Facing The Gap—Paul and the Pareto Principle

I’m curious as to how you used this past year of your life. You were given 365 24-hour days. That is a lot of time, even if it seems to fly by faster than ever. What did you do with it? Let me see if I can guess a few answers with some degree of accuracy. You remember times you …

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The Tale of Two Church Services

(The only message I preach to our church every year) 1 Corinthians 14: 23-24 23: “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24: But if all prophesy, and there come in one that …

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The Grunts

  by Dean Herring My family sat in pained silence as we watched the History Channel special on the tragic events of 9/11. What we saw was a montage of video clips taken by people in New York City as the tragedy was taking place. The footage, thankfully, was without professional commentary—no Jimmy Carter interview, nor any of his “Blame …

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Be Predictable

  by Dr. Dave Hardy The first book to impact my life as a Christian, other than the Bible, was In His Steps by Sheldon. I was saved at 14, and someone gave me a copy of that book shortly afterward. Actually, I read it more than once. The premise of the book is to consider in every situation, “What would Jesus …

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Biblical Balance

You might be a little surprised to discover that this May issue involves a Christmas text. While the text is used at Christmas, this editorial does not deal with Christmas, really. Instead, it tackles an image problem that plagues independent Baptists at times. Actually, any group can suffer, and has suffered, with how it presents itself to its culture, but …

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Afford to be Offended

I confess that I never thought Jesus would treat this woman or anyone this way. It didn’t seem to be a part of His typical nature, as evidenced by how He treated so many others who came before Him with far less humility than this woman. Of course, she was a Canaanite woman, which, if she approached a typical Jew, …

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It’s Not About the No

Five miles east of Stillwater, OK, you will find the Hardy Compound. Upon moving to Stillwater, we purchased 10 acres on which I eventually built a white two-story house with a full wraparound porch, complete with two Cracker Barrel rocking chairs on the front. Rocking chairs and wraparound porches are not complete without dogs lying around them, so we had …

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The Pastoral Heart: A Pastor’s Response When A Member Ignores His Counsel

God reminded me of an important pastoral lesson in my reading this morning. I love the people God has entrusted to me as their under shepherd. The overwhelming majority of the time it is a true joy to serve them, even to sacrifice for them. But, I’ve also lost perspective a few times. I’ve noticed other pastors doing the same. …

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Worship in an Age of Narcissism: Our Love Affair with the Wrong Image

Don’t let the big word scare you. It originated with a beautiful baby boy given the name Narcissus. Because of how he was conceived, his mother asked a blind seer if he would live long, to which Tiresias replied that he would as long as he did not become infatuated with himself. As Narcissus grew older his beauty became renowned, …

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Fresh Starts When Right Becomes Routine

Lying on his bed with his ears plugged by earbuds from an iPod containing 1,200 songs, a 14-year-old boy stares like a zombie at a television with 147 channels. He holds the controller, playing one of more than 30 games in a video game system exceeding 60 levels throughout four different worlds. His iPhone lying beside him beeps yet again …

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