Dazzled, a Recap

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by Todd Wood

I like to be dazzled.

Someone in my church family placed on my office chair section D of USA Today (July 16, 2007). I picked up the paper and stared at a road pedal bike made by KGS Bikes in San Antonio, costing $22,180.96, twice the amount I could round up even if I sold both of my cars. Here is just a small portion of the components: (1) a Parlee frame—$5,950, (2) Lew Racing wood_biking.jpgfull-carbon wheels with ceramic bearings—$6,495, (3) a set of Orion carbon brake calipers—$1,475, and (4) a Garmin Edge cycle computer with customizable display, GPS-based altimeter, cadence counter, and heart monitor. The bike is state-of-the-art. The paint job alone cost $800.

I like to be dazzled by God as revealed in His creation.

I am into bikes, especially as I am training with a Christian brother for the LotoJa Classic coming up September 8, 2007. It’s the longest one-day bike race in America—206 miles from Logan, Utah, to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. But even more dazzling than pedal bikes, only a simple creation of man, I am astounded by the beauty of mountain passes we have climbed. Who can create such spectacular wild flowers, alpine meadows, pristine lakes, high ridges, and deep gorges? Read more about Dazzled, a Recap

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Time Is of the Essence!

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by Les Heinze

Recently, I said to our pastoral staff that this summer has seemed so incredibly busy with weddings, funerals, retreats, meetings, trips, counseling and follow-up that I have only ridden my Harley one time! The summer is supposed to be a little slower-paced. What am I doing wrong? Why don’t I have more “free time?” Which brought to my mind an article I hadheinze_clock.jpg come across earlier titled, “If You Are 35, You Only Have 500 Days To Live.” (The article really bothered me because I am well over 35!) The article contends that when you subtract the time you spend sleeping, working, grooming, eating, traveling, and participating in other time-stealers, you have only 500 days to spend as you wish if you live another 36 years! That is a scary and probably discouraging thought, isn’t it?

This illustration underscores a truth. If you are going to be effective with your life, you must learn to manage your time. Time management is really self-management. Ecclesiastes 8:6 says, “There is a time and procedure for everything, which produces great stress upon a man.” The problem is not the clock or calendar but our use of what we have. To get angry at the clock is like getting angry at the bathroom scales; both are simply a means of measurement. All of us, who are conscientious and responsible, have asked, “How do I balance all that I have to do at work, at home, and in my Christian walk?” I have developed a new understanding and appreciation for Ephesians 5:15-17, which speaks to us about the essence of our time. I believe this passage becomes even more relevant as we see the candles multiply on our birthday cakes and as we think about all we would like to do. I am challenged by this passage to develop three consistent habits. Read more about Time Is of the Essence!

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Marketing Gimmick or Means of Grace? Part 4

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More on the Blessings of Small Groups

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

by Ryan McCammack

Previously in my articles on this topic, I have talked about the why and the how of small groups at Calvary Baptist Church in Joliet, Illinois. In this article, I will seek to address what has happened at our church as a result of this ministry. As a springboard into this topic, let’s briefly look at a passage of Scripture:

paper_chain.jpgSee to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness (Heb. 3:12-1, NIV).

This passage teaches us, among other things, that we are prone to unbelief and rebellion against God because of the deceitfulness of our own sinful hearts. If you have been a believer for any length of time, you have no doubt seen this principle in action. Sin is consistently and actively waging its campaign of deceit in your own life. Read more about Marketing Gimmick or Means of Grace? Part 4

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The Resurrection Body of Christ the Lord, Part 6

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Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

by John C. Whitcomb, Th.D.

At the dawn of the millennial kingdom on earth, our Lord Jesus Christ will reveal Himself in bodily form to all glorified and non-glorified believers. Just as He revealed Himself and His true identity to His astonished disciples for 40 days after His crosses_against_the_sky.jpgresurrection, often at mealtimes, so also will be His self-revelation at the inaugural kingdom banquet.

At the second coming of Christ in glory, probably culminating at this banquet, the nation of Israel will experience a transforming confrontation with their Messiah God. The Apostle John said that at His coming “every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him” (Rev. 1:7, KJV).

Especially at the banquet, as He serves them, they will see His nailed-pierced hands, just like the Apostle Thomas did in the upper room. A week earlier, Thomas, who had not been in that room when Jesus appeared to the 10 apostles, emphatically declared: “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).
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Book Review—The Majesty of God in the Old Testament

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by Andy Efting

Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. The Majesty of God in the Old Testament: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007. 174 pages. $16.99

(Review copy courtesy of Baker Academic)

The Majesty of God in the Old TestamentPurchase: Baker | CBD | Amazon | WTS

Special Features: Bibliographic references and index

ISBNs: 080103244X / 97800801032448

LCCN: BT130.K35 2007

DCN: 231’.4—dc22

Subjects: Preaching, Old Testament
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Truth, Transparency, or TMI (Too Much Information)

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by Beth Murschell

Traditional Southerners have a reputation for sweet insincerity—”Y’all come back, ya hear? Any time. By the way, I just love that dress.” In spite of a Southern upbringing, I grew up believing that honesty meant being authentic to the point of wearing the expression that best fit my mood (not always pleasant). I was “real” and “authentic” before it was cool. If murschell_truth.jpgsomeone asks how I am, being honest means I tell them, honestly. Or does it?

When I ask a certain man at my church, “How are you?”, he always replies, “Better than I deserve.” True, yes; however, what if I really want to know? What if I am desirous of being on target with my prayers for him? What if I want to participate in a community of believers who bear one another’s burdens? Or maybe I am just parroting a social phrase and in return getting what I deserve.

TMI is an online shorthand for “too much information,” as in “I really didn’t need to know that much personal information.” Some do not require urging to lay bare their mental processes. They present you with X-rays of their brains (or any other system) upon request. “Bless their hearts,” as we Southerners say (to make it right) immediately after criticizing someone.

In between these two extremes, I am in the muddle of when to speak my mind and when to hold back. I have to evaluate when to bear my own burdens and when, as James 5:16 says, to “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (KJV, emphasis added).
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