This month: 175 - Following Christ Through Difficult Times
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Jason Locke

a preacher in Fresno; a husband to Julie; a father to two boys; and pilgrim like all other believers; one who is pursuing God and inviting others along for the journey

Homepage: http://jlockeblog.blogspot.com

As we leave behind the acrimonious year of 2016, can I make a plea for unity among God’s people in 2017? Paul made a similar appeal in the first century. His letter to the Romans provides us with clear markers for how to get there. In particular, Romans 15:4-13 is a text that summarizes the complex message of Romans. It reveals Paul’s…

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The Mennonite professor stood in front of his Christian Ethics class at a local seminary. It was the first day of class. “Take out a sheet of paper and answer the following question: What should we have done after 9/11? Quickly write down what you think we should have done.”

Students scribbled furiously for a couple minutes before the teacher interrupted and declared, “I don’t want to know what you…

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To illustrate how far down the wrong path many Christians have gone, consider the following not-so-far-fetched, hypothetical situation: Christian protesters stand in opposition to one another. All carry picket signs that read, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” One group is against abortion. The other is protesting the death penalty. But get this. Each group is opposed to the other’s issues. The pro-lifers believe in capital punishment, while the anti-death-penalty folks are pro-choice. They begin to…

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Can’t wait until my “loving Christian brothers and sisters” weigh in on this issue and trash our president. They’ll no doubt refer to those pardoned as “scum of the earth who deserve to rot in jail.”

This zinger caught my worship minister’s eye in a recent Facebook conversation. She was initially shocked by the words. Her shock turned to sorrow, however,…

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An upside down world? Or an upside down church? Where we sit determines not just our perspective but also decides whether or not we need to be turned upside down in order to effectively live out the good news of the Kingdom.

If you spend any time reading Mark’s Gospel, you can’t help but feel your world being turned upside down….

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“Frozen Zoo Offers Last Chance for Some Species.” This was the headline from a February 12 Fresno Bee story. According to the article, San Diego Zoo researchers have spent 40 years amassing genetic material from 1,000 different species. These are all preserved in nitrogen-cooled, stainless steel vats—thus the Frozen Zoo moniker.

One of the most critical cases is that of the northern white rhino. Only five animals remain in the world,…

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Emil Brunner famously said this in the 1930s: “The church exists by mission as a fire exists by burning.” In other words the very essence of the church is to be mission. Just as a fire that is no longer burning is no longer a fire, so too a church that is no longer living out the mission of God is no longer a church.

Unless you’ve been asleep for…

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The World Cup’s in full swing in Brazil. To most people, this is the greatest sporting event on earth. Correction: It’s the greatest event (not just sporting) for most of our planet. For what other reason would one billion people tune in to watch 11 guys from Croatia or Ivory Coast?

But it’s unimportant to most Americans. Since we’re not great at it and have never won it, many don’t…

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