Posts by Bob Elliott

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Discouragement and Depression

woman behind fence

Last week we unpacked how the Gospel is meant to change everything about us, so that we are constantly becoming a new man or woman in Christ. Today, I would like to look at the subjects of discouragement and depression in this context, and to relate how legalism can play a role in messing things up....

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The Gospel Changes Everything

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We have recently been focusing on the aspects of what the gospel is all about. This is important, as many folks do not have a proper or full understanding of this topic...

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How can we have Faith?

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This is an important question. What does a person do, or how does a person become a Christian? What are the benchmarks that define this type of world-view?...

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It’s Redacted Part 2

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Last week we talked about how there is a similarity between the redactions of political documents and the culture withholding or (redacting) information about the character and nature of God. Both are withholding information in order to elevate one side of the issue over the other. That is the common thread....

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Congruence of Life and Belief

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When looking at our lives from a perspective of worldview, there is a profound difference in the placing of our priorities. Today I would like to look at and contrast a Christian worldview to a secular one. I think there will be some redeeming value to discover the endpoint of thought processes of these two worldviews....

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The First Order

track and field

So what does the first order mean? For many of us, the idea that comes to mind is that the first order is the evil empire from the Star Wars movies. While that is entertaining, it is not where I would like to go today. The first order that I am describing is looking at the idea of big questions. A first order question is one that establishes a firm foundation of thought pr...

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It’s Redacted

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The word “redacted” is now a common buzzword in the midst of the political upheaval in our current culture. The animus about seeing a redacted version of documents has fueled discontent on both sides of the political aisle....

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What about Morality?

do not enter

We have spent a considerable amount of time in this blog talking about evidence that points to God as the most likely and best explanation for all of the vast complexity of design found in our universe. Today I would like to focus on another aspect that needs to have God present in order to make sense out of life. The topic is morality....

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Spoken by the Son

Good news

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son...

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The Power of the Resurrection

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As Easter is rapidly approaching, I thought it would be good to look at the resurrection of Jesus this week...

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Redefining Tolerance

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Last week, I started to develop the idea that our cultures viewpoint about tolerance has radically changed. This week, I would like to look further into this topic....

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Public Square

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In last week’s post about horizontal relationships, we talked about how not to attempt to use the bible as a weapon to get what you want. In this week’s installment, I would like to explore other ways in which we should not attempt to use the bible....

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Horizontal Relationships

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I have been out of town on vacation this last week. In addition, when I returned, I got a chance to listen to Warren’s previous message on Ephesians Chapter 5 titled Jesus and His Bride. I feel like he said some important things that we need to be reminded of....

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The Big Picture Part 2

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Last week we talked about there being 4 important aspects of the story of God’s redemption plan as follows: Creation, Fall, Redemption and New Life. We talked about how each of these woven together can help those that the Holy Spirit is drawing understand this life giving message....

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The Big Picture

big picture

I had the opportunity to have a brief conversation with a young woman this week about where she is at concerning her journey to faith in Jesus. We were able to cover a very large amount of ground within a short time period. Today I would like to share the direction or flow of that conversation to what I would call the big picture of presenting the gospel....

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Wisdom Metaphors

Bee Keeper

We have been spending some time talking about how wisdom is found in a Christian perspective of being single-minded rather than double-minded. Today we will look at some of the metaphors that describe just how desirable wisdom is. I mean that we all want to be wise right? Who would say that they would desire the opposite of wisdom? Well…That would just be dumb. ...

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Peter is in a Pickle

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We have been talking about the subject of Godly wisdom. Last week I mentioned the story of Peter denying Christ in order to “save his own skin,” which in essence he was being a double-minded man at that moment of denial. I do not want to just leave Peter hanging there, so let us look further into his redemption story today....

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Wisdom Part 2

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If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his...

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Discipleship Part 3- Wisdom

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We have been looking at the qualities present in a healthy church; the current focus for the past few weeks has been on discipleship. In this post, I would like to explore with you the concept of wisdom, and what role does this character quality have to do with discipleship. It is a pretty tall order, so I can’t cover it all in great detail. But I would like to spend som...

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5 Fold Church- Discipleship Part 2

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We are continuing on the topic of discussing the 5 aspects for a local church to be healthy or centered. Today we are taking a second look at the role of discipleship. In last week’s post, we laid out 3 distinctive parts of discipleship found in the great commission in Matthew 28. They are, being teachable, being obedient and being in proper relationship with who Jesus i...

