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MLK Day

MLK Day

This weekend we remember and celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. You might do this by taking a trip with family and friends to your favorite ski mountain, or maybe you enjoy the 3 day weekend at home, resting and relaxing, and perhaps then in either scenario the weekend goes by without a thought given to MLK Jr. and MLK Day. My hope is that this weekend might be different. ...

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Developing a Practice

DevelopingaPractice

Developing a regular practice of exercise is beneficial, but establishing godly practices builds spiritual muscles with benefits that extend way beyond the physical body. We get a glimpse of these benefits in Daniel chapter 6....

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Promises Kept

PromisesKept

When we are faced with “the writing on the wall”, when God’s Holy presence in our lives unsettles and awakens us to reality- where do we run?...

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Mission vs. Worship

MissionWorship

There is such an urgent need for Jesus in this city that it becomes overwhelming and easy to give up on people and our mission. ...

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Ascended and Present

Add headinCg

"Now, how his lordship works out is then through the work of the church. But he is the Lord and is present with and through his church, as we are doing what we are called to do." ~ N.T. Wright...

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Open Hands

Open Hands

You see, I’m not that different from Nebuchadnezzar. He wanted to build a legacy for himself, and he did. Just like him, I’m trying to build a legacy… And I’m anxious when I think that I might not accomplish these goals or, even worse, that having accomplished them I might see them taken away from me. ...

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Captain of My Soul

Captain Of MY Soul

How silly to think that large statutes and grand works will last beyond a lifetime! And yet, as Pastor Justin reminds us, we must see ourselves in Nebuchadnezzar’s quest for transcendence, for meaning, for a legacy. ...

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My Own Little Kingdom

King of My Kingdom

"There cannot be a God because if there were one, I could not believe that I was not He." -Friedrich Nietzsche...

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Undivided Identity in a Distracting World

Undivided

When my head and my heart forget what is true, I find myself sacrificing my life to the myriad gods of health, wealth, work, marriage and home...So how, in the face of both external and internal pressures toward alternate values and identities, can I maintain my identity in Christ? ...

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To Know and Still Love

To know & Still Love

The love that can really change things here in our city, that redeeming love, is always sacrificial. My gut reaction to this is to wonder if I can schedule that into my life: like maybe I have a window on Monday mornings I could give sacrificial love to my city. After all, I’m a busy person. But what would it mean for me to just start to go about my day caring more, noti...

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Praying for Serenity

Serenity

It is so tempting to pray for circumstances to change, to get mad at God when they don’t, and to hold a grudge of resentment rather than “accept with serenity” the things that cannot be changed. ...

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Holy of Holies

Holy of Holies

I wonder how the priests felt every day when they went into the temple and saw the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. Did they look at it with dread? Or curiosity? Or maybe they longed to be in God's presence just for a moment even if it killed them......

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Romo is Finished

FINISHED

The Gospel of Jesus reminds me that I am free. That I am validated. That I am vindicated. That even though I lose, I win....

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It is Finished

tranquility

It is because of and through this good news that we can live under the banner “it is finished” and embark on the parenting adventure from grace instead of for grace. ...

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I Thirst

"I Thirst"

How often do I miss the fact that my physical need, and God’s constant provision, is meant to bring me to a deeper faith in Him and a reliance upon His grace alone?...

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Love Came Down

LoveCame Down

Our God gives an answer that is pertinent to our suffering and struggles, and it’s a victorious and hopeful answer, even in the face of suffering and death....

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Covenant Family

God calls us to a beautiful, eternal family that knows no geographic, political, gender, generational, or racial barriers. ...

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Rest Assured

Our God taking destruction and disaster, creating restoration and reconciliation time and time again in both what we read in the Bible and within our own lives....

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Father, Forgive

We forget what it is that brought us to the foot of the cross, in the first place - our sin and helplessness to do anything about it ourselves. The veil of distraction and ignorance so easily envelops us and soon we become desensitized and disengaged from the incredible and profound message of a God who loves us like no other!...

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The Restorer

We want to be the hero, taking away our need for a savior. But that’s not the way God designed us, and that’s not how he promises to bring restoration....

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The Year of the Rooster

I love the rooster, because it reminds me of my need of Jesus, my call in the world, the glory of grace and the wonder of the Gospel. ...

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Obadiah: Already & Not Yet

We have already been called by this Savior. We have been granted new life in Christ. Yet, here we sit, in a broken world. ...

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Obadiah: a Lesson in Brotherly Love

As we are recipients of God’s love, we all have the vocation of being conduits of God’s love toward others. ...

