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Early on that Sunday morning the women who came to Jesus’ tomb intended to finish the burial preparations, but instead they found an empty tomb. An angel told them, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.” (Matt. 28:5-6) Even though Jesus told them he would die and rise again, they didn’t believe it. It was only when they saw their risen Lord and experienced his presence that they believed. For nearly 2,000 years believers have affirmed that Jesus Christ has broken the power of sin and death. He is alive, and he is present in our midst to transform, sustain, and heal. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25). May God bless your week. Diane Cooke, Pastor, Presbyterian Churches, Willow Springs and Mtn. View. more
John 14:19 A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. more
Easter or Resurrection Sunday, whichever you prefer, is upon us and is a time where many people reflect on the person of Jesus Christ; His suffering, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. more
In the sprawling digital landscape where sermons live beyond the stained glass and wooden pews, I've found a peculiar kind of sanctuary. My spiritual nourishment comes not from a singular source but a curated playlist of preachers whose voices fill the room as I weave through the week's tasks. This isn't about replacing traditional worship or sidestepping the communal aspect of churchgoing; it's about enriching my faith journey with diverse perspectives that I might not find within the four walls of a single church. more
For more than 1,000 years, astronomers believed stars and planets re-volved around the earth. They observed how stars moved smoothly in their or-bits while planets did not. Planets’ orbits wobbled, their speed varied, and sometimes even seemed to reverse directions. To explain facts that seemed to defy logic, scientists developed increasingly complex theories. more
Hosea 2:14 But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. more
In the Upper Room, Jesus spoke with his closest friends for the last time. Soon Judas would betray him, he would be arrested, tried, and crucified. On that last night Jesus surely tried to share the most important things with them. What was first? He washed their feet. He did the job of the humblest servant, and then he said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you more
The topic of law versus grace is one that is debated in the Christian world. Most people ascribe to the theological view of Sola Fide, which means “Faith Alone”. This view is part of Soteriology, or the study of the process of salvation in the Christian faith. more
Columnist Bill Crowder wrote in a recent Our Daily Bread devotional that according to the Daily Mirror, a British newspaper, the average person makes an astonishing 773,618 decisions over a lifetime. The Mirror suggests people eventually “regret 143,262 of them.” Crowder commented, “I have no idea how the paper arrived at these numbers, but it’s clear that we face countless decisions throughout our lifetime.” more
Luke 2:34-35 This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. more
In rural America, the intertwining of Christian faith with patriotism often paints a picture of national identity being synonymous with spiritual salvation. This narrative, deeply ingrained in certain communities, champions the idea that being a "good American" or embodying the archetype of the "good 'ole boy" equates to Christian virtue and assurance of salvation. Embedded within this conflation is the belief that political allegiance, particularly to candidates seen as embodying Christian values, somehow brings one closer to divine favor. However, this blending of spiritual and national identities raises profound theological questions and concerns, diverging significantly from the core teachings of Christianity that underline the universal nature of Christ's message and the path to salvation. more
A ransom is the price paid for the release of a captive. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He said that after he had told his disciples that he would suffer and die. What did he mean? He meant that his death would be voluntary. His life would not be taken from him, but instead he would give up his life as a ransom. Jesus would give his life to accomplish our release. Captive to sin, we cannot free ourselves, and on the cross, Jesus paid the price for us all. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We are forgiven, redeemed, saved… because Jesus gave his life as a ransom for us. May God bless your week! Diane Cooke, Pastor, Presbyterian Churches, Willow Springs and Mtn. View. more
The South Central Walk Worthy Women’s Conference, a hallmark of spiritual growth and community, is set to grace the beautiful city of Mountain View, Missouri. This distinguished inter-denominational event invites women from all walks of life to come together for a time of profound teaching, worship, and fellowship. Scheduled for April 26-27, 2024, at the First Baptist Church, the conference promises an enriching experience that nurtures the soul and strengthens the faith. more
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 He (the ungodly leader) will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. more
Every morning we choose clothes for the day, and we ask ourselves, “What tasks do I need to do today? What will the weather be like? How should I dress today?” As Christians, we are invited to put on a particular set of clothes each day. They are qualities, virtues, which characterize us as followers of Jesus Christ. In Colossians 3:12 we read, “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, more
In an era marked by rapid social change and deepening divides, the role of the Christian Church within public discourse on contemporary social issues is a subject of significant contemplation and controversy. This exploration seeks to untangle the complex web of beliefs, responsibilities, and implications surrounding the church's involvement in societal debates. By delving into biblical references and examining the diverse perspectives within Christianity, we aim to offer a nuanced perspective that encourages readers to reflect on the place of spiritual institutions in shaping the moral and ethical landscape of our times. more
The internet has become a breeding ground for various interpretations and misinterpretations of texts, historical events, and cultural references. A particularly intriguing example of this phenomenon is the recent interpretation of Ecclesiastes 10:2 from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, which has been co-opted by some to comment on modern-day American politics. This interpretation suggests that the scripture implicitly endorses the political "Right" (typically associated with Republicans) as wise and denigrates the "Left" (often associated with Democrats) as fools. This analysis will delve into the absurdity of this interpretation, exploring its historical inaccuracies, biblical misreadings, and the broader implications of using sacred texts to serve contemporary political agendas. more
If you are like me, you are getting used to using self-check-out lines when you shop. Stores which hire fewer cashiers force customers who want to finish their shopping quickly to use self-check registers. This move toward greater automa-tion makes sense for retailers as it reduces the cost of doing business since they have fewer workers to pay. more
Numbers 21:25 There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna! more
The word humility appears many times in the Old and New Testaments. Humility is freedom from pride or arrogance. It is not humiliation or forgetting your worth. Pastor and writer Tim Keller said that humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less often. It is putting yourself in proper relation to God, that is, giving God the glory and honor, not yourself. “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Jesus is the best example we have of someone who was humble before God. As Christians, we seek to follow his example. In Colossians 3:12 the Apostle Paul encourages us to put on the virtues of Christ: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” May God bless your week! Diane Cooke, Pastor, Presbyterian Churches, Willow Springs and Mtn. View. more
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