From Us To You

"To boldly go where no man has gone before." You probably recognize that phrase from Star Trek, first aired in 1966, and then in many iterations through the years. That phrase crossed my mind last month as we once again watched NASA land a rover on Mars. The successful landing reignited the conversation of putting a man on Mars. It's certainly a place where no man has gone before, especially considering the 6 months it takes to get there, even in a rocket ship!
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As many of you know, I recently went away to Idaho for a Men of Radio retreat. For the past two years, the man who hosts this Christian retreat has been encouraging me to go, and Heather has as well. However, I have hesitated... partly because of the word retreat!
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Early warning signs. How often do we see them and not pay attention? It may be something simple like "REDUCE SPEED AHEAD" or "HIDDEN DRIVEWAY." In my case, I have been known to ignore them all together. I have driven past more than one "ROAD CLOSED" sign, only to find out the road really is closed!
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Well, it's (finally!) come time to close the books on 2020. Some of you may be looking at the year 2021 with a sense of relief, while others may be wondering how it can be any different. Not to be discouraging, but the likelihood of...
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As I write this, the last of the leaves are clinging to the trees and the final votes have not yet been cast in the presidential election. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we will know who it is that will be guiding our country through the next four years.
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Choices. We like having them, but sometimes the decisions that go with them are not easy to make. Paper or plastic? Beef or fish? Vacation or staycation? Red or blue? Sometimes our choices have very little consequence, but others can impact our lives for a long time.
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Virtual meetings, virtual work, virtual church, virtual concerts, planning for virtual schooling, and last weekend, I attended a virtual wedding! I'm sure by now most of us thought we would be virtually done with all of this! While that may not seem like the case, every day brings us one step closer to getting back to normal.
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I recently received a call from a friend of mine concerned about the issues of the days we are living in... and the church's response. These are indeed challenging (although by no means unprecedented) times. Ecclesiastes 1:9 is just as true now as it was when it was written thousands of years ago "...There is nothing new under the sun." The problems are the same–the only thing that has changed is the speed and distance at which we can communicate, which makes them seem bigger and more prevalent.  
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"What in the world is going on?" Racism, riots, and 'rona dominate the headlines, and for many it feels like the world is falling apart. Our hope is not in this world, however–it is found in the Lord. In 2 Timothy 3:13, Paul tells Timothy "evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."
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Can I ask for a favor? Will you pray for your pastor today? “Of course,” you say! “Why?” Because, believe it or not, he is facing one of the most difficult decisions of his ministry right now. The pressure is on to get it right. 
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