This month: We Are Shepherds
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Matt Dabbs

Matt is the preaching minister at the Auburn Church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama. He and Missy have been married 12 years and are raising two wonderful boys, Jonah and Elijah. Matt is passionate about reaching and discipling young adults, small groups, and teaching. Matt is currently the editor and co-owner of


My first thought was “Christ and him crucified” but Paul does it better than I ever would.

I would preach knowing and loving God. On a recent flight I was reading Richard Rohr’s book The Divine Dance and in it he makes the distinction in believing in God and knowing God. It didn’t hit me well when I first read it but the more what he was saying sunk…

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If you had one message to share, what would it be? If you could assemble any group of people, your choosing, and preach just one message…what would it be? Would you assemble all those who don’t know Jesus and preach the Gospel? Would you gather your closest few friends or family members and tell them something difficult? Would you gather up your congregation, your denomination, or all Christians in…

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I don’t spend as much time in my imagination as I used to. This was on my mind yesterday after one of our boys asked Missy if she knew where he likes to be best and he said, in his imagination. I wish I could say the same but the realities of life, the responsibilities of adulthood and a self-imposed busyness often keep me grounded in the more non-imaginative…

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I have some great news to share with you! Heather Heflin Hodges is now on board with Wineskins as our newest Featured Author! Heather brings so many talents to the table and I cannot wait for you to benefit from all that she is going to share here at and at her new site –

Feel free to…

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By and large our fellowship, Churches of Christ, are a brainy bunch. We are typically highly analytical and linear in our thinking and approaches to just about anything you can think of. One approach to conceptualizing this kind of thinking that became popular a number of years ago was to call these kinds of thinkers “Left-brained” and the more creative, holistic types “Right-brained.” While the brain doesn’t really divide…

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Have you ever heard of the Goldwater rule? If you have worked in psychology or psychiatry, chances are you are familiar with it or at least should be. Here is how wikipedia explains it,

“The Goldwater rule is the informal name given to Section 7 in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Principles of Medical Ethics, which states it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public…

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A woman caught in adultery is thrown at Jesus’ feet in John 8. As Jesus dismisses her accusers, he gives her freedom through the forgiveness of her sin AND he tells her to go and sin no more.

In Mark 5 a demoniac comes running out of the tombs to see Jesus. He is naked. He is bleeding. He is unclean and demon-possessed. After Jesus frees him from his demons…

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Imagine if we could turn “church scandal” on its head. What if we became so in love with Jesus, so radical about grace, and so in tune with the work of the Spirit that the church repossessed the same scandalous positions that Jesus embodied and embraced?

Loving the unlovable.

Adopting the unadoptable.

Forgiving the unforgivable.

Empowering the powerless.

Bring the marginalized to the center.

Expanding the center to the margins.

Boycotting boycotts.

Reconciling the races.

Economic self-exploitation (aka…

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The church will always have an image problem in the world as what the church is about is not in line with what the world is all about. However, there is an area where the perception of the church is remarkably different than the perception people had and have of Jesus.

People see Jesus as welcoming and grace-centered whereas they struggle to see the church in the same light. If…

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Mark’s Gospel starts with Jesus preaching and doing miracles. He preaches repentance due to the in-breaking kingdom of God. Jesus does miracles – healing paralysis, casting out demons, and even forgiving sins.

There is confusion over exactly how Jesus does these things. No one is denying that he is doing it, not even his enemies. The question is where does his power come from. There are only two options: God’s…

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