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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


2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Wineskins! Wineskins started back in May 1992 under the leadership of Philip Morrison, Mike Cope and Rubel Shelly. At that time Wineskins was a print publication with some stated purposes that you can read in full from the very first issue here – Wineskins: A Purpose Statement. Wineskins was and continues to be committed to the Restoration Movement and to helping Christians…

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The most effective church growth strategy of the last 50 years has been the church across town messing something up. Inevitably the other churches in town benefit from a misstep, a misunderstanding or a broken relationship due to a decision or direction taken by another congregation.

What do you do with people who come to your congregation out of those situations? There are a few things that need to be…

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Advent has much to do with anticipatory waiting and fulfilling arrival. We typically tie this into the coming of Jesus in the incarnation and the future hope of the second coming of Christ at the end of the age. Tucked in between those two events and certainly much closer in time to the first than the second is another advent. This advent is the arrival of the Holy Spirit…

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If Israel had a guestbook the names that would fill it are the same names we read not just in our Bibles but also in our world history textbooks. Scripture records many arrivals in Palestine. From Abraham being the first of the biblical narrative to Joseph after the Exodus many people in the biblical story have arrived in that land. We could name more. We could name Ruth who…

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Stoicism is one route to pseudo-peace. Making yourself indifferent to the world around you might numb the senses and the mind but it does not bring true peace. True peace doesn’t come through indifference. True peace is found in the tension of living in and through difficult, even dire, circumstances while recognizing that we don’t have to allow those things to make us anxious or afraid.

We are called to…

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I learned to drive years before I got a permit. One of the things I have enjoyed since I was very young was observing the world around me…always watching for how things worked, how people behaved, and trying to figure out my place in it all. I learned to drive when I was very young and I learned it by watching what others were doing. I watched how my…

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Do you struggle to find peace in your life?

Do you struggle to be in tune with the work of the Holy Spirit in your life?

Those two questions go hand in hand.

As Paul contrasts the life controlled by the flesh and the life controlled by the Holy Spirit he shares an insight that allows us to understand why we struggle to find peace. Those who allow their fleshly desires to…

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We live in anxious times. Some in advertising say “sex sells” well, anxiety sells just as well if not better. Our world has upped its game when it comes to producing and transferring anxiety. This is true from parenting to politics.

The good news is that we have a Savior who is not in the anxiety producing business. He doesn’t need anxiety to sell us on his message or to…

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Various version of this cartoon have floated around for some time. It is a great illustration of point of view and ultimately empathy. If we would each take a moment to walk around to the other side and look at something from a new angle we might not only come to a better understanding of an issue but…

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I grew up just outside of Saint Louis in a small town called Union. It was and I am sure still is a pretty blue collar town. We grew up with plenty of land to run around on and local restaurants to eat at. It wasn’t until we moved from there to North Alabama in 1992 that Union finally got a McDonalds. It was that small.

One of my memories…

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