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    Hiding Our Hurts

    I was guest-speaking in a local church and my topic was an honest story about presenting our brokenness before God and receiving the healing He wants to give. Before closing in prayer, the pastor stood in the center aisle, looked deeply into the eyes of his gathered congregants, and said, “As your pastor I have the privilege of seeing you midweek and hearing your heart-breaking stories of brokenness. Then in our weekend worship services, I have the pain of watching you hide your hurt away.”

    My heart ached at the hidden hurts that God came to heal. The writer of Hebrews…

    One

    “Sometimes, going to church just seems irrelevant. After all, we listen to sermons via podcasts and can live- stream a church service . . . in our pajamas. Personally, I enjoy having access to so many Christian resources at the swipe of my finger on my iPhone. . . . I also meet in Christian community on Wednesday nights for small group Bible study. That’s good enough, right?” Those words, from a thoughtful post by Lindsay Blackburn, reflect the ambivalence many people feel about being part of a local church.

    Church of All Nations

    I enjoy looking around my local London church on a Sunday morning, taking in the array of faces. Along with British people, I see those from Nigeria, Uganda, Romania, Macedonia, Brazil, and many other places. I’m reminded of the vision John saw of a “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). In a small way, my multiethnic church reflects that picture—reminding me that, although believers have differences, we belong together.

    Love of Another Kind

    One of my favorite churches started several years ago as a ministry to ex-prisoners who were transitioning back into society. Now the church flourishes with people from all walks of life. I love that church because it reminds me of what I picture heaven will be like—filled with different kinds of people, all redeemed sinners, all bound together by the love of Jesus.

    Sometimes, though, I wonder if church seems more like an exclusive club than a safe-haven for forgiven sinners. As people naturally gravitate into groups of “a certain kind” and cluster around those they feel comfortable with, it leaves…

    How Can I Love the Church that Hurt Me?

    Seven days after I came into the world, my dad became the pastor of the church that I would grow up in. Unlike my siblings, I never knew a time when my Dad wasn’t a pastor.

    Discover how our manners reveal deeper spiritual truths

    Do manners matter? We certainly tell our kids that they do, so the answer might seem obvious, but how can our manners actually reveal deeper spiritual truths? Today on Discover the Word, we’ll kick off the final week of the series “Falling into Love” on Discover the Word. Love is not rude—listen today!

    The Great Divide

    A ministry leader once tried an interesting communication experiment. Holding giant whiteboards and some markers, he engaged passersby on his city’s streets. On one whiteboard, people were asked to write what they wanted to tell the church. The messages weren’t very kind. On the other board, people were asked to write, “What do you want to say to Jesus?” To Him they wrote surprisingly tender messages such as, “I miss you,” “I’m sorry,” and “I love you.”

    A Diverse Family

    Years ago, the alumni magazine of a large US university featured an image of undergraduates, including an African-American student, cheering on their football team. The only problem was that the student hadn’t ever attended a football game! It turned out that—in an attempt to showcase the supposed diversity of the school—the editors had Photoshopped the student’s face into the crowd. This true story sadly reflects the shallow perspective people often have toward diversity.

    Bringing our passions to the call to worship

    As a culture, we sure do get excited about our sports! The Super Bowl, March Madness, the World Series, the World Cup, these are anticipated events that we’d never miss! But often, we don’t bring that same enthusiasm to worshiping God on Sunday! Today on Discover the Word, we’re talking about our passions, and our […]

    All Generations

    My parents married in 1933 during the Great Depression. My wife and I are Baby Boomers, part of the dramatic increase in births following World War II. Our four daughters, born in the seventies and eighties, belong to Generations X and Y. Growing up in such different times, it’s not surprising that we have different […]

    Building Community

    “Community” is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives, says Henri Nouwen. Often we surround ourselves with the people we most want to live with, which forms a club or a clique, not a community. Anyone can form a club; it takes grace, shared vision, and hard work to form a community.

    The Christian church was the first institution in history to bring together on equal footing Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free. The apostle Paul waxed eloquent on this “mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God.” By forming a…

    Let Down Your Hair

    Shortly before Jesus was crucified, a woman named Mary poured a bottle of expensive perfume on His feet. Then, in what may have been an even more daring act, she wiped His feet with her hair (John 12:3). Not only did Mary sacrifice what may have been her life’s savings, she also sacrificed her reputation. In first-century Middle Eastern culture, respectable women never let down their hair in public. But true worship is not concerned about what others think of us (2 Sam. 6:21-22). To worship Jesus, Mary was willing to be thought of as immodest, perhaps even immoral.

    Some of…

    Love is the glue that holds us all together

    The Bible tells us that the church is the body of Christ. And when a foot goes one way, and a hand goes another, tensions are bound to arise. So today the Discover the Word team gathers to talk about how the way we love each other is the glue that holds us together. Listen to […]

    Discover how Christ changes our hearts to be like His

    The Bible tells us that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. But even that is worthless without this one thing. Today on Discover the Word,  the team continues their study of 1 Corinthians 13 titled,  “Falling into Love.” We’ll see how Christ changes our hearts to be like His. Join us […]

    “Falling into Love”

    We all know someone with the gift of gab. When they talk, everyone listens. But today, the Discover the Word team sits down to discuss how even the most eloquent speakers are just empty noise if they lack this one thing. It’s from the group’s study of 1 Corinthians 13 titled “Falling into Love.” And […]

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