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  • Blog Post: Does the Bible Give You Heartburn?

    Sunday's worship service included the children's choir serenading us while waving palm branches. That means Holy Week is here. So first, I need to tell you my favorite Palm Sunday story ever. Keep Your Hands, Feet and Objects to Yourself My boss's son, then 3, came bouncing out of Sunday...
  • Blog Post: Your Turn: Why Can't I Just Die?

    by Zachary Busekrus What's the point of trying to stay on the straight and narrow when I know that at some point I will sin again? Why is it so difficult to stay pure of mind, body and heart? If I call myself a Christian, if I believe that Jesus came, died and rose for me so that I might have...
  • Blog Post: Your Turn: Why I Adore Lent

    by Catherine Emanuel Most of my friends think I’m crazy, but I adore Lent. From the ashes on Ash Wednesday to the candles on Holy Saturday, the season captures me in a way nothing else does. I love the idea of being joined with the whole church in prayer and repentance, across the world and...
  • Blog Post: A Shocking Christmas Carol

    That title might sound odd, since of all the words to describe Christmas carols, shocking isn't one that normally comes to mind. Beautiful , in many cases ("Silent Night"). Stirring , sometimes ("Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"). But shocking ? It doesn't seem to fit. There's...
  • Blog Post: Thankful for the Fleas

    Back at the beginning of November, I wrote about how my pastor had told a story about being thankful in the midst of difficult times (" Changed by Thankfulness "). I was struck by his illustration, and I decided to let it shape a spiritual discipline for me in the month of November. So, during...
  • Blog Post: Always Thankful

    I don't know where you find yourself this Thanksgiving. Maybe you're able to spend the holiday at home with family, or maybe you're away from home but in the company of friends. Perhaps you're stuck at school or away in another country. For some of you, your circumstances are ideal...
  • Blog Post: Changed by Thankfulness

    Friday I began seeing 30 Days of Thankfulness posts pop up all over my Facebook newsfeed. This is now a thing. Social networks started a holiday tradition that's becoming a widely accepted part of celebrating Thanksgiving. I love the idea of stretching out the thankfulness over the whole month of...
  • Blog Post: We Repent ... a Lot

    For the past few years I've attended a series of Christian teaching retreats and worship gatherings in the mountains near Colorado Springs. There have been few spiritual teachings that are as influential in my life as those I receive with the friends who host these events. One of the most instructive...
  • Blog Post: Distracted in Church

    I didn't have a chance to contribute during the Boundless ROCK THE BODY campaign, but I'd like to add a quick postscript. Throughout last week's clergy appreciation theme, we looked at a variety of ways that we can encourage and honor our pastors. We can be creative or remember all the little...
  • Blog Post: Little Things Mean a Lot to Your Pastor

    Few people have a clue about the burdens pastors carry. That's due both to the men and to the job: The men generally are humble, not self-promoting, and the job entails a lot of personal ministry and confidentiality. Those who do see the pastor's work only see fragments of it: his sermons, his...
  • Blog Post: ROCK THE BODY: Week Four

    At this point in the ROCK THE BODY challenge, we've invested our time and talents in a local church. Now we turn to investing our money. This week's focus is for us to regularly give financially to our churches. In the recent article, " You Can Be a Cheerful Giver ," Scott and Bethany...
  • Blog Post: The Rewards of Service

    I once served on a church nominating committee, seeking volunteers to serve on other boards and committees. It was a brief experience but a memorable one: For a couple of months, lots of people stopped making eye contact with me. Church members I used to chat with or exchange smiles with after services...
  • Blog Post: Taking the Church Commitment Plunge

    A number of years ago, I was helping lead a 20-something singles group at a church when a new pastor arrived and cryptically began to hint that he wasn't sure he wanted our group around. Gradually, it became clear that he wasn't going to get behind what we thought was a really fantastic ministry...
  • Blog Post: Choosing a Church: Episode 291

    Listen to this week's show! Roundtable: It’s Time to Pick a Pew People say young adults are leaving the church in droves. It's time to prove them wrong by picking a Gospel-centered church in your community and sticking with it. Our panelists share their journeys of doing just that, complete...
  • Blog Post: ROCK THE BODY: Week Three

    Begin serving at least once a month in your church is this week's ROCK THE BODY challenge. Here's your invitation to contribute as the part of the Body God designed you to be. How might you use your hands, feet, ears, eyes and heart to serve your brothers and sisters at church? In 1989, Adventures...
  • Blog Post: Get in the Game

    I grew up in a basketball family. My dad was a coach at our high school, and I practically grew up with a basketball in my hand. I remember one time in middle school I was shooting around at practice and the team needed another player. They asked if I’d like to play. I was immediately flooded with...
  • Blog Post: Priorities in Choosing a Church

    When I was in my mid-30s, I moved to a new city and set out to find a church to join. Within my denomination, there were three or four within reasonable driving range, with a couple more within city limits. I decided to visit them all. I had an idea in mind going in: If the most important things were...
  • Blog Post: Your Wedding Day: 'It's Your Day' — or Is It?

    Guess how much the average wedding in the United States cost in 2012. More than $28,000. To be more precise, $28,427. And that is, to repeat, an average. Considering how many people couldn't afford that, or wouldn't think of spending so much, you can only imagine how much more lots of other people...
  • Blog Post: Church on Our Terms

    I don’t know if you've noticed, but Millennials are a hot topic right now. Everyone seems to be buzzing about the generation of young adults who are waiting to marry, finishing school with loads of debt, living in their parents' basements, playing loads of video games, and abandoning their...
  • Blog Post: Take Your Time During Holy Week

    Holy Week is the emotional roller coaster of the church year. It starts with Palm Sunday. Originally, one big celebration. Jesus makes His entry to Jerusalem, and the people (many of them, anyway) throw a parade to mark their long-promised liberator's arrival. They don't get what that means...
  • Blog Post: Misdirected Zeal

    The word student is a big part of what defines this period of my life. One night last year, I was lying in bed, unable to sleep because of one persistent thought: I want to be a student of God. I believe there are two different ways "student" in this statement can be interpreted. Let me explain...
  • Blog Post: A Better Motivation to Exercise

    Staying active is not easy for me. I am a native of Wisconsin, where winters are long. I’ve also never been too involved in sports. In fact, for much of my life, the notion of exercise has felt like a burden and a losing battle.   But why is regular exercise so difficult for many of us? ...
  • Blog Post: Church Music You Should Know

    At Christmas I did a post asking your favorite Christmas carols and got a decent number of replies. I don't imagine I'll get near as many if I ask about Lenten hymns. But I'm doing it anyway. This is the season where Christians historically sing some of the really great songs in our history...
  • Blog Post: Tragedy and Worship

    This morning I read with sadness that Sono Harris , mother of our friends Josh, Brett and Alex Harris , passed away this weekend. It is another tragedy in a recent string of them . (Ted wrote about this in " Asking Why? ") Then I read this profile about worship artist John Mark McMillan...
  • Blog Post: I'm in a Store and I'm Singing

    The Christmas music business is genius, really. Every year they take the same 10 songs, attach a different voice to them and make millions. I am one of those millions. I have always been a sucker for Christmas music. A few years ago I started listening to Christmas songs somewhere around the beginning...