Closest Thing to Jesus?

Closest Thing to Jesus?

Last year in June, a group of former NFL stars traveled to Rome for a meeting with the Pope. Former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin summed up the experience: “This was a wonderful day. Just to have an opportunity to shake his hand and to feel his presence in...

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The Servant and the Master

The Servant and the Master

I buckled my son into his seat and set him up with a video game that I hoped would hold his attention for most of the flight. With the boy thoroughly distracted I pulled the Bible from my carry-on bag and thought to myself, “If the video game does its job, I’ll have...

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Daddy, Why a Lamb?

Daddy, Why a Lamb?

When I was ten years old, our Sunday School leader told us a story about a lamb. Harold had just learned of his mother’s death and he wanted to tell us of a very important experience he had with her. He began, “How many of you have a puppy or a kitty?” We raised our...

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King of the Jews

King of the Jews

If you were asked to name your favorite novel, song, movie, or TV show, you would probably respond with the title of each one. My own answers, for example, would be: Unbroken, “Gesù Bambino,” The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and ESPN Films’ 30 for 30. I doubt many of us...

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Jesus: A Friend to Thieves

Jesus: A Friend to Thieves

There are moments in Christian ministry when we are the recipients of our Lord’s special ministry to us. I preface my own such encounter with the Lord by referencing Matthew 25:39, “Lord, when did I see you in prison?” God’s call to ministry came to me in an unusual...

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Pivot Point

Pivot Point

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV). The death and resurrection of Jesus is not a story told to teach us something. It is not a fable or wishful thinking. It is not...

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Investing in the Foundation

Investing in the Foundation

I am so grateful to my home congregation for sending me to seminary. Harold Revne, an elder in Bethesda, told me, “David, it’s time for you to go to get better prepared for ministry. And we’ll pay the tuition.” That’s just what they did. They set up a scholarship fund...

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Keep Your Eyes Open

Keep Your Eyes Open

As I visited recently with Mary Rodgers and Mary Helwagen from Mentor, Ohio, they shared the passion of Pilgrim Lutheran Brethren Church (PLBC) for making disciples and encouraging women through Women’s Ministry to their Northeastern Ohio area. Here’s what they had to...

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God’s Grace Flows

God’s Grace Flows

We are in Chad! It has been almost four years to the day since we first heard about the need for people to come and share God’s Word among the unreached people in Chad. God has certainly taught us a lot since then—especially during our year in France. At the end of...

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Jesus is the Foundation

Jesus is the Foundation

In 1902 Joakim Gundersen received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. From that day forward, he made it his life’s mission to tell others of his Savior. On October 30, 1959, Joakim wrote the letter below to encourage his grandson and to share his testimony. Dear...

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Winter Youth Retreat

Winter Youth Retreat

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). On January 5, 2018, around forty youth and youth leaders arrived...

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Laughing at God’s Plan

Laughing at God’s Plan

In Genesis 17 and 18, on separate occasions, both Abraham and Sarah struggle to contain their laughter at God’s promise to bless them with a son. The childless couple are nearing 100 and 90 years old, respectively. What a ludicrous idea! God has been too slow to keep...

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Wrestle with God

Wrestle with God

No one lives in such solitude that God has not entrusted to him or her the responsibility for someone else. He leads people into our lives. One day we will have to give an account for them. Many try to isolate themselves so that they may evade responsibility for...

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Rebuild It

Rebuild It

My oldest son loves playing with Lego blocks. He likes to build airplanes, cars, castles, and homes. He constructs small cities and develops complex story lines in which each Lego character plays an important role. It seems there is no end to his creativity. My...

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You Can’t Go to Church

You Can’t Go to Church

The world is changing. I’m sure you’ve noticed this. School is different for your kids than it was for you. The political environment is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Societal values have shifted radically. And something about your church is different, too....

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Transformational Church

Transformational Church

https://vimeo.com/252937259 Church Planting and the Mission of God For some, the word planting comes across as insider language. In the sub-culture of the church planting world there is an entire language mostly unknown to the outside. We’ve all heard planters talk...

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Resilience in Ministry: Three Action Steps

Resilience in Ministry: Three Action Steps

Pastor Jacob looked at the email, grimaced, and thought, “Not another one.” His heart sank a bit. Another individual was contacting him after visiting the church on Sunday and asking for a pastoral visit, ending his email, “And my wife and I are very interested in the...

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God Provides: CLB Contribution Report

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, ESV). Imagine with me what our churches would look like if we actually lived out the truth of this verse. Of course, we confess that it is, in fact,...

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You are Making a Difference!

You are Making a Difference!

Each New Year causes us to reflect: What happened last year? Did I make a difference in my home, in the community I’m a part of, or in the world? Here’s a look at what God has done through you, as part of Women’s Ministries (WMCLB) this past year. SWEET Retreat:...

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Addressing a Crucial Need

Addressing a Crucial Need

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8 hat a comfort to know that Jesus is always the same, that he never changes and that we can always depend on him to love us and forgive us! We have many such blessings because of his unchanging...

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