March 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

The Titanic set out from Southampton, England on April 10th 1912. Two stops were made at Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland to pick up more passengers prior to the Titanic’s final departure to New York. There were 2,240 souls on board on April 11th. She sailed the most direct route to New York through the North Atlantic and made good time until she reached a point about 400 miles south of the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland. The Titanic was equipped with a telegraph, a relatively recent addition to ships and had been advised that there were icebergs in the vicinity, but the messages were mostly unheeded.1 After all, the ship was  “unsinkable.”

The Titanic carried some of the most important and ...

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March 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

You know who they are, don’t you? They are people you know who avoid conflict at any cost. They are afraid of conflict even though counselors and psychologists tell us that conflict is a “backdoor blessing.” They say that because it forces us to face issues in our lives or relationships and make changes.

Let me say something up front, no one likes conflict.  The issue, however, is not the conflict itself but how you handle the conflict. Conflict handled well can cause growth, resolution of problems, and deeper relationships. Conflict handled poorly can result in even greater division.

Facing conflict and dealing with it is risky. You risk alienating the other person, becoming emotionally out-of-control, doing or ...

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March 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

Like many of you, Elsie and I in the past have found ourselves in search of a new church. Finding a “good” church is hard. There aren’t a lot of churches in our area that meet the criteria I list below. So though the pickins be slim, what should you and I look for in a church before settling in and calling it home? Here are seven criteria I look for in a church:

1.      Bible preaching. Does the pastor practice expository preaching of the Bible? What I mean by that is does he proclaim the meaning of a passage of scripture in the Bible and tell us how to apply it to our everyday lives? In my opinion the best type of expository preaching takes a book of the Bible and carefully proclaims the truth of...

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March 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

All those struggling with sexual purity are vulnerable to sinning especially under certain conditions. We call these conditions “triggers” because they can lead (“trigger”) us to sexually act out.  Sexual acting out becomes a form of medication that elevates your mood and makes you temporarily feel better. If you’re a Christian, the sexual “high” wears off quickly and the feelings of guilt, shame, and self-condemnation flood in.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the acronym H.A.L.T.?  The letters H.A.L.T. are frequently used by Alcoholics Anonymous. AA says they stand for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. These four are conditions which make those battling alcohol addiction particularly ...

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February 1, 2019 @ 7:00 PM

He approached me as I walked toward the door; an old friend for many years. We embraced and exchanged pleasantries. Before parting he said, “Irv, you are one of the few men I know who are finishing well.” I was flattered by his words but a bit perplexed. What does it mean to “finish well” and why am I one of the few men to do it? I searched the scriptures to learn of others who finished well to gain insight on what the Bible would call “finishing well.”

Jesus was the first one to whom I went. If anyone finished well it was Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless, spotless life above reproach, completely keeping the Law. In the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed to finish well. “My Father, if it is possible ...

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February 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

As soon as the Christmas decorations come down, the Valentine decorations go up. I love that! I love that there are still red decorations after Christmas. How drab everything would be if there were no red hearts.

February is also known for the birthdays of two famous presidents. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, and George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. Both men are pivotal pillars of American history. Both men were perfectly placed in the timeline of American history at just the right time. It is doubtful that any other men could have served our young nation as well. They were each born “For such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) I believe it is appropriate that they are associated with the month of red ...

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February 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

One of our favorite movies is “What About Bob?” the 1991 release starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus. It’s 29 years old but never ceases to make us laugh. We have watched it so many times that we know many of the lines by heart. The same fondness for the movie cannot be said of several of our psychologist friends. They despise it. They find nothing funny about it and, in fact, find it demeaning to their profession.  Elsie and I don’t. To have a sense of humor and an ability to laugh at yourself is a mark of mental health.

To give you a thumbnail synopsis of the movie, here’s the official write up:

Before going on vacation, self-involved psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) has the ......

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February 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

We began meeting as a group in October 2002. Twelve scared men gathered at a church to be led by a scared sergeant. We were the first purity platoon of the men’s purity ministry, Every Man’s Battle For Purity. As their sergeant I had led one previous group of men in the fall of 2001. I was long on zeal but short on experience. We lost one man the first week and were down to 11 men in November. We also had one man pray to receive Jesus Christ as Savior in week three! Over the 16 weeks of purity platoon something unusual happened. Men bonded! They were not about to stop meeting after purity platoon ended. They had shared the deepest, darkest secrets of their lives and had experienced community with one another. So the platoon ...

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January 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

I don’t write anything on my new wall calendar before January 1st. I like to see all the blank pages and squares when we first put it on the wall. Soon the pages fill up and sometimes begin to look messy with corrections and lots of entries, but for a brief time I am able to enjoy the freshness of 365 days of an uncluttered schedule. There is something exciting and refreshing about embarking upon a new year with empty calendar pages waiting to be filled. It is exciting yet also concerning as we face the start of a new year that will bring both good and bad things into our lives. There will be happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain, good experiences and difficult ones. Sometimes we are sad to see the previous year end, and sometimes ...

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January 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

January is a wonderful time to chart a new path for yourself. Some call that new path new year’s resolutions or new year’s goals. I call them desires. I group my desires in 7 buckets all beginning with the letter “F”: 1. Faith, 2. Family, 3. Finances, 4. Function, 5. Fitness, 6. Friends, 7. Fun. Into each bucket I identify desires I’d like to see happen in the new year. I often come up with as many as 45 desires. Here’s the key. If I accomplish even 1 of those 45 desires, I’ve had a successful year. Desires are not the same as goals.

Neil T. Anderson, in his book, Victory Over the Darkness, defines a godly goal as “any specific result reflecting God’s purposes for your life that does ...

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