Fishbowl Christians
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Whether we like it or not, someone is always watching us. Have you ever thought about that? Even when you think you’re completely on your own, in a place where you think you don’t know anybody and nobody knows you, people are watching. Being a Christian only increases the number of people watching.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Why do people watch Christians so intently? Some folks would say it’s because they’re waiting for us to mess up. In a [...]

“Your Heart Shall Rejoice”
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“…for you welcomed the message…with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6, NIV

One of the most beautiful sights is the smile on the face of someone who has just given their heart to Jesus. Their heart is so full of joy from the experience that the light of that joy bursts forth from every seam of their being. If you have experienced that change, you know what it means to feel that way, but even if you [...]

Ever Was Heard an Encouraging Word
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Mike Howerton remembers the two vastly different ways two of his high school coaches approached encouraging the team. Howertown remembers that in one game, his team was losing. During halftime, the two coaches would give two very different pep talks.

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

“Coach Crow [came] in growling, spitting disdain in his words at us: ‘What a bunch of losers. Whaddya say let’s get your girlfriends suited up; they’d do a better job. Your flimsy arm-tackles make me [...]

Ruin Satan’s Day
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Police Car

Has Satan ever tried to ruin your day? Well let me tell you about when I ruined his day. Years ago, I was driving in the middle of the night across country to see my sister and see about a job. I had just quit a job that was not working out and had no idea what the future held. I had no job, no money, no future, as far as I could see, and then, to make matters worse, [...]

Daniel, Paul and Thessalonica
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“The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.” Daniel 8:8, NIV

The story of Thessalonica begins in the loins of Philip II of Macedon. Philip not only fathered the well-known son, Alexander the Great. He also fathered a daughter, Thessalonike. Philip fought many enemies to consolidate his power over Macedonia. At the time of one of [...]

Keepin’ It Real
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

“Postmodern” is the descriptor for our world today. For me, the word dredges up mental pictures of grey post-apocalyptic cityscapes populated by grey, blank-eyed, place fillers.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

In reality though, our postmodern world is peopled with armies of highly engaged individuals who can access a wealth of information on almost any topic with just a few swipes at the screen of their smartphone. Maybe a side effect of this information glut is our society’s relativism.

Relativism is [...]

The Messiah in Prophecy
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Several years ago, I was showing a set of Christian books to a lady. There were several hardbound books in the set, which also included beautiful art work. The lady loved the books, and asked how much they were. I told her, “Four-twenty-nine.” She was delighted, and exclaimed, “Is that all!” I said, “Yes.” I  went on to explain the payment plans, of cash, credit card, or down payment of 15% and then 12 monthly payments. She looked confused, and [...]

Battlefield
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Many of us, because of the time and place in which we’ve grown up, have never seen an actual, active battlefield. I am one of those people. All I know of battles, I have learned from movies and TV, and as realistic as those may try to be, they are not like really being there…thank goodness.

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

But we forget that we all are in the middle of, not just a battle, but a war. Satan [...]

A Brief History and Geography of Thessalonica
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This quarter’s lessons focus on two of Paul’s letters to the church at Thessalonica. Today the city is called Thessaloniki and is a major a sea port of Greece on the northwestern shore of the Aegean Sea. It has a history that spans more that 2300 years.

The Cryptoporticus (Wikipedia article “Thesssaloniki”)

From its beginning in the kingdom of Macedon in 315, Thessalonica quickly became one of the most important sea ports of the kingdom due to its strategic location as [...]

Evangelism and Thessalonica
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FloggingWhipsmall

“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, NIV

 

A Parable Loosely Based on Acts 17 and Modern Evangelism

Theophilus was excited! This weekend was the big event! All of Thessalonica would be there! He had seen the painted billboards for weeks. [...]