when failure breaks our fellowship with the Lord.  1 John 1:7-9 reminds us that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” John goes on to declare that if we try to hide or deny our failures, we are liars; but, if we confess our sin to Him, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sin, bringing about greater holiness and restoration. We have REAL HOPE for forgiveness.

 

  1. REAL HOPE abounds for the Christian because of His power. Ephesians 3:20 declares that we should thank and praise God because He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” God has promised His power to help us live a godly life. Even when we feel totally defeated and discouraged, His power is greater and can do far above what we feel can be accomplished in and through us. In addition, 2 Peter 1:3 reminds us that God’s power is given to us so that we have everything we need to overcome failure and live a godly life. Yes, we fail, but God’s power never allows us to live consistently in a state of sinful failure. His power saves us from a life of failure! We have REAL HOPE for a life free from being a slave to our sinful desires and failures.

 

  1. REAL HOPE abounds because we have victory over death and have Heaven as our future home. Paul says in 1 Thess. 4:13-18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Heaven is not a myth. It is a REAL place, and we will enjoy it together as Christians. What a hope!

 

  1. REAL HOPE abounds for the Christian because of His plan. Romans 8:28-31 is encouraging, because God states that “all things work together for good” (even when they don’t always appear to be good) to cause us to be more like Christ.  Life is like a giant puzzle with infinite pieces, each of which is needed, and all of which come together to accomplish God’s plan. Some of those pieces even include pain, sickness, and failures.  God, although never responsible for our failures, mercifully allows them to strengthen us for the future and to make us more conformed to the image of His Son. The book of Romans also reminds us that when sin increases and failure happens, grace always increases and can overcome our failures (Romans 5:20). Although we face pain, death, evil and our own failures in this life, we have REAL HOPE.  This REAL HOPE in the face of trouble causes us to reach the same conclusion as the divinely inspired Apostle Paul. Writing in Romans 8:31-33, he states, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.” If all that weren’t enough encouragement in the face of failure, we can also rely on this promise of God in Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” No, God is not ever going to leave His children helpless or at the mercy of Satan in this evil fallen world.  He is on our side.  REAL HOPE!

 

  1. REAL HOPE abounds for the Christian because of His presence. Hebrews 13:5 gives us yet another hopeful promise for our life: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Often in the difficulties of life or when we sin, we feel that God is angry and frustrated with us, and we may even feel forsaken or deserted by God.  On the contrary, like the father in the story told by Jesus of the prodigal son in Luke 11:15-32, God eagerly awaits to forgive and restore us. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

 

The person of Jesus Christ, his death, burial and resurrection provide REAL HOPE for this life and our future.  Are you a REAL CHRISTIAN with REAL HOPE?  If we can be of help to you in your relationship with God, we invite you to contact us.  If you are looking for a REAL HOPE, consider joining us for a service soon. 

In our services, we pray you will come to know the hope found through Jesus Christ and His words to us in the Bible.

 
 
 
 
 


Sermons on Our Real Theme

This resource provides a video sermon playlist featuring sermons on our theme for this year.
We hope you will click to watch the services and sermons and share with friends. We hope to update these each month during the year as Pastor continues this series.
Sermons yet to come on our theme:
 
Real Spirituality
Real Godly Wisdom
Real Generosity
Real Prayer
Real Bible
Real Evangelism
 
If you do not have a Bible believing and preaching church, please don’t just watch online, come join us for a service.  Here is what to expect. 
 
 


6 Questions to Prayerfully Consider Before You Leave Your Church

 
Stop, Don’t Leave Just Yet…

6 Questions to Prayerfully Consider Before You Leave Your Church.

There are a lot of good reasons for you to leave your current church. There are also a lot bad reasons for you to leave your current church. The fact is that if your church life isn’t  messy and complicated from time to time then you aren’t doing it right. However, another fact is that if your church life isn’t refreshing and wonderful then you aren’t doing it right. This is how relationships work and your relationship with your church is no different. Like any relationship there will be seasons of pure joy, seasons of pure frustration, and seasons where everything seems pretty balanced.

Unfortunately, it’s the seasons of pure frustration that tend to drive people away from their churches, just like, unfortunately, people are often driven away from their spouses. But part of being in community together includes a commitment to one another through thick and thin, especially through the most frustrating times. To give up and leave your church when it gets difficult or messy is the easy thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

It can be difficult to discern whether or not God is actually asking you to leave your church. Maybe you have wrestled with this before or are currently wrestling with it now. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you leave your church that I hope will help you sort through the situation and be able to discern what God is really asking of you.

