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Manifesto on the Gifts of God’s Spirit

So, last Sunday was different… In 1 Corinthians 12, a preeminent framer of the Christian Church wrote about something called the manifestations of God’s Spirit. Most people refer to these manifestations of God’s Spirit as spiritual gifts. These particular gifts are wonderful gifts that excite and edify the one who receives as well as those who are able to witness ...

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Sometimes You Just Need to Sit on the Floor

Yesterday afternoon I arrived home from work and everything seemed calm. When everything seems calm at my house, someone is usually about to get hurt, or someone is trying to sneak something that they know they should not be sneaking. So, my antennae were up as I found all my people and checked on what they were doing. ...

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It's the Giving that Counts

There's a fire coming that we all will go through You possess your possessions or they possess you And if the house burns down tonight I got everything I need when I got You by my side – Jon Foreman In these words, I hear the same truth that reverberates throughout the Old Testament, New Testament, and the words of Jesus....

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What Makes a Person Shrewd

The dictionary defines the word shrewdas “having sharp powers of judgment.” In the Greek language, which is what the New Testament was written in, the word is phronimōs. This Greek word translates into English as “wise.” The Message Bible translation helps us understand what Jesus taught ...

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God's Authentic Design

It is almost Father’s Day, and I find myself compelled to write about femininity. (I know. I’m weird.) I think I am being compelled by of a combination of things: 1) I want to join the good work that's happening in our world today to empower women. 2) I feel a nudge from the Spirit of the Living God to write in this direction, due to the confusion regarding ge...

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What is Faith?

In my early years, when I would try to describe what faith in Jesus is, I would fumble over vague, ethereal-feeling words. I would say things like, “You just feel it,” or “It’s like hoping or trusting in something,” or even “Faith is believing in something.” The responses this would invoke were usually a wrinkled forehead, raised eyebrows, and confused eyes....

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An Intimidating Topic

Oh no! It's time for us to teach on sexuality! Why in the world did we pick sexuality as a topic for our “Other Hours” sermon series? Does anyone reading this want to take my place this Sunday and preach on Sexuality? I know that we are sexual beings. I know that our current cultural moment regarding sexuality is riddled with confusion, embarrassment, exhaustion, ...

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A Backyard Baptism

Last night I was in a nice back yard, on a nice, warm evening, standing with a bunch of nice people by a nice swimming pool. My wife, Brittany Stockton stood up in front of all the people and explained to us that there were thirteen kids in her 3rd through 5th grade youth group that wanted to be baptized. She told us that she has been teaching the kids that Jesus’ life i...

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What is the Mother's Blessing?

In society, we hear a lot about the damning effects of an absentee dad on his children. In Christian circles, we talk about the importance of “the father’s blessing” in his children’s lives. Sociological studies show us that a child without a good, strong father figure in their life will have a decreased self-concept, feel more insecurities, and be ...

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Prayer for Arizona's Governor

Well, sometimes your job requires you go pray for the governor. So this morning, I woke up, reached deep into the back recesses of my closet and grabbed my once-every-couple-of-years suit. I brushed some of the dust off and it looked pretty good. Since today is the National Day of Prayer, and Living Streams has...

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