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5-Fold Church- Discipleship

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We are continuing our series on the five aspects present in a healthy local church. Today our topic is discipleship....

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5 Fold Church- Preaching

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In our ongoing series on the 5 dynamics of a healthy or centered church, our topic today is preaching....

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5 Fold Church-Worship

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We are continuing to look at the five parameters that the New Testament develops for a healthy vibrant church. Today’s topic is focused on worship....

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5 Fold Church

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We often hear within charismatic circles about the 5 fold giftings of church leadership, but we don’t hear much about the 5 fold aspects of the church itself....

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The True Meaning of Christmas

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If any of you are familiar with the Vegietales cartoon series, you may recall that in one of their Christmas episodes they discovered facetiously that the true meaning of Christmas is “a Buzz-Saw Louie action figure. No the true meaning of Christmas is 12 Buzz-Saw Louies!”...

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Loving God with your Mind

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It is interesting to me that many people in our culture view the entirety of Christianity from the perspective of raw emotion alone without any engaging of the mind what so ever....

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God’s Divine Nature

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I have been reading thru the New Testament in 60 days as part of my current reading plan. This has been a delightful journey to be reading fairly large blocks of text. Reading familiar passages brings both joy and challenges to my thought processes....

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Our Inheritance

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Concerning the Kingdom of God, our inheritance takes on a very different nature. It is based on more valuable things than just financial gain. It may be difficult to think this way, but the spiritual blessings far outweigh the natural....

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Gospel Renewal

Gospel renewal

Continuing from last week’s post, we are looking at the aspects of Gospel renewal. We have described what it looks like, but have not ventured into the dynamics of how to see it happen....

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You are Loved!

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Recently we have been looking at what it means to be “all in” in the context of a prophetic word spoken over our church. In this installment, I would like to look into the need for gospel renewal. This is in response to God’s love for us all....

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Theological Vision Part 2

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Today we will look further into theological vision and the role that it plays in how we do ministry at the River Center....

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Theological Vision

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I currently am re-reading a book titled Center Church by Dr. Tim Keller. It is a deep and fascinating adventure into how the DNA of the gospel is to be expressed into the local church....

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The Gospel Changes Everything

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The good news of the redemption and grace given to us By God by the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf changes everything about who we are and how we think....

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Deconstruction

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Our current culture is attempting to make strong inroads of post-modern deconstruction of any sort of objective truth being reasonable. The hallmark of this train of thought is the idea that no religious truth claim is any better than any other....

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Brighter than the Sun

Sunset

In these two passages of scripture, we see The Father and Jesus dwelling in pure brilliant and amazingly bright light. In Revelation chapter 1, Jesus is being metaphorically compared to the sun. These comparisons are rooted in the idea that we have no greater visual comparison to the unaided eye....

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Futility Thinking

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For this week’s post, I would like to look at the other side of futile thinking, namely those who do not believe in Christ. This is valuable in our understanding of evangelism. ...

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Fishers of Men Part 4

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We are continuing the journey of a seeker‘s pathway to faith this week. The story goes like this. Okay, I have a friend that is in good trust with me in relationship and is becoming curious about Jesus, what is next?...

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Fishers of Men Part 3

fishing boat

Last week we posted that there were five distinct stages of development listed in the parable of the farmer and the seed. There are also five common elements often in play for people in their journey to faith....

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Follow Me, and I will Make You Fishers of Men. Part 2

fly fishing

In last week’s post we talked about an important part of fishing is simply being out there on the water. This week I would like to drill down deeper into equipping us with an overarching understanding of certain processes that are often in play in the hearts and minds of those whom God is drawing unto himself....

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Follow Me, and I will Make You Fishers of Men.

fly fishing

These profound words of Jesus are recorded in the gospels of Matthew and Mark. In context, this statement was spoken to the disciples Peter and Andrew at the very beginning of their calling....

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Growing in God’s Grace

Growing grace

This picture is interesting to me in the fact that this early church was experiencing growth in their faith in God....

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How Could the Universe Possibly Create Itself?

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It is an important question, particularly for those who do not believe that God exists. Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, has espoused that gravity has the power and creative ability to be the cause of the origin of the universe....

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What about Peace?

Peace

Last week we talked about some of the benefits of being Kingdom people with having the Holy Spirit reside within us. One of the benefits mentioned was having the peace of God in our lives. This week I would like to look further into what this peace actually means....