 

 

1. Will I be able to walk with God closer and know Him better if I leave?

This should be one of, if not the primary question in your mind as you are thinking about leaving your church. Nothing in this life matters more than your relationship with God. Nothing. Not even your relationship with your church. If you can say with confidence that you will be able to grow deeper in your relationship with God at another place, then it is possible God is asking you to leave. However, this should not be a license to leave just because you are struggling to grow at the current time. Most of the time the inability to grow spiritually lies within us, not within our church. If you are a true Christian but aren’t growing closer to God, then it is most likely your fault. If anything, the lack of growth in your life should drive you deeper into the Christian community that you already have in your home church, rather than away from it to seek it somewhere else. Before you abandon your church, think deeply about the answer to this question.
 

2. Would Jesus be pleased with my reasons for leaving?

“Well, I don’t get along with someone there Jesus, so I’m going to leave.” Jesus responds with Matthew 5:23-26.

“Well, I’ve been hurt by someone there so I’m going to leave.” Jesus responds with Matthew 6:15.

“Well, it’s just too heavy of a load to deal with all the struggles there, so I’m going to leave.” Jesus responds with Galatians 6:2.

“Well, I’m just really not getting what I need from that church, so I’m going to leave.” Jesus responds with Philippians 2:3-4.

I could keep going, but I think you get the point. Most of the reasons that we hear from people leaving their church are not reasons that Jesus that would be happy about. When you enter into relationship with someone, or with a church, you have to take the good and the bad. No person is perfect and no church is perfect. If you are thinking about leaving your church because it isn’t perfect, search the Scriptures to see how Jesus would respond to finding out your reasons for leaving.
 

3. Have I done everything in my power to make things better?

Whether you are frustrated with the pastor, a specific person, a specific group of people, or something specific about the church as a whole – it would be childish and immature for you to leave if you have not done everything in your power to make it better. It does no good to whine about a problem or give up and leave if you have not offered a solution. More often than not, God puts frustration in our lives so that we can become sanctified and help sanctify those around us. Don’t allow your frustration to drive you to abandonment, let your frustration drive you to become more like Christ and help those you are frustrated with become more like Christ in the process.
 

4. Have I talked to church leadership about my frustrations?

Your pastors and other church leaders are probably frustrated by many of the same things you are. In fact, they are probably looking for people who feel the same way to help lead the charge to improve the situation. Even if your frustration is with the church leadership, you need to have the courage to express your frustrations to them and engage in a dialogue. By doing so, even if you decide to leave in the end, the church will be better off. Please don’t just leave your church without talking to your church leaders or at least explaining why.
 

5. Am I leaving to leave, or leaving because God has called me elsewhere?

God rarely, if ever, calls people away from something unless he is calling them to something else specific. When God called Abram away from his home and the only life he had ever known, He wasn’t just calling him away from Haran, He was calling him to Canaan (Genesis 12). When God called Paul away from his plans to preach in Asia, He also called him to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16). Don’t leave your church just to get out. If God is calling you to leave, He is most likely calling you specifically to another community of believers. Make sure you aren’t leaving just so be somewhere else.
 

6. Will I be moving to another church, or to the couch?

Whatever your reasons for wanting to leave your church, one thing is certain – you are not better off on the couch at home. If you are going to leave your church, make sure you are getting involved in another gospel centered, Bible-believing congregation. Too many people leave their church and never join another one. Similar to question 5, make sure that you have a plan to get involved in another church before you leave your current church.

—–

Please don’t leave your church without asking yourself these questions, or questions like these. There is too much church shuffling going on in our churches these days and it is not healthy for the people or for the churches.
 
Noah Adams – Noah is an associate pastor in Elgin, Il. and is excited about communicating and applying Biblical truth through the tools of social media and the world wide web. Noah works with Purpose Launch Ministries to help accomplish this task. 

 



Take Some Time to Start Right – Some Biblical Advice

Bible Advice for a New Year

 

It is here. A new year is a fresh start. It provides a clean slate to write your story. Here are some biblical ways of doing so to consider as you begin.  Of highest importance is knowing for sure you have a vital real relationship with Jesus Christ through the simple plan of the Gospel.  If you are unsure of your relationship with God, we would invite you to contact us to talk in person. In the meantime, click here to help understand more about your relationship with God.

Here are 7 practical ways to begin this new year of life in a biblical way.

1.       Begin With an Over-all  Renewed Commitment to the Priority of God in Your Life

Some things to think about as you consider the place of priority God has held in your life and how you might improve.