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Because God Sings, So Do We

A theology that cannot be sung is not worth having......

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The Problem of Suffering: Habakkuk

We, as Christians, have the privilege of engaging with our Creator, demanding a response for evil that seems contrary to His very character, and throwing ourselves into the eternal love that began between the Trinity and has been mercifully extended to us....

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Mercy in the Real World

In this real world where we live, God calls us to have faith, both in doing the works he puts in front of us and in trusting him for the results (visible or otherwise) that they may or may not achieve....

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My People

The book of Hosea mirrors God's relationship with Israel. Lest we forget as we shake our heads at Israel's foolishness that this book reveals our personal relationship with the Lord. ...

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On Being Gomer

So whats good about being Gomer? That's my question for us. What's good about being the wayward bride? ...

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Modern Day Justice

That God would give us hearts desiring to see justice "roll down like waters" so that bearing the name of Christ will be much more than an adjective in our lives. ...

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An Oasis of Justice

If we get nothing else from Amos, we should get some holy discomfort....

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Fierce, Avenging, and Good

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver, "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good."...

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Christmas in the Room

Jesus sings us into a new mode of existence. Jesus sings the nations into submission. Jesus sings hearts into love. Jesus is Christmas in the room. The hope of Advent and the hope of Christmas is that Jesus Christ is in the room…...

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Pause, Breathe, Rest, Dab

The arrival of Jesus means that we will sigh no more. We will have in the words of Marcus Mumford, a love that will not betray, dismay or enslave us, a love that will set us free and make us who we were meant to be. Advent is having this love, waiting for this love, hoping for this love, banking on this love. So, we pause, we read, we pray, we remember, and we cry Come, Lo...

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For the Ninevites

As we open this Advent season and enter into the waiting and the hope, we remember Jonah. We remember that God came down to co-inhabit with us. We remember that He lowers himself in order to extend grace to every one of us, even those that we might rather see burn. We remember that his message of grace is bigger than our desire to share it. We remember that his grace follo...

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Positive Regard & Empathic Listening

There is not any other distinction or any other belief system that can make us one, but the spirit of God that we share makes us one. So we hold on to our distinctions, and we regard each other as children of God, made in his image, and we listen empathically (as even Rogers identified as crucial for relationships!) from a position of peace and gentleness, full of mercy, i...

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Technology for God's Glory

Leave it to sinful man to conflate their good, God-given capability for developing technology and for building wonderful things with their own ego-driven self-aggrandizement....

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Introducing Advent 2016

In the next two weeks we will be starting a new series for Advent and Christmastime called: The Song that God Sings: Minor Key Melodies from the Minor Prophets. Where is God? This question reverberates in the prayers of the doubter, the skeptic, the atheist, the agnostic...and in the hearts of God's people alike. We see the brokenness surrounding our lives and our very own...

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Time Machine

Michael Kelshaw's sermon on "Singleness Reimagined" had me thinking about several conversations I've had that I would love to revisit with the Good News he shared. ...

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Thinking Seriously About Singleness

Thinking through some of the implications for single believers who are thinking seriously about staying single for life....

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Wisdom, Folly, and Culture

What in my day-to-day life is directing me to wisdom? To God? I came to a disheartening realization…nothing....

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To Listen with Faith and Wonder

Faithfully reading the Bible means that we don't wait for the text to amaze us. We have to sit with it, attend to it....

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With Fear and Collaborating

I can engage in the political sphere without fear ...

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Lean In, Not Away

"Can we know and still love?" That's the question....

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Calling Reimagined

The Lord knows us. He knows our wanderings and our tears, and He keeps an account, and then He enters in....

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From Every Nation

Sunday we heard a call to action for the Christian church. The Bible tells us that it is important for us to work towards uniting God's people together. It will help us to become outward oriented and compel us to humility, as we see the fallenness in ourselves and others and the glimpses of God's glory reflected in others around us....

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Race Reimagined Through the Gospel

The Gospel not only reimagines race, it turns our conception of race in America on its head, completely upside down, and gives us a perspective and reality of a truly diverse people seen and celebrated for their distinctiveness while at the same time abolishing any and all disparity between them....

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Friendship Reimagined

Friendship is the gospel with flesh on....

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Authority to Commission, Presence in the Mission

Jesus was not an inspiring person who called his followers to inspiring, yet ultimately impossible tasks. Instead, Jesus is the creator and king of all that there is, and with full authority over it all he sends his people to the work of drawing all men and women to himself, while he walks by our sides and never forsakes us....

