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Christmas Update from the Czech Republic

First of all, Merry Christmas to you all! It's wonderful to celebrate the birth of our dear Savior, and we trust that all of you are enjoying this special time of the year. This is a very busy season for us, especially when it comes to ministering locally. We usually try not to schedule too much distance learning teaching for December and January, because we know there wi...

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What does Christmas teach us about our circumstances?

The Christmas season has a way of amplifying life. Money issues. Marriage problems. Employment woes. Interpersonal strife. Death. Loss. All of these very real problems somehow seem bigger during a season when "things are supposed to be joyful." Although Christmas is joyful because of what it represents in Jesus' birth, we often forget that he was born to die. Christmas is...

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Questions about Heaven

I just finished a series on a healthy church and I thought it would be an appropriate time to bring out a letter I received a month or two ago that was filled with some rapid fire questions about heaven. These questions are fairly brief to answer so I was hoping to crank them all out in one column. Enjoy! Question: I've never seen photos, movies, etc of our Lord smiling, ...

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What should define a healthy church? (Part 4: Connect with God’s Mission)

We are spending a few weeks answering the question, "What should define a healthy church?" Last week we talked about how our identity as human beings is found in community and how, as followers of Jesus, your identity is found in this new community that God is creating. This final week in our mini series, we want to talk about how a healthy church and a healthy follower o...

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What should define a healthy church? (Part 3: Connect with God’s Family)

We are spending a few weeks answering the question, "What should define a healthy church?" Last week we talked about the necessity the Word of God, and having God's Word be the plumbline by which we live and act. Today, I want to talk about the how a healthy church connects with God's family. It is impossible to be a healthy follower of God or a healthy church if you are ...

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What should define a healthy church? (Part 2: Hear and Obey the Word)

We are spending a few weeks answering the question, "What should define a healthy church?" Last week we talked about the idea of being centered on the gospel - that the gospel isn't just a get out of jail free card, but that it defines everything that we should say and do as churches and as followers of Christ. Summarized, as we grow in our walk with Jesus, we have a deep...

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What should define a healthy church? (Part 1)

Following up with last week's column concerning "why do churches die," I wanted to take a few weeks to talk about some broad characteristics that should define a healthy church. These characteristics are by no means exhaustive, but they are broad enough to define some core concepts without micromanaging the details or methodologies. In other words, I can't imagine how any...

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Why do churches die?

In a follow up to last week's column, someone asked me, "Why do churches die?" This is an excellent (and sensitive) question. Last time I checked, there were 250+ registered churches in Cape May County. Over 250!!! That was shocking to me until I realized that the vast majority of those churches are declining in health and growth. Then, my shock turned to sadness. Why doe...

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How should Christians react to previous church buildings being used for other purposes?

The First United Methodist Church of Goshen sat vacant and for sale for years. It was falling apart, desperate for work, and had no prospective buyers on the horizon. That is until Will Keenan purchased the property to renovate it and turn it into a "church for all religions," a sort of Areopagus (Acts 17) for Cape May County where people can share everything from poetry t...

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Is the Bible reliable?

"Is the Bible reliable?" The column will not be about trying to convince you to have faith in the book or believe the claims of the book necessarily, but to lay a foundation of why the Bible is a historically viable, reliable document. Today's column is a modified version of a previous Ask Pastor Bill for the Explore God series happening in the county right now at various ...

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