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Video  —  Posted: October 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Poison Ivy

Posted: October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized
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We learn from Biblical studies that people with leprosy had to live outside of the city and yell “unclean” whenever a healthy person was near. They were individuals that no one wanted to be near for fear of catching the disease themselves. There is a modern day equivalent with which I am afflicted. It’s called ” the poison ivy.”

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I have told my friends and family that I do not have leprosy. That they cannot catch the disease of “the ivy” by being near me or touching me. Although the rash looks similar, the disease can only spread through the plant itself and not through a person. Here are two websites to back up my claims: http://www.poison-ivy.org/html/faq.htm and http://www.webmd.com/allergies/tc/poison-ivy-oak-or-sumac-what-happens

Please be informed. And let’s treat all people with respect and dignity…even those of us who have unsightly rashes on their face.

Baseball and Church

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Church Planting, Funny
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ImageLast night, we had some tickets to a Pirates baseball game and I began to think about how a baseball game is similar to a church service. In some ways, it was more like a church than a church is. Think about this…. People gathered for a common purpose. We stood for the national anthem and asked people to show respect by taking off their hats. No one complained that this song was old-fashioned and should be more “modern.” And then about 2 hours into the game, everyone stood up for a “congregational” song where the only musical instrument was an organ!

I guess a big difference, though, is that at church no one takes drinks beer, takes off their shirts, or yells insults at the person on stage. If that did happen at church, though, I bet people would never miss another Sunday.

Strength to Work?

Posted: August 20, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Its seems like it’s hard to drive by a church this summer without seeing a banner in the front yard advertising the “Kingdom Rock” Vacation Bible School. Group Publishing must have done some amazing marketing because those banners are everywhere.

I thought the visuals looked great, but  I was surprised to see the sub-title on the main graphic. It says, “Where Kids Stand Strong For God.” Some might say that I’m nit-picking, but I couldn’t help that my first thought was “Why does God need anyone to stand strong for Him?” “Isn’t God strong enough to stand for Himself?”

It also bothers me because the sub-title and the main idea each day teaches that we need to work hard. As I look through the topics each day it seems like the kids would be exhausted by the end of the week…. work, work, work! Each day is about getting help with the work, but it’s still all about work. And what if someone does mess up, what do these lessons teach? Get back up and work twice as hard?

The gospel isn’t how hard we can work for God. It’s the good news that Jesus worked hard on our behalf. We don’t need to teach people, especially kids, that they need to stand strong for God because in Christ, God stood strong for us.

Worship Service

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Many people view the book of Nehemiah as a case study in project management. Nehemiah knew the need in Jerusalem was for the walls to be rebuilt. He used his position as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes to initiate, fund, organize, and direct the rebuilding of the walls. He overcame opposition from within and from outsiders, and finished the project ahead of schedule (Nehemiah 6:15). However, the book of Nehemiah is more than a story of Nehemiah’s accomplishments. It’s the story of who God is and His accomplishments. 

After the wall was completed, the people gathered in the square before the Water Gate. Ezra stood on a wooden platform that was built for this occasion so that all the people could see and hear him better. He opened the Book of the Law of Moses and read from it. Then he taught clearly from the book so that people understood the reading. The people answered, “Amen, Amen.” And they worshiped with hands lifted up and heads bowed down. (Nehemiah 8:5-8). All of this sounds similar to a modern worship service–with the exception that our services don’t last half a day (Nehemiah 9:3).

Additionally, after the reading and preaching, there was a time for confession and

worship. In chapter 9, we see that the people stood in order to “bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting.” They praised God for being the only God, the creator, and the object of worship in Heaven. He is the Righteous Lord who called Abraham; who made a covenant and kept his promises. God made a name for Himself for His glory. He rescued people and sustained them because He is a merciful God. 

What are the elements that every church worship service must have? 

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Here are four things I would include: 

  1. The Word of God clearly read.
  2. Preaching.
  3. Worship,blessing the name of the Lord God.
  4. A reminder of who God is and what He has done for his people. 

     Nehemiah 9:17 “But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.” 
     

Reason to live in Pittsburgh

Posted: August 15, 2013 in Uncategorized
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In addition to my post from yesterday, here are 16 more reasons to move to Pittsburgh. I think most of these are better than the 30 from yesterday.

Moving to Pittsburgh

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Why would anyone consider moving to Pittsburgh? Here are 30 reasons why, and I’ll add one more: To join our team to plant a new grace-saturated, gospel-centered church in the city.

Sound interesting?