·         What do I spend my time doing each week? Remember, time is life and life is time. How you spend your time is how you are spending your life.  Sure there is time to relax, watch the game

·         What do I look forward to doing most in a week?  Does your answer have much to do with God or your service to him?

o   Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…(Matthew 6:33)

o   If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Col 3:1-2)

o   Create and pray for the opportunities to serve in ways you enjoy.  The way you serve him will be according to the spiritual gifts and opportunities he has given you.

2.       Begin with a Renewed Commitment to the Priority of Prayer

It is interesting how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord;” and just as we are about to close the volume, the “Amen” of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob-there a Daniel who prayed three times a day-and a David who with all his heart called upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises. What does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer? – Charles Spurgeon

 “God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly.  He does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer.  To be MUCH alone with God is the secret of knowing Him and of having influence with Him.” E.M. Bounds

 “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power.  We have a great deal of activity but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.  The power of God is lacking in our lives and in our work.  We have not because we ask not.  It was a master stroke of the Devil when he got the church and the ministry so generally to lay aside the mighty weapon of prayer/ The Devil is not afraid of machinery, he is only afraid of God, and machinery without prayer is machinery without God. When due to lack of teaching or spiritual insight, we trust in our own diligence and effort to influence the world and the flesh, and work more than pray, the presence and power of God are not seen in our work as we wish.” R. A. Torrey

3.       Begin with A Renewed Commitment to the Word of God, The Bible.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col 3:16)

 “Sanctify them through Thy Word, Thy Word is Truth.” (John 17:17)

Whatsoever things be TRUE….THINK on these things… (Phil. 4:8)

We ARE what we THINK on a regular basis. Meditate on the Bible every day.

·  Read the Word – Don’t get discouraged if you miss a day or a week or a month….

· Listen to the Word preached – take notes, MP3, online sermons….  www.oneplace.com

·  Memorize the Word

·  Consider it in daily actions – remember that as a Christian it is “written on your heart.” What does that mean to you?

4.       Begin Without the Nagging Paralyzing Effect of Fear, Dread and Worry

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isa 41:10)

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ… Peter 1:13

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2Co 10:5)

Remember:

Great Faith is not an irrational leap. It is a reasonable trust in the revealed truth about God. It is a process of thinking. John MacArthur

Faith is primarily thinking.  The trouble with a man of “little faith” is that he doesn’t think.  He allows circumstances to beat him up.  Faith is not purely mystical.  Christian faith is essentially thinking (by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit) on the truths of God’s Word. “Look at the bird, the grass, the lilies, –consider them…think about it and draw your deductions based on logic.  Faith is a man determined to think on truth when circumstances tell him not to. Lloyd-Jones

The essence of “little faith” is that a man’s thoughts are controlled by circumstance and not by the man girding up the loins of his mind and bringing them captive to the truth.  The man of “little faith” is the man who is not allowing the Spirit to fill him with the truth of the Word of God, but is being filled with his own thoughts of fear, worry and suspicion based on circumstances.  He then does not think, but goes round and round in circles.   Worry is not “thinking too much” it is not thinking enough about the Biblical truth that you know.  It is not letting the Word of Christ “dwell in you richly” and being “filled with the Word of God by the Holy Spirit” Faith is not optimism, wishful thinking, or dreaming.  It is a reasoned response to the revealed truth of the Bible with or without emotion.  Lloyd-Jones

5.       Begin Without Conviction from Sins of the Past Which You Have Confessed and Forsaken.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Pro 28:13)  If you haven’t confessed and forsaken your sin.  Do so today. Would you rather have a year of failure or a year of mercy?

6.       Begin with A Renewed Commitment to Spiritual Disciplines in the Pursuit of Godliness.

God makes us Godly!!!    We “put ourselves in the way.”  Remember:

·         Discipline brings Freedom to reach your goals

·         Discipline is based on principle and commitment -not feeling

·         Discipline without direction is drudgery. – Donald Whitney

 Examples of areas to develop disciplined routines for godliness.

A great resource for ideas in the book, Spiritual Discipline by Donald Whitney.

·         Bible intake          

·         Service

·         Confession to God

·         Prayer

·         Searching/solitude

·         Praise

·         Devotions

·         Accountability

·         Evangelism

7.       Begin with The End in Mind.

It may be hard to do, but think about how you want this new year to end next December.  What will you want the year to have been like?  What do you want to have accomplished, how to you want to be better? Different? This means you’ll need to set and accomplish goals.  Here are some ideas on how to do so.

Quick steps to getting where you want to go…

·         Review your roles (What roles do you play?  Mom, Dad, Employee, Christian, Husband, Wife…?

·         Realistic reflection in each area of how you can and should improve.

·         Righteous reach forward (God ordained Goals).  Set goals for each role.

·         Reinvented routine. Determine to change your life’s routines in order to reach your goals.

