When God Takes a Faithful Servant Suddenly and Unexpectedly

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Pastor Jim Barrick (Feb. 9, 1948 – Aug. 11, 2017)

As my wife and I were boarding our flight from Gatwick Airport in London my cell phone buzzed. It was not a good time to answer it and I knew if it were important, the call would be repeated when we landed in California. Sure enough, as soon as our plane touched down in Los Angeles I turned on my phone and the call came immediately. The news rocked me—my brother Jim had died at home in his sleep—suddenly and unexpectedly. Memories flooded my mind as I expressed to his wife my sorrow for his family.… Continue reading

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Hi-def Leadership in a Hi-def World: Attributes of Godly Leaders

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IMG_0003High-definition (or, Hi-def, or HD) refers to increased visual resolution as compared to the commonly used standard of resolution. This involves twice as many scan lines per frame, a proportionally sharper image, and a wide-screen format. In other words, this technology produces a sharper, clearer image. Therefore, a Hi-def view of Christian leadership should present a clearer understanding of what leadership involves. As an aid to examining the characteristics of Christian leadership, I have outlined my thoughts by means of “HI-DEF” as an acronym:

  • Humility
  • Integrity
  • Discipline
  • Excellence
  • Faith

Humility

As Andrew Murray pointed out in Humility and Absolute Surrender,[1] neither failures nor sin can produce humility.… Continue reading

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How You Can(‘t) Be Born Again

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Regeneration is the act of God whereby he completely he changes the will of man such that he will hear, believe, and obey the word of God, beginning with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a spiritual change in the heart of man that makes him fundamentally and permanently different than he has ever been in his orientation towards God. It is part of God’s work in salvation, as both a benefit and a requirement of a citizen of the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Regeneration is described in Scripture by various terms. The first is the word itself, regeneration, which is used to describe a future time in which God will completely transform the earth and establish his Messianic Kingdom in direct earthly rule by Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:28).… Continue reading

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Trump, Trust, and True Change

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Well, it’s over. Donald Trump has all but wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination, and the “conservative Christian” candidates are gone. But at least we can trust that God is sovereign!

… that is, unless someone starts a third party run. Or a pro-life Libertarian gets nominated… Or next election when someone better might have a chance to get elected, or some other circumstance might change…

…but if not, maybe God can become sovereign again!

It’s easy for us to tell ourselves that “God is sovereign” when we run out of other options. But the way we think, talk, and act when things don’t look so gloomy says something about how much we really believe in his sovereign goodness at all times – including when we’re most prone to say it.… Continue reading

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