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Judging the Judges (Part 5)

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Deborah. The only female judge of Israel. A prophetess who spoke God's words to Israel. Hero of all feminists, evangelical or otherwise! Some well-meaning brothers and sisters in Christ have tried to use the story of Deborah (Judges 4-5) to justify ordaining women as elders and preachers. My intent here is not to tackle such issues, though I do want to insist that whateve...

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Judging the Judges (Part 4)

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Having now set the backdrop with the first three posts in this series, let's take a look at a few judges. Some well-known. Others not so much. Othniel. Not so well known. But since he is the first named judge in the Book of Judges, we should expect to perhaps see aforeshadowingof things to come. And indeed we do. But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, th...

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Judging the Judges (Part 3)

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Leadership Matters. Big Time. A seminary professor once told me "Nothing of consequence happens in the church apart from leadership." I thought that was a bit hyperbolic. Surely people do not need leaders that badly. Do they? Well, over a decade of gospel ministry experience and pastoring now confirms my Prof's pithy prophecy.And so does the Bible. God has ordained lead...

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Judging the Judges (Part 2)

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God saves and preserves His covenant people. His people sin against Him. God judges His people for their sin. His people cry out for help. God gives mercy and restores His people. Repeat process starting at Point #1. This is what many scholars have called "The Judges Cycle." This is exactly the pattern we see repeated throughout the period of history covered by t...

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Judging the Judges

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Recently a friend and brother in Christ began texting me some questions on things he had been reading in the Book of Judges. After rejoicing that my brother was reading Judges, and praying that the Lord would increase his tribe in the church I pastor, I set out to provide a few responses to his inquires. Responses, I trust, that were faithful to God and His Word. The Book...

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Urban Evolution?

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Earlier this week, on the CBS Morning Show, a segment featured a new book titledDarwin Comes to Town.The author discussed the thrust of a book in a segment you can see here: https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/gcum75ud_Z6H5NnLhfIYKdo5W9Z1Nm0K/urban-ecologist-on-how-cities-speed-up-evolution-process/ While I am sure the author is a man of educational "letters...

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10 Ways to Discourage Your Pastor

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Every pastor I have ever known has experienced discouragement. And many of the "great" preachers / pastors in church history have battled seasons of depression and melancholy. Spurgeon being the classic example here. We pastors are human and our calling baptizes us daily in trench spiritual warfare. Sometimes our discouragement is unwarranted. A pity party for which we mu...

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Dark Hearts and School Violence

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What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, our of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within, and they defile a person (Mark 7:21-23). The flags of our nation are once again at half staff as we mour...

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Little Linda

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My wife's mother, Linda, passed into the presence of Jesus on this day, Feb 6th, when my wife was only ten years old. But this is no sob story! My wife's maternal grandmother, Lucille, used to call her "Little Linda." Probably because Michele (my wife) looked like her mom. And probably, I assume, because Michele had echoes of Linda in her personality and mannerisms. And a...

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Self-Esteem: The Big Fat Lie

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Self-esteem=big fat lie. Do you want to know the truth? You have not been getting it from the psychology world or the secular counseling world for a very long time. In fact, I think we have never heard the truth from those worlds at all in the matter of self-esteem. We have, instead, as Christians, been buying into a lie that is eating into the fabric of who we really are ...

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