God Isn't Like That

"Earn It." "Prove yourself." "If you are good enough, I'll love you." ...3 statements on the list of things God has never said.

We're not naturally wired for grace, to receive unconditional love from people or God. It tends to make us uncomfortable, and it denies us our natural desire to earn things, prove ourselves, and feel adequate.

But grace is so good. Especially when it comes from God.

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Trends in Christianity & Churches | Mark Birkholz

On October 14th, Mission Counselor Mark Birkholz gave a wide-ranging presentation to Shepherd of the Lakes after worship. Here is audio of his talk on trends in Christianity, American churches, and the work churches seek to do: give people the life-saving message of free forgiveness because of Jesus’ sacrificial life and death!

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What's the Secret?

Everyone wants to know “the secret.” The secret to joy in life, to fulfillment in career, to being able to move on, to being able to weather catastrophes. Paul told the Philippians he had learned the secret of contentment, but then he never defined the secret—he never shared it! …Or did he?

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MEGA-Jesus

For a man who seems to have all the courage in the world, it seems an odd thing to pray for courage. But that's exactly what Paul did: pray for courage to make Jesus big in his life and in his death. It's our prayer, too--we need courage to make Jesus "mega." But the best news here is what Jesus would have said, had he written the letter instead of Paul. And that's all I'll say for now...you'll just have to listen!

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We'll See vs. We'll See

Bad things happen. All the time. Joseph found that in his life; you have and you will see it in the world and in your life as well. We generally want to know the “why,” but God gives us something better: the solution to all our afflictions!

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