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Sifting Sand and Our Future Hope

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Most of my childhood memories involve the beach. I used to build sandcastles, look for seashells, and dig through the sand looking for treasures, only to find what most often turned out to be just small sticks, bottle caps, and other debris. I once heard someone describe how difficult times are like the sifting of sand. It's as if God digs deep into our hearts, revealing ...

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Galatians 1:11-24 Study Guide

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Download a PDF of the full Study Guide Galatians 1:11-24 11ForI would have you know, brothers, thatthe gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. 12For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received itthrough arevelation of Jesus Christ.13For you have heard ofmy former life in Judaism, howI persecuted the church of God violently and tri...

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Togetherness in the Age of Quarantine

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I live by myself. It can be difficult sometimes to not feel lonely or outright believe I am alone, especially in a quarantined world. The most guaranteed, in-person human interaction I have is my weekly trip to the grocery store. Seeing my neighbors, particularly those that are a part of the church, has been a big encouragement to me. But honestly, sometimes this feels a b...

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The Loss of Shared Meals

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While there are many things Katherine and I miss about gathering with others, the most profound loss that we have felt is the loss of shared meals. It is no small point that in Isaiah 58:1-14, inviting the needy into our homes and sharing food with them is listed among the acceptable fasts to the Lord. There is something about sitting down to a meal with someone that creat...

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God Is Faithful and Just

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Revealing Our Hearts There is one thing God has continually been teaching me over the last few weeks, and it is this: I am a far worse sinner than I could have ever imagined, and that God is far more gracious than I believed Him to be. There is something about changing our daily rhythms that reveals what is in our hearts. As a creature of habit, I have felt off and disori...

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COVID-19 From a Physician's Perspective

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A couple of weeks ago, Pastor Steve Heron asked me to write a note describing what is happening with the COVID-19 outbreak from a physician's perspective. For those that do not know me, my name is Noemi Pagan, MD, and I am an outpatient family medicine physician here in town. The following is meant to give you a few ways to pray for health care professionals and not meant ...

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A Miracle in the Intimacy

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Is it just me or is this starting to feel old? Life today looks so different from what it looked like a month ago. Many of us may feel trapped in our homes, feeling unproductive, confused, and hungry for face-to-face community. And we may find it challenging in this new season to know how to love and serve God and others. In the story of Elisah and the widow's oil (2 King...

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Technology Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

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As we enter into another week of social distancing and adjusting to a new normal, I wanted to write to you all and share some personal reflections. With isolation measures firmly in place, we all are trying new ways to connect with one another and maintain a sense of consistency with those we are close to. Maybe you're using zoom calls for the first time like I am or tryi...

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The Neighborhood Prayer Challenge

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The Church Mobilized When we emerge from this time of quarantine, I wonder what the new normal will look like for us.Many questions come to mind as we think about what our new rhythm of life will look like post-contagion, and as we reboot our jobs or job searches, investment gains and losses, health protocols, and hygiene behaviors, etc. One thing is for sure, a major res...

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Controlling The Chaos

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I've always thought that I perform pretty well under pressure. In fact, during times of trial in the lives of my friends and family, I find myself drawn to the chaos, hoping to make myself useful. This is part of how God made me, but underneath an honorable desire, I am also discovering there is a subtle but powerful temptation. This week, I have read many reflections fro...

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How Do We Worship Online At Home?

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Some Thoughts on How to Worship At Home As we look toward another Sunday of meeting in our homes, we wanted to share a few thoughts on how we can best do this together: Pick a time. The worship guide and pre-recorded sermon video will always be posted online by 8 am on Sunday morning. So pick a time and make that your consistent "service time" each week for as long as ...

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Hope in Hardship: How To Respond Courageously

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"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation,or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,'For your sake we are being killed all the day long;we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.'No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."- Romans 8:35-37 A Time of Distress Does ...

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Sovereign Over Every Season

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A Conversation with My Daughters Me: "Girls, what do you think about this whole Coronavirus situation that is going on all over the world?" Greta: (4 years old) "Well, I miss preschool but really only the playground. Maybe I can go back to school when everyone's fevers, coughs, and stitches feel better." Lola: (7 years old) "I miss my teacher and my friends. And I am re...

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Hard Is Not Bad, But Hard Is Still Hard

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To put it in simplistic terms, this past week has been hard. It has been hard not connecting with my community in person. It has been hard giving up some means of comfort due to stores and restaurants being closed. It has been hard hearing from friends about how this crisis is going to destroy them financially. And for a fast-moving, high output person like me, it has been...

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