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Challenge of the Kingdom Part 2

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In the last blog entry, we looked at the foundation of what the Kingdom of God looks like. This week’s entry will further explore in some detail some of the benefits of this Kingdom....

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The Challenge of the Kingdom.

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So here is a question, what did Jesus mean when he said the Kingdom of God is at hand? This question is the title of a chapter in the book The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright. It is a very good question for us today as we grapple with the idea that this kingdom was central to Jesus’ message, but there is difficulty in figuring out what that precisely means...

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Molecular Engineering at its Finest

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I am traveling on vacation this week, so this entry is going to be very short and sweet. I would like you all to watch a short video that amazingly explains how living cells obtain their energy in order to function. ...

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Covenant Theology

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It is a good thing to know that God is the creator and sustainer of both the universe and every living being. It is also good to know that he is the creator and sustainer of covenants with people as well....

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Freedom!

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One of my favorite passages in the Scripture is Romans Chapter 8: 1-8. It reads as follows,...

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An Attitude of Gratitude

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The first thing when I wake up each morning is to make a choice, am I going to be grumpy, feel tired and grouchy? Or am I going to start my day with a heart filled with gratitude for being alive and blessed by God? ...

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What is the Standard of Proof?

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In a court of law, the standard of proof is establishment of evidence in order to conclude that something has occurred “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The standard does not go as far as to say “beyond any possible doubt.” I would contend that this same standard should be held when a person comes to investigate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. ...

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Ambidextrous Faith

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I have recently been reading a book by Phillip Yancey titled Reaching for the Invisible God. In this work, he quotes one of the early church fathers, Gregory of Nyssa stating that “a person’s faith is ambidextrous because he or she should welcome pleasures with the right hand and afflictions with the left, with the understanding that both would serve God’s design for...

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What about Church Membership Part 3

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In this post, I would like to explore some of the benefits of being a member of a local church in a broad perspective....

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What about Church Membership? Part 2

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After last week’s post, I received some interesting comments, so I would like to explore this idea of church membership further....

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What about Eternal Life?

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In last week’s post, we talked about how true meaning and purpose for life can ultimately only be found in being in right relationship with God. Therefore, what are some of the benefits to be found in being in this position?...

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What about Church Membership?

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We have recently had a sermon series in our church about the church. Its purpose and how we are to be in relationship together as members of the body of Christ. This is a bigger deal than most of us realize.Exploring aspects of church membership...

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What about the Parable of the Prodigal Son?

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Strong and Courageous April 20, 2018 The story of the Prodigal son. Over the life of this blog, I have had three goals in mind with the content of the posts. The first goal has been to help Christian believers to have information available to help them to relate to the culture with more of an evangelistic perspective. Goal 2 has been to help seekers overcome some intell...

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If Evil and Suffering Exist, How Could God Exist?

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Strong and Courageous Is it possible for God to exist if there is evil and suffering in the world? 4/13/2018 So the discussion goes like this in the mind of some atheists. Since there is evil and suffering permeating our existence, therefore God does not exist. God is supposed to be both good, and all-powerful, but he cannot be both in the presence of evil. Either he is...

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Could Jesus Rise From the Dead?

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April 6, 2018 Strong and Courageous How could Jesus rise from the dead? Since we have just completed the Easter holiday, I would like to zero in on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and his appearance to many different people living at that time. Many theologians describe the resurrection as the virtual lynchpin of Christian understanding. Without this even...

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Can you Find True Meaning in Life?

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Strong and Courageous March 27, 2018 Meaning and purpose in life. We have been talking recently about aspects of a person's worldview. What is the overarching narrative of how someone lives out his or her philosophical views? Not only in the aspect of theory, but how we actually live out the need for consistency in the laboratory of life itself. Often times, a person w...

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Retraction

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Strong and Courageous March 23, 2018 Retraction I need to make a retraction today about last week's blog post. I usually post this blog on both our church website and on Facebook. So on the Facebook page, I received a comment from a good friend about some of the information that I had posted about how complex single celled organisms are. The comment spoke about other m...

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Is there any such thing as a simple cell?

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Strong and Courageous March 16, 2018 Is there any such thing as a simple cell? One of the main teaching points found in the Darwinian explanation for evolution is that life sprang up from non-living matter as a simple single celled organism. Then as time elapsed, this simple cell morphed in complexity, becoming more and more elaborate until we have complex multicellular...

