This month: Empathy
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Sara Barton

I’ve long loved God’s Word, and this blog will express a life immersed in God’s ongoing story. I’m thankful that my husband, John, and my kids, Nate and Brynn, are in the story with me. I teach Religion and English courses at Rochester College in Michigan. Before moving to Michigan, I served on a church-planting team in Jinja, Uganda. My book, A Woman Called, was released May 2012.


As God’s people waited for the Messiah, their expectations rose, especially as their situation grew worse with occupation of Israel by Rome.  They began to dream of a Messiah who would lead powerfully in the same manner as King David, the warrior who slew his tens of thousands, and in the manner of his son, Solomon, who built the grand Temple in Jerusalem.  They dreamed of a leader who…

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I was scared of the Holy Spirit for a large portion of my life.



Even terrified.

It couldn’t have helped that the name for the Spirit I heard was “The Holy Ghost.” As a child, I had this vision of a ghost, not nearly as friendly as Casper, who could come and go through the walls of my house, checking on me. For a time, I was sure that it was…

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For over twenty years, she has loved me well.

When I was a college student in Searcy, Arkansas, I met a woman who would capture what it means when one Christian sister covenants to love another and keeps that commitment of love for over twenty-five years. While doctrine and teaching profoundly affect our faith, I find it’s often the people who embody those teachings that shape us the most.  Perhaps…

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I will admit that sometimes conversations about restoration of the early church strike me as a bit dull.  In my time, I’ve heard some stodgy, unexciting, seemingly-endless restoration-centered debates about worship practices, some of them meticulously dissecting such minutia as whether or not Paul would have approved of a woman passing a communion tray from front to back instead of side to side. What a travesty! When we see…

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I have a love/hate relationship with the desire in Churches of Christ for restoration of the New Testament church. For much of my life, I was driven by goals, by checklists, by A’s at the top of my school assignment, so making a church check list according to the model of the New Testament church appealed to the over-achiever in me. I liked the idea of having a definitive…

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