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Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Bobby Valentine

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The heart of Christmas

Christmas. I am often reminded by some Christians that “we are never commanded to celebrate the birth of Jesus,” “Christmas has nothing to do with salvation,” or “Christmas is paganism and from Constantine.” These brothers or sisters are often well meaning though misinformed doctrinally and historically. (On the perpetual myth that Christmas has…

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Did your mom, perhaps your dad, sing to you as a child? You know, the songs while being rocked to sleep at night or while you were going down the road in the LTD station wagon? They are songs that never cease playing in our hearts and our minds.


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When I close my eyes and imagine the first Christmas, the one with Mary and Joseph, certain images come to my mind. I see the couple huddled in a stable. I see the baby in a manger surrounded by animals. I see wise men, shepherds, and a star. Since there is a star it is always dark, the middle of…

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The Bible is the Story of God. This morning I finished my journey “thru the Bible” for 2017, Genesis to Malachi; Tobit to 4 Maccabees; Matthew to Revelation. The Bible is the Story of God.

But that is not the whole “story.” The Bible is story of God with the world, with creation. The world looms large in the biblical narrative…

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I grew up in a fellowship that was incredibly conflicted during the Christmas holiday. We decorated our homes with trees with a star on top. We put nativity scenes up. We made cookies. We sang “Away in the Manger,” “What Child is This?,” and “Silent Night.” Then during the month of Christmas we had annual sermons on why we do…

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What is the first word? What is the last word? What is the the only word that matters in the end? I have been wrestling with this question for a long time. It is a deep one?

The question is not only about a word that passes through our lips. The question covers deeds. The question asks, “what is the knee jerk…

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Love. For the past six months we have been drinking deeply from the Epistles of 1-2 John in the rarefied air of the Rocky Mountains. The apostle wastes not an iota on trivia. The teaching that John stresses, in the starkest terms possible, is often barely acknowledged in Christian circles. The eternality of the Incarnation of Christ. The Cross. Love as…

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Every year as I read through the Story of God, I come to the heart of the matter in the Gospels, Jesus. Jesus amazes me more every time I look at him. Fresh from the reading of the Hebrew Bible, there is much in the Gospels quite familiar. The infancy narratives remind us immediately of Sarah, Hannah, and even Judith.  The people constantly mumbling, testing and even rejecting Moses…

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I have come to believe two passages of Scripture, actually three, from the Hebrew Bible sum up the entire biblical faith both in terms of what/who is the object of our faith and what we are to do. These texts state what

1) we believe, the God Creed

2) we do, the Jesus Creed

God Creed is the Center

The God Creed is Exodus…

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I have defended the Christian freedom to celebrate Lent elsewhere so I will not do that here but Genesis 1.14-15 (TEV, NJB, etc) and Romans 14.5-6 are sufficient for people who accept the authority of Scripture.

In the Hebrew Bible, the people of God often recognized the Spiritual need to lament individually and corporately. So powerful was this urge that over half of the Psalms are lament.

Israel has a day…

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