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How Good is Good Enough?

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Strong and Courageous March 9, 2018 How Good is Good Enough? This is the question of the ages. Am I good enough to make it into heaven when I die? If you were to survey the average person on the street and ask this question, a large majority of the responses would be yes, I am a pretty good person. Well at least I am as good or better than so and so. In other words...

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By Design or Chance?

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Strong and Courageous March 2, 2018 By Design or by Chance? Was our universe the result of design or chance? A very big question this is. It certainly has grand implications on how a person forms their worldview. Following are some quotes from some well respected non-Christian scientists. "As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics a...

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It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature

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Strong and Courageous Jan 4,2018 "It's not nice to fool mother nature." It's a common idea that runs through our culture. But where did the idea that it's not nice to fool mother nature come from? It may have been in existence for a long time, but the phrase became popular in a 1970's T.V. commercial about a brand of margarine that tasted so close to real butter that wh...

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Mockers

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Strong and Courageous Mockers I would like to express opinion on the topic of skepticism. It seems that our society is steeped in the idea that you are a wise person if, and only if you doubt almost everything that you hear or read. Not only should you be skeptical, but you should be sarcastic toward the other person's opinion as well. Our society is abounding with some ...

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House on Fire

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Strong and Courageous 2/23/18 House on Fire. There has been so much energy and dialogue this week about the school shooting that took place in Florida. Facebook has been humming as everyone expresses their ideas for possible solutions to the problems of gun violence. Often times the conversation becomes polar with high-pitched emotion radiating through the discourse. ...

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Predestination Vs. Free Will

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Strong Courageous Feb 16, 2018 Predestination Vs. Free will I had the opportunity to preach the message in church this last Sunday. One of the main points was the issue of God's predestination of those who will follow him and how it relates to humanity's free will. How can it be possible that both attributes be present and in play at the same time? For some people, t...

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True for You, But Not for Me. Part 2

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Strong and courageous Feb 9,2018 In last week's post we laid the groundwork for a post-modernist world view that only embraces relative truth alone, and is not willing to embrace the possibility of objective truth claims being valid. In this installment, I would like to get into a bit more detail concerning these ideas. Part of the reason for thinking that objective tru...

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True for You, But Not for Me

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Strong and Courageous Feb. 2,2018 A Post-modern worldview that has permeated much of our society, has as one of its core beliefs that there is no such thing as objective truth. All truth claims are only relatively true. They also hold tightly to the idea that there isn't any grand overarching metanarrative to the purpose and meaning of life. Rather that life is merely a ...

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It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature Part 2

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Strong Courageous Last week we looked into the definition of nature and found that there is a great gap in explanation both from a philosophical and a spiritual perspective. We also looked at the inconsistency of attempting to paint a personality profile of nature in order to sustain a particular worldview. Now that we have analyzed a naturalistic mindset that may have ...

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Doctor Luke

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Strong and Courageous Dec. 21,2017 Doctor Luke describes an orderly and well researched account of the birth of Jesus Christ from the second gospel narrative in the new testament. The Birth of Jesus Christ 2In those daysa decree went out fromCaesar Augustus that all the world should beregistered.2This was the firstregistration when Quiriniuswas governor of Syria.3And...

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O Come O Come Emmanuel

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Strong and Courageous Dec. ,2017 This is my favorite Christmas song of all time. The words go like this: O come O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel. That morns in lonely exile here. Until the son of God appears. Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel. I love it that this song captures the very pinnacle of human history into a few short ...

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Miracles

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Strong and Courageous Dec. 8,2017 I have been reading and interesting book titled Miracles by C.S. Lewis. Lewis is a very famous author from the early to mid-20th century. He penned The Chronicles of Narnia series, and also wrote many other books defending the Christian Faith. In the first few chapters of his miracles book. Lewis lays out some poignant ideas about m...

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Secrets of the Universe

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Strong and Courageous Dec. 1,2017 I watched an interesting show on T.V. last night, titled Secrets of the Universe. In this episode they were talking about being on a quest to discover extraterrestrial life. This particular episode was focused on increasing our ability to see planetary systems associated with stars. The idea is that most stars are bound to have a "sol...

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Gravity

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Strong and Courageous: 11/21/17 Gravity is truly amazingly complex. There are many aspects of gravity that our minds still do not comprehend. But does gravity have the ability to actually create the universe? Stephen Hawking thinks so. He may very well be one of the smartest men on the planet, however concerning this particular aspect, he seems most illogical. It is v...

