SUBMISSION & THE KISS OF LOVE

How Following Leadership Fuels the Kiss of Love When you blog as a pastor you never know. Does anyone read what you write? I was both blessed and bothered recently by a report. Someone told me they were glad I have been writing lately on the New Testament exhortation to greet one another with a holy kiss (2 Cor. 13:12). Great. Score one for this pastor/blogger. Somebody actually reads these posts. My elation was soon tempered. "We think your church has become unloving." Ouch. So much for self-congratulation. Guess I need to keep hammering away at this ...

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THE GOAL OF THE KISS OF LOVE

How Aiming for Restoration Fuels the Kiss of Love Does your church have goals? The apostle Paul prescribed an important peacemaking one for the church at Corinth in 2 Cor. 13:11. Aim for restoration. Recently I've been writing about the kiss of love (1 Pet. 5:14) as a gospel grace for guarding unity in the church. In the first post I explained how the gospel shapes our community with oneness when we engage one another intentionally by greeting with the holy kiss of love. In the second post I emphasized how rejoicing in the Lord is the first of four things Paul ...

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JOY & THE KISS OF LOVE

How Rejoicing in God Fuels Greeting with Love I married a hugger. Jan loves to greet folks she knows with a warm embrace. She's just about the best example I know of someone who takes seriously the Bible's command to greet one another with a holy kiss (2 Cor. 13:12). She's turned me into more of a hugger! In my last post I wrote about the kiss of love (1 Pet. 5:14) as a gospel grace for guarding unity in the church. The gospel shapes our community with oneness when we engage one another intentionally by greeting with the holy kiss of love. The way I see ...

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WHEN A KISS ISN’T JUST A KISS

How Greeting with a Holy Kiss Promotes Unity in the Church I love how the apostle Paul closes out his second letter to the Corinthians. "Greet one another with a holy kiss" (2 Cor. 13:12). My aim in this post and others to follow is to show how taking this command seriously can serve to guard oneness in your church. What is a holy kiss? The adjective tips us off that he means nothing sensual at all. Yet it still involves physical contact. This gesture promotes spiritual purposes, not amorous ones. In the ancient world, among the Jews and other cultures, even in ...

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CHURCH CLOSINGS FOR HURRICANE IRMA

It seems quite clear now that our region will experience tropical storm weather conditions throughout the day this Sunday. Prudence dictates calling the ball at this point. There will be no meetings held at OGC this Sunday, 9/10. Additionally the church office will be closed on Monday for sure, perhaps longer depending upon the state of things following the storm. Updates will be posted as made possible by the availability of necessary utilities. Needless to say, be in prayer for the citizens of our state and beyond. A call has gone out from CRU requesting any ...

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HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE

You may well be wondering what we intend to do about Sunday worship and classes this week in light of the pending threat of Hurricane Irma. We've had considerable internal discussion among our leadership team as well as conversation with other local churches. This storm presents a number of challenging factors and variables that make wisdom difficult to ascertain. At this point we are leaning heavily toward canceling meetings this Sunday. Our stance stems from the following considerations: 1. Tropical Storm Force Winds or Greater - As of 11 am this morning the ...

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ROBOJAW 3 REPORT

Update on My Most Recent Jaw Reconstruction Procedure Last Thursday, August 10, I underwent the third in a series of surgeries to rebuild my right-side mandible. Radiation treatment in 2005 eventually undermined the integrity of that bone. I suffered a pathological fracture as a result in late 2015. Tongue cancer was painful. A broken jaw was excruciating. Worse than that, one can't chew anything. Something had to be done. Fortunately Dr. Robert Marks, an oral surgeon in Miami, knew just what to do for me. He is one of a kind. I've complained about having to ...

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DIFFERENT DAYS & ASSIGNMENTS

How Ecclesiastes 7:14 Informs Choices in Plenty & Want In recent years I have returned to this text time and again: In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him. Adversity has characterized the better part of my last three years. Great loss, grief, physical sufferings and more have visited my household. The wisdom writer calls for different responses for different days. Adversity necessitates reflection. Consider is the assignme...

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PEACEMAKING & “ALTAR BUILDING”

Marks of a God-Centered Lifestyle Essential for Peacemaking Excellence I posted recently on one of my favorite Bible peacemaking passages--Gen. 13. I failed to mention a critical component in the text--Abram's pattern of altar building. There is  a similarity between how the chapter begins and ends. In this is an insight—perhaps a secret—which explains why Abram could respond the way he did in the conflict with his nephew. Genesis 12:10-20 recounts how Abram barely escaped a near disastrous entanglement with Pharaoh in Egypt. That background sets the stage ...

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THREE ARE BETTER THAN ONE

How God Comforts Abundantly in Loss through the Grief of Others No worries. I'm not misquoting the sacred text in Ecc. 4:9-12. 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Two are better than one. No doubt ...

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