This month: Freedom in Christ
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Every year around this time churches sing a gorgeous four-part song titled Magnificat. In the a capella Churches of Christ, in which I dwell, this is one composition which shows the magnificence of blended voices. Its a building blend of alto, bass, tenor, and soprano. When it is done well there aren’t many songs, a capella or otherwise, quite so stirring.

Yet…

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It seems like race has always been an issue when it comes to faith. I don’t mean to start off on a bleak note because I think there is a lot of hope and I think it has been the voice of Christians at various times in history (including the present one) that have been a very positive force for…

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In 1967, Jim Morrison and the Doors sang what would become a popular and enduring song: People Are Strange.

Indeed. I have met some of them. To some, I probably am one of them.

People are strange. Aren’t we all?

Aside from the debate over who is strange and why they are, the lyrics themselves are haunting. As you read them, I wonder if you hear the echoes of the Gospel?

People are strange…

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The hour of darkness is upon us…

Three times Jesus awakened them—three times. His heart was breaking, his fears were mounting, and his knees were covered in the dirt of the garden floor. Three times he went to pray and pour out his soul in anguish to his Father… They went to sleep. God forgive us, are we not…

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Redeemed. Restored. Reconciled.

How I love those three words. Each is different. But each is fundamentally intertwined.

And when it comes to navigating change… honestly, I wonder how much heat the whole idea of changing anything would generate if we recognized the changes those three words spark in our walk with God (and his people too)…

For the greater part of my life, all three…

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You, God, who made the heavens and the earth and have promised to remake them, hear my voice.

I plead for a hearing because you often seem so distant to me, and sometimes I fear that you do not listen. Awake, O God, and hear my prayer for I struggle once again with death. Death has again invaded my world.

God, I hate death. I trust that you hate it, too….

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I was asked recently where I thought the churches of Christ were headed. I started thinking about the issues that plague the Kingdom. We all have an opinion on gender equality, instrumental music, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (or not) and the general apathy that resides within our auditoriums but none of those came to mind first.

I sat at a stop light in Nashville a few weeks ago…

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We are dust.

We know the weaknesses of our broken lives.

We express our deepest hurts through painful sighs and tears.

This is the human condition in the creation that seems so empty, futile, and useless. Our present lives are an enigma, and they are often absurd. Sometimes there are no words, and often there are not enough tears. And it rarely makes any “sense.”

The creation groans. Embroiled in a process of…

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There are a few things we wanted to make you all aware of looking ahead. First is the site. Our current site is a magazine style platform that allows us compile articles and issues together in some really great ways. The downside of the way it is structured is that RSS doesn’t recognize new articles. An additional issue has been that email subscriptions only work with posts, not articles….

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Thanks for visiting the new Wineskins.org! The last few weeks have taught us a lot about what has worked so far… and what needs improvement. We’re working hard to implement some changes that make this site more user friendly. Until we get it all ironed out, you can access the current issue from the navigation at the top.

Please use the comments section for this post to give us ideas…

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