·         Revitalized rigor. Get excited and motivated by envisioning how your life and the lives of those around you will improve as you reach your goals.

If you do not have a church you feel at home in or that teaches the Bible in a truthful practical way, we invite you to visit us some Sunday. 

Here is more you may find helpful on our site.


Wrapping the Awkward Gift of Advice

awkward gift of adviceConfrontation and giving advice. When we know our friends may be struggling with a problem, sin, or even an addiction, it’s never easy to offer helpful correction or give input.  In fact, it is like trying to gift wrap a huge, awkwardly-shaped gift that our friend may not even appreciate at the time. You know they will benefit from it, but how do you make it presentable so they will gladly accept it? Even with examples laid out before us in Scripture, it is still difficult at times to know exactly what to do and say to get our friends or family to listen and really hear truth.

In the end, we know we can’t force a gift on anyone. No matter how valuable the gift of advice or confrontation, no matter how perfectly wrapped or perfectly timed, it still has to be received. We know that, according to Scripture, wise people accept this gift of advice and confrontation. We can see that even some marginally wise folks will accept it, although more care must be taken in the giving of it. We also know that the Bible says that a mark of a foolish person is that he will not accept advice (Proverbs 23:9).

A few preliminary thoughts first.

Silence means approval (Proverbs 17:15-17).  Remember that you, as a friend or family member, must attempt to give this gift.  You can’t stay silent and just hope things get better. You can’t be the buddy or friend and not be a godly friend. 

Remember that advice and confrontation bring results (Proverbs 28:23).  It may not be the immediate results you want; but if they accept, you have “gained a brother” (Matthew 18:15) and strengthened the relationship.  If the result is rejection, you can begin to follow the advice God gives on dealing with those who are foolish.     

So how do we wrap this gift of advice, wisdom, and / or confrontation?

There are some great “wrapping” instructions in the story of the prophet Nathan confronting David after his sin with Bathsheba.  This story can be found in 1 Samuel 12:1-15.

1. Wrap your advice in a friendship of encouragement. If you are not careful about picking the battle you choose with your friends who are struggling, you’ll find yourself nagging instead of advising. What’s the difference? Nagging occurs when you find yourself constantly irritated with your friend and badgering them almost every time you’re with them. Advising happens when you pick your battles, letting some (maybe many) issues go while focusing on the biggest issues or the ones the Holy Spirit prompts you about first. Spend your time and energy trying to find the things you can praise in your friend’s life on a regular basis. He’ll be more open to the purposeful, planned confrontation if it is wrapped in a day-to-day flow of encouragement. 

2. Wrap your advice in brotherly love and not harsh judgment. In other words, wrap it in humility, mercy, and grace, remembering your own journey, struggles, and failures along the way. Remember God’s mercy to you. Soft words turn away anger. Meditate on Proverbs 15:1. Learn to ask questions and not make accusations. Study 1 Corinthians 13 before confronting. Love hopes, love endures, is patient, kind, thinks the best whenever possible, and so on. If you are looking forward to pointing the finger and confronting, or if you are angry and frustrated, then wait. 

3. Wrap your advice in facts. Nathan knew the facts when he confronted David. Don’t rely on hearsay,  possibly false assumptions, or speculations. Trust your friend enough to believe the best and think no evil until the facts are evident. This doesn’t mean that you believe lies and don’t investigate, but make sure he knows you’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. Again, ask questions of your friend first before you simply make accusations. Even if you know the facts, give him the option to share them with you first. Remember, Proverbs says that there are often two sides to a story, and a wise person gets all the facts. 

4. Give your gift with a wise sense of timing. The occasion must be God’s prompting, not your own angry outburst. Wait and pray for the right time. Here are a few thoughts: Talk privately; this type of gift is not best received in front of other family or friends. Honor his agenda if possible; if you are interrupting a ball game on TV or planned time with other friends, your gift of advice or confrontation takes a hit. Consider scheduling a time with them: “Hey, I have some things to talk with you about. When is a good time for you later today?” Along with this goes bathing the whole situation in prayer. Part of timing is giving the Holy Spirit time to work in your friend’s heart ahead of time, as well as yours (Proverbs18:13).

5. Wrap your gift with a healthy dose of Biblical Truth and Love. 

I encourage you to use Scripture itself in your advising and confronting. Stay away from your opinions and feelings, and take them back to Bible principles that they have violated. Prepare ahead of time to do this well. As an example, if a friend has been publicly rude to his wife, don’t say: 

 

“I’m tired of the way you’ve been treating your wife! I just about popped you the other day when you yelled at her at the restaurant. That better never happen again when I’m around. God will deal with people like you. I promise you!”

