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The Church

In 1943 psychologist Abraham Maslow presented his hierarchy of human needs. In second priority Maslow puts esteem, the need for acceptance and belonging — finding people who will take you in as part of the “pack.” In my youth I often jumped from one peer group to another. I’d adapt to their terms, and when […]

Plain Church

The Church Number One Purpose Church Is Family Most Glorious Idea Practice Love

My Lord and My God

And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).   I have known situations in which a person’s connection to Christ has been based mostly or wholly on another’s relationship with Christ. Examples include a son’s or daughter’s connection through their parents, one who falls in love with a strong […]

Jesus Plus What?

One Sabbath morning in a small Midwestern church, the pastor quoted Romans 4:24 like this: “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we obey him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.”  “Amen!” someone said. The pastor replied, “No, the text does not say obey. It says, believe!” Since […]

Reality in Jesus

Few will dispute that a man named Jesus lived some two thousand years ago and that He was an amazing teacher who changed the world forever. What separates Him from other good men is the audacious claim that He was in fact the very Son of God. Jesus didn’t lead a mega church while He […]

Jesus: Savior and Lord

The Bible says that everyone is born with the condemnation of the first sin of Adam and Eve. Every one of us confirms this condemnation through our own sins: (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:2). Without a Savior, and without an intercessor, we would all be lost. But wait! We have good news for humanity! Jesus came […]

Jesus and the Woman

The John 4 story of the woman at the well is a favorite because it shows Jesus’ compassion. It also shows the change that can happen when someone encounters Jesus and how she fits into God’s plan to spread the gospel. In this encounter, Jesus uses two areas of human need — physical thirst and […]

A Kiss So Passionate

It’s at the heart of all the good fairy tales. Take Sleeping Beauty, for instance, who lay under the curse of sleep until revived by the handsome prince. Ariel had to receive the “kiss of true love” from Eric in The Little Mermaid. Or the movie Enchanted, where Giselle ate the poison apple and could […]

Accepting Jesus

So many times I felt Your call but didn’t want to close the gap. I wasn’t ready to make a step that would lead into Your presence. In my childhood I loved to contemplate the beauty of nature. I knew You existed, but my steps were getting farther away from You. You put a young […]

His Voice

Read and consider John 20:11-16. In this scene Mary went to Christ’s gravesite and was told He was not there. A moment of terror must have come upon her — like an out-of-body experience — and she became oblivious to her surroundings and others nearby. Then she spoke to Jesus, but she could not see […]