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Grace: The Great Equalizer

You can't earn love by presenting a better version of yourself. It's just a false self, and a false self can't give or receive love…it can only act like it can. It's crushing to live under the demands of the law, trying to earn favor....

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Sibling Rivalry

Wanting to be the favorite is a struggle in vain, as God has given us an even playing field, always coming from wretchedness, being made into His righteousness through adoption as sons and heirs of His kingdom....

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Grace for Our Kids

I can try to control my child's outward behavior through the law, but I cannot actually change her heart. The visible, socially acceptable behaviors are a lot easier to focus on which, places a burden on parents to get it right. But, the more I ponder God's truth, there is a lot of comfort in knowing my child's salvation is not dependent on how wonderful of a parent I am....

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Using Psalm 121 in Ministry to One Another

Unpacking Psalm 121 as a picture of life's journey and God's protection. ...

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Grace for Parents

Maybe you vacillate between "having it all together" parenting and "I'm drunk" parenting. Maybe you want to fix your kids. Maybe you want to have compassion but don't, want to be interested, but aren't. Maybe you don't really know or aren't really sure, because you have checked out... Parenting does expose. It shows us our idols. ...

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Apologizing to My Preschooler

Telling a preschooler that you are sorry for having such a short temper with them is a humbling experience. ...

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A Little Post about Crossroads' Leadership Sync

Why does a meeting like this matter? ...

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Ordinary Romance

Practical steps for cultivating intimacy in marriage. ...

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Fully Known & Truly Loved

Marriage isn't always perfectly romantic, but in the rhythm of the ordinary, God is revealing Himself and His love for His people. ...

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Considering Christ in Culture's Messages About Sex

Today's culture sends all kinds of messages about sexuality, and God's Word speaks to each and every one of them. ...

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How Our Cultural Context Shapes Our Views of Sexuality

Our priority as a church is to be a faithful presence of Jesus in a broken world, that we would live, speak and serve as the very presence of Jesus, and this includes in the area of sexuality....

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Our Marriages Are Not Our Own

Our marriages are not our own, they are His. Our families are not our own, they are His. Our household is not our own. It is His. ...

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We Can Have an Open Door

The economic concerns of the open home have a trust, achieved by the work of Jesus. We can risk. We can have an open door. We can live in these costly places where a greater number of people are welcomed, and where we have lesser privacies. We can do this because the Gospel has secured this very thing for us. Our marriages can be a place of flourishing for our households. ...

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Being a Part of God's Love Story

We know the Disney movies that end in riding off into the sunset, living happily ever after, etc. As a child, my favorite parts were watching the prince transform throughout the movie. The beast, the frog, the thief became the perfect prince all while the girl remained sinless. I wanted this for myself......

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Relief From Expectations

Often we look for that relief in the wrong places. We run to our spouse and ask them to provide it, or our kids, or our job, or our well-manicured lawn, or next home project…but they all fail to provide significant relief, and they can't stop the internal noises. God's grace meets us in these places...

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A grace-filled family is loud, not with its criticism, but with its affirmation.

There was a phrase that Pastor Justin emphasized in his sermon this week. I don't know if you caught it, but he stopped and repeated it very slowly, almost as if he was waiting for me to write it down in order to be able to reflect on it more fully later on. "A grace-filled family is loud, not with its criticism, but with its affirmation."...

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Becoming a Grace-filled Family

Family is frustrating, right? We use our words to hurt, control, garner favor, win. We use non-verbals to back up the verbals, showing our disgust. But God gives grace--and grace allows for a family to be built not on conditions, but on unconditional love and acceptance. In this post, Pastor Justin shares some ideas on becoming a grace-full family. ...

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Lament as Worship: A Prayer Over Our Hurting Nation

Lament is to be a regular rhythm of our worship. Lament awakens us to the realities of our world and the disorientations of our life. This past week has seen violence and revenge along racial lines. It won't be done away with by a quick prayer. Lamenting helps us to remember and repent and cry out to the only One that can help. ...

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Reimagining Conflict

Continuing thoughts from Sunday's sermon: Reimagining Conflict. Arlen Biersgreen helps us consider what it looks like to approach confrontation in righteousness with the hope of moving toward true reconciliation. ...

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Practicing Resurrection

My younger brother gave me my first Wendell Berry book several years ago and I've been moved by himan activist, farmer, writer, follower of Christand his life ever since. So I want to share an excerpt from his Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, that deeply struck me the first time I read it. Love the quick profit, the annual raise, ?vacation with pay. Want more? ...

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Liberating Thoughts

Gospel Thoughts from My Week at Liberate...

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