Instead, try something like:

“I’m concerned for you because the Bible says you should honor your wife; it gives promises for God’s grace in doing so. The Bible says in Ephesians that guys should love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.  How do you think you’ve been doing in that area lately? I know it is an area that I’ve had to be careful in myself.”

Biblically, the key to solving strife (relational conflict) is humility and truth. This is well stated in Ephesians 4:15 as truth wrapped in love. Wrapping truth in love provokes thoughts of our heart motivations, because when we act in humility and love, we take attacking and offending out of the picture. We can then join with them in the discussion of truth. Biblical truth becomes the light in the situation and does the work of revealing the heart. With this approach, as a friend, you let the power of God’s Word, “sharper than any two edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12) do its work. You are then more freed up to love and help them as they learn how to implement truth in their actions.

6. Wrap advice and confrontation with the wide red ribbon of forgiveness. Be ready to forgive before you confront if the offense was against you. After the confrontation and advising, forgive. Don’t keep bringing up the problem. Move on. If the offense was against someone else or against God alone, assure a repentant friend of God’s love and forgiveness as well. Make sure that during the confrontation, you don’t bring up past forgiven sins unless they are very pertinent to the current situation. If the advice is rejected, you as a friend can still keep a spirit of sweetness and readiness to forgive when your friend is brought to a place of repentance by God’s work in his life. This helps guard your own heart from getting vengeful and bitter and your conversations from being harsh and sarcastic. 

7. Wrap the gift of confrontation or advice as well as the presentation of the gift in lots of love. Samuel affirmed love (II Samuel 12:25). Remember we referred to 1 Corinthians 13 earlier? Study this passage over and over when dealing with struggling friends or family. Love goes deeper than feelings and beyond feelings. You may not feel like loving him in any sort of way right now, but you can still act in love towards him according to the principles in 1 Corinthians 13. Assure your friend that you love him no matter what he does. You may not approve, you may have to even separate from him for a while, but let him never doubt your or God’s love for him. 

We hope that these helpful truths will benefit you. If we can be of help to you now or in the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 
 
Click below to read other articles and information about our church.
 
 
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Pride’s Disguises- 7 Ways Pride Can Hide In Your Life

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Pride is most often characterized by loud, arrogant, boastful, in-your-face annoyances. However, pride can also wear many disguises and be present in our lives in ways we may easily miss. Pride and its aftermath bother all of us.  Even more than bothering us, it offends God and is sin against Him. It is included in the list of heinous sins in scripture.
 
In his popular article on pride, Evangelist Harold Vaughn states the following:
Pride was the first sin to destroy the calm of eternity. It was pride that cast Lucifer from heaven and it was pride that cost our first parents their place in Paradise. Pride is the first sin to enter a man’s heart and the last to leave. No sin is more offensive to God than the sin of pride. Pride has been referred to as the “complete anti-God state of mind.” It militates against God’s authority, God’s law, and God’s rule. This is why the Bible equates rebellion with witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). Pride assaults God’s throne and asserts its independence in an attempt to dislodge God as the Sovereign of the universe


Ten Tips for the Next Ten Days by Paul Chappell

10-Tips-for-the-Next-10-Days

It’s amazing to me that during such a wonderful time of year as Christmas—a celebration that is so significant to our faith—there are Christians who don’t benefit from the season. It’s incredible that we are willing to settle for “getting through” it rather than celebrating it and benefiting from the focus on Christ.

Here we are, just a few days now from Christmas. And I’d like to recommend ten tips to make these next several days memorable, enjoyable, and focused on Christ.


10 Things To Do… To Enjoy Christmas in Omaha

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1. Go see the Christmas events at the Durham Museum – Christmas trees, Holiday Miniatures, Concert Series, and more!

2. Enjoy the lights and food at the Old Market – art, entertainment, food, and Christmas lights – what could be better?

3. Browse ‘Christmas Stamps’ in Boy’s Town– see Christmas-themed stamps from around the world at Boy’s Town Visitor’s Center.

4. See gingerbread houses at the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters – elaborate gingerbread creations and beautifully decorated trees, with something for the entire family.

5. The Holiday Lights Festival – events and concerts throughout the Holiday season.


Journeys of Grace

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Grace loves adventure. Grace loves to see new places; to do new things. A journey of Grace is not the exception – it is the norm. Grace has been found in all 50 states. Grace is known to many people from many backgrounds, with many stories. And I’m not talking theology here, people – I’m talking about Grace Coulton. Remember, the bubbly, cheerful, stranded-in-Colorado-for-two-days-in-a-blizzard Grace? – yes, THAT Grace!