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Our prayer for you is that God  anoints you with fresh oil and His precious Spirit will keep and comfort you through hard and troubled times. May He encourage you to communicate to others the  hope that He has given you through his word to overcome all that is set before you.

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Verse of the Day

Scripture and Neuroscience Agree: It Helps to Lament in Community

Through song, liturgy, and communion, the body of Christ inhabits the suffering experienced by its weakest members.

Recently, I awoke suddenly around 1:45am in a tangle of sheets, pillows, and sweat, my body fitfully grasping for peace in the presence of pain. I had just made a medication shift the day before, and after over a decade of living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, I knew my joints were demanding attention and deserving of care.

When one part of the body is inflamed, the body needs pathways to register and sense pain in order to facilitate healing. As I rubbed my swollen, aching hands against each other to quell their raging fire, I remembered Philip Yancey’s words from a recent interview, “A healthy body is not one that feels no pain. A healthy body is one that attends to the pain of its weakest part.”

All too often in our bodies, and in the body of Christ, we’d rather pretend health is the absence of pain rather than the willing care of it. And if Yancey is right, when we order our lives and our worship services around overcoming pain rather than attending to it, we block the pathways that mediate our healing. When the church does not make space for lament, the church is not whole.

Last month a reader on Instagram sent me a long message detailing how her family’s pain felt unwelcome in her church. Her daughter had just been hospitalized due to persistent, intense suicidal thoughts, and that Sunday the sermon was about conquering anxiety with truth. While the pastor enthusiastically bubbled over the victory we can have in Christ, she deflated in the defeat of not hearing the complexity of her daughter’s pain acknowledged. “There was no mention that sometimes depression is clinical,” she wrote. “The only answer he offered was to pray more.”

My reader was exposing a common ...

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One-on-One with Stephen Witmer on ‘A Big Gospel in Small Places’

My conversation with Stephen Witmer in the importance of serving in small town places.

Ed: Why did you write A Big Gospel in Small