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Archive for January, 2009

Today is my son’s 17th birthday AND the second anniversary of getting custody of our daughter! It’s one of the best days of the year and we are doubly blessed!

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As much as I am not an Oprah fan (at all), I did Tivo today’s episode out of curiosity about the person being interviewed, Ted Haggard. Even as a somewhat conservative guy, I knew nothing about him before his “fall”. I knew about as much as most as it unfolded. During that time, while there is repercussion to the decisions we make, I was bothered by some of the actions I saw within the church towards partnering (or not) with him in the healing. I have heard little pro and con since and so to hear from him and his wife was of interest.

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This week is “Sanctity of Life” week which made yesterday “Sanctity of Life” Sunday. As a pastor, I received many tools and material pieces that I could use via mail and on the Internet all focused on one aspect, Abortion. Every tool that I reviewed that was sent my way were in line to accomplish one goal, teach the people in our churches that abortion is wrong and motivate them to do something about it. For the most part, we are motivated to make direct statements about the murder, promote legal change with posters of aborted babies, and have rallies with politicians who may or may not agree but say they do to get some votes. The whole thing made me unnerved. Here’s why…… (as I explained in church yesterday. If you go the Fellowship, this might be repetitive and boring for you =)

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I am hesitant to start writing this post. Not because I am leary of what people will think of it. That’s no real concern at all. Those who will take issue with it, will take issue with most anything I write. Those who enjoy ignoring the heart of a post and try to find one sentence here or one sentence there and pick a fight with it will do so no matter what I write. Then there will be those who love what I have to say as if it is something new and fresh when really I am just one of many who feel this way. No, the reason I am hesitant has to do with my concern of not representing my feelings as clearly as I think they should be. I’m a babbler which is challenge number one. Also, this is a vital issue that has many levels. These two concerns are  a recipe for disaster but I want to give it a shot anyways.

The Church (capital C) is the body of Christ. In modern day America, it’s had a disease. I highly doubt that anyone is going to argue against that part. Where the controversy comes into play is what different people diagnose the illness to be. For some, we have gotten away from that old time religion. For others, we are holding onto past traditions that have no Biblical basis and holding onto them as idols. There are many vocal champions that will say it is because the church cares to much about theology and judgment. Still others, think it’s a watering down of truth to be all mushy in a version of love that negates accountability. Everyone who has an opinion of what church should look like will say the problem is those in the body who do not see things as they do. It’s a non ending cycle that keeps the vocal Christians debating, the quiet ones hiding in their pews once a week, and those who don’t know Jesus from seeing any reason to want to get into the middle of the whole mess.

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Marlana was a very special young lady who partnered with our ministry a few different times. Please keep her family in prayer.

Marlana Chaundra Kinser

 

CANTON – Marlana Chaundra Kinser, age 19, and her infant son, Dylan Lane Kinser-Dusz, of Canton and formerly of Marion, went to be with their Heavenly Father unexpectedly on Sunday evening, January 11, 2009, at the Ohio State University Medical Center following a battle with a rare cancer that was undiagnosed.

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A Gathering Force
By Francis Chan

Is there any logic in believing that God started His Church as a Spirit-filled, loving body with the intention that it would evolve into entertaining, hour-long services? Was he hoping that one day people would be attracted to the Church not because they care for one another, not because they are devoted to Him, not because the supernatural occurs in their midst, but because of good music and entertainment?

Try to imagine what conclusions you would come to if you had no prior church experience. The things in church services might make sense to the American church-attendee, but they don’t make sense biblically.

Picture yourself on an island with only a Bible. You’ve never been to a church-you’ve never even heard of one. The only ideas you have about church are what you’ve read in your Bible. Then you enter a building labeled “church” for the first time. What would you expect to experience as you entered that building? Now compare that to what you actually experience when you attend church.

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I’ll be back to normal posting soon. Until then, here is the year end wrap up video for The Shepherd’s Fellowship (our church) for 2008. Enjoy!

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