By Clay Myatt
Next Wednesday, February 26th, is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a 40-day period (not counting Sundays) called Lent leading up to Easter Sunday. The brief history of Lent is as follows: As early as the second century we have writings from church fathers talking about a season of self-examination and repentance leading up to Easter. By the time of the Council of Nicaea (325), there is a reference to a 40-day Lenten season of fasting for new Christians preparing for baptism, and soon that 40-day season began to be observed by other Christians.
By Steve Gregg
As a pastor, I am often pointing people to passages in Scripture to encourage them in any number of ways. It might be surprising to some of you that these words from Joseph to his brothers are some I return to again and again.
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (Genesis 50:20)
Guest authors: Emily Purcell and Marie Banks, Deacons of Creekside WomenA dear friend once said that having a relationship with God is not for Him, it’s for us. That simple phrase changed the way I look at my Bible reading and prayer time. God doesn’t need us read His Word; He wants us to read it. He doesn’t need us to pray, He wants us to pray. He wants us to read and understand His character and how He redeems His people. He wants us to talk to Him. The seasons of my life when I have been consistent in reading my Bible and praying, I doubt my faith less. I find it easier to deal with the stresses of life, I am much kinder to those closest to me, and I am much more in-tuned to the Holy Spirit.
By Steve Gregg
I can finally say something that for many years I honestly couldn’t: I am glad we are doing a sermon series in Revelation. As a young Christian, I spent a lot of time around folks who were always trying to decipher Revelation to discover who was who, what was what, and when was when, especially by constantly comparing Scripture to current events. I saw first hand the damage that comes from that obsession. This ranged from individuals stockpiling survival rations, to an entire church telling their extended famIlies goodbye as they met one night in Gainesville to await the Rapture at the time they had predicted. My wife Kim and I drove by the church that evening and wondered aloud what the next day would look like for them if the Rapture didn’t happen. I specifically remember waking up the next morning and thinking there was going to be a lot of crow on the menu that day.
By Michael Roop
I’ll admit it: sometimes I worry. When I do, it almost always revolves around my ministry future, and specifically whether my sinful nature will one day lead to one of these highly public falls that seem like a daily occurence in the pastoral world. I’m not side-door confessing anything catastrophic here; I’ve just watched enough men I once respected fall prey to things they tried to hide for too long.