January 1, 2021 @ 8:00 AM

After King David died, his son Solomon became king of Israel. The son of Solomon, Rehoboam, was the legitimate heir to the throne. But Rehoboam’s right to rule was challenged by an enemy of the king and of the established system of government. Jeroboam, son of Nebat, had fled to Egypt from King Solomon; but when Solomon died, some of the Hebrew people called him back to Israel to be their king. (See I Kings 12-14) Thus Israel was divided into 2 kingdoms -- the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. The northern kingdom under Jeroboam was composed of ten tribes and was called Israel. The southern kingdom, led by legitimate King Rehoboam, was composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and called Judah.

The original nation of ...

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January 1, 2021 @ 8:00 AM

In the month of January, we begin a multi-part series on the End Times. Theologians call this eschatology or “study of last things.” Why do a series on the end times? Here’s the reasoning. Few churches are preaching on it. Few Christian podcasts are speaking about it. Few Christian magazines are publishing articles on it. The podcast, Hope for the Hurting, which my daughter, Laura, and I broadcast, is tackling it but few others. Why not? Why aren’t many Christian voices speaking about the End Times especially in light of all we’ve gone through in 2020. Here are three possible reasons: 1. It requires taking stands on controversial End Times doctrines. Some are faint of heart and shy away from controversy. 2. It ...

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January 1, 2021 @ 8:00 AM

Blood is fascinating stuff. I’m not trying to be gory here, but it is fascinating. It is both attracting and repelling at the same time. Take the rush hour “gawker’s slowdown” at a traffic accident. Why do people slow down? The prospect of seeing blood at the scene. Why do people go to prize fights or ultimate fighting events? Blood shed by one or both opponents. It is equally repelling. Consider surgery. Most of us don’t have the stomach to perform or even watch surgery. Why? We are repulsed by the sight of all that blood.

Here are some interesting facts about blood. It can be frozen and is unaffected. It can be taken from one race and given to another without influencing the color of the recipient. Blood ...

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January 1, 2021 @ 8:00 AM

Depending on the situation all of us have used the terms justice, mercy, and grace at one time or another. We think of evil people and we long to see them brought to justice. Judges are often asked in courtrooms across the land to deal with defendants in mercy. Grace, a uniquely Christian word, is how every believer found salvation. God showed them grace in response to their faith and saved them from the penalty of their sins. Because all three terms are critical to the understanding of the Christian life, it’s important that we differentiate between them.

What is justice? The Hebrew term for justice used in the Old Testament is the word tzedakah and means righteousness, fairness, or justice. Simply put, justice ......

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December 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Christmas 2020 will undoubtedly be unique. But maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it will be less hectic and more focused on what really matters. Maybe all the trappings and expectations will seem less important. Maybe we will be better able to celebrate the Child in the manager.

The CRADLE

When God sent His Son to earth as a helpless infant, His cradle was a humble manger in a stable. The shepherds and wise men worshiped Him. But when the wise men didn’t return to tell King Herod where the young child was, Herod sought to kill Him. Herod ordered the murder of all the baby boys two years old and under. God protected Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the land of Egypt. After Herod died, Joseph was instructed by God in a dream to return ...

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December 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

One cold evening, a renowned Jewish rabbi met privately with Jesus. He attempted to flatter Jesus by telling Him that He must be of God because of all the public miracles He had done. Jesus cut to the chase when He told the rabbi, “Truly, truly I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The rabbi was confused. He reasoned that Jesus was asking him to physically be born a second time from his mother. Jesus clarified his meaning when He said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:6, 7). Two births. One physical. One spiritual. One ushers us into ...

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December 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Last month I wrote about the fear of conflict which afflicts many. I listed five different reasons why people avoid conflict. Just to recap, here are the five reasons for conflict-avoidance:

  1. Family-of-Origin. People often avoid conflict because they saw the results of conflict between their parents or their parents and others in the family and it was not pretty.
  2. Fear. Probably the most common reason people avoid conflict is fear. They are afraid of losing control of themselves and doing or saying something they’ll regret or they’re afraid of the other person losing control and emotionally or physically hurting them.
  3. Emotionality. Some people avoid conflict because it would require them to become emotional and they have ...
  4. ...

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December 1, 2020 @ 8:00 AM

Seldom are single men taught how to be married. Many men come into marriage thinking and behaving like singles “with benefits.” For single men to become husbands, men must switch their thinking from thinking like a single to thinking like a married man. For example, single men only need to think about themselves. They have no one else for whom they need to be responsible. Married men must think about their wives, the impact of their decisions on the marriage, and the needs and happiness of their wives. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “. . . One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his ...

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November 1, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

Superficial relationships are all about looking good on the surface. But if we only look at the surface, we will miss out on some valuable relationship information. It is easy to look good on the surface, but it is important to know what character issues might be present below the surface.

In early October, residents and visitors in Minnesota were able to get a rare look at the bottom of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers drew down the water temporarily between the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and the Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock as part of a routine inspection. The locks are typically inspected every 5-10 years but as of 2020, the water levels had not been lowered since 2008. It is important ...

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November 1, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

Elsie and I watched the final presidential debate last night. It was interesting and informative. The candidates spoke more about their goals and policies than the previous debate which included a lot of name-calling. What I took away from last night’s debate is that words are cheap. As the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” Candidates can promise anything to get elected but, if elected, which of their promises will they keep and put into practice. Since both candidates for the presidency have served in public office in the past, it is fair to look at their record of accomplishments. What have they done with the power and position they have held? So, my advice is to listen to what they say but more ...

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