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T.O.E (The Theory of Everything)

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Strong and Courageous Nov. 17, 2017 T.O.E. (the Theory Of Everything) Many folks in our culture hold tightly to the notion that there will be someone in the future who will be able to explain everything in our universe in one super elegant theory much akin to Einstein's theory of relativity. Recently there was a movie chronicling the life of Stephen Hawking titled the...

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Magnets

Strong Courageous Nov 10,2017 Magnets I recall as a young boy about 6 or 7 years old of discovery of magnets. I was so amazed at the ability to attract metal objects; it was quite magical to my young mind. I also recall the discovery of having 2 separate magnets and how fun it was to have them "clank" together by the attraction of a magnetic field. It was also very c...

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What Darwin didn't Know

Strong Courageous Oct. 27,2017 What Darwin Didn't Know At our last meeting at the strong and courageous conference, we had an interesting discussion about how complex all forms of life are, even down to a single cell organism. Back in Darwin's day they didn't have the technology to be able to see the amazing Nano mechanisms at work inside of the cell. They knew that ...

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Parable of the Sower

Strong and courageous Blog Oct. 20,2017 Parable of the Sower We had an interesting conversation in one of our community groups this week. The discussion was about us remembering times when you felt that the Holy Spirit was giving you insight into a situation or giving you specific direction. I recalled a time when I was meeting up for coffee with an international stude...

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Does Belief in God Sabotage Science?

Strong Courageous Blog Oct 15,2017 Does belief in God ruin science? This question certainly represents a plausibility structure that is deeply ingrained into our culture. Many people would answer yes to this question. I do not agree with them, and I would like to explain why in this post. One of the main reasons that people would answer yes to the question is the th...

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Earth Wind & Fire

Earth Wind and Fire October 6th 2017 Strong and Courageous Over the past weeks we have been talking about how finely tuned the universe is in order for life to exist. I would like to do some further digging into how there are so many different necessary parameters that are required for you and I to be sucking oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. I have titled this blo...

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Learning to Discover Design Part 3

Learning to Discover Design Part 3 Sept. 26 2017 We have been looking at multiple pieces of evidence that display the marvelous and intricate workings of the creator of the cosmos. Design characteristics are present in every area of human discovery. However, many skeptics will admonish us that Intelligent Design is not Scientific in nature, therefore the entire discip...

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Learning to Discover Design Part 2

Learning how to Discover Design Part 2 Sept 22,2017 In last week's entry we looked at the process of developing a mindset that is willing to look at the potential for design in the things that we see around us, rather than attributing everything as the product of chance, natural selection or necessity. Once you become willing to consider this, you will see a wide vista...

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Learning how to Discover Design

Strong and Courageous Blog Sept.15,2017 Learning how to Discover Design. In our current postmodern culture there is a strong movement away from looking at things with the idea that they are designed. Particularly when thinking about origins of life or about how our natural environment came to be as we now see it. Students will study at great lengths, the vast complexity...

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Holy Smoke

Holy Smoke Strong and Courageous blog Sept 8,2017 With our atmosphere recently inundated with smoke from all of the wildfires around the state, it has created an environment of melancholy that seems difficult to shake off. They sky has lost its transparency and both the Sun and Moon have an eerie glow of red. An apocalypse in the making? ...Nah! Even though times a...

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"Goo" Man

Strong Courageous Blog Post 2 August 11,2017 Goo Man? Then God said, "Let usmakemaninourimage, afterourlikeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Gen. 1:26 (ESV) One of the main points that we talked about at t...

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Our Faith is Not Blind

Strong and Courageous September 1, 2017 Our Faith is not Blind There are 2 different kinds of revelation concerning the nature and character of God. General revelation focuses on aspects of God 's creative aspects, of Him being the creator of the Universe and all that is contained within it. Special revelation is different in that it deals particularly with the writin...

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God in the Gaps

Strong and Courageous Blog Post 3August 18, 2017"God in the Gaps" For what can beknown about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.For although they knew G...

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Strong and Courageous

Strong and Courageous Blog Post 1 By Bob Elliott August 3, 2017 I have been asked to start a Blog as a follow up to our Strong and Courageous conference that we had here at the church earlier this summer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to share ideas for extending the kingdom of God on an ongoing basis here on our church website. I will plan on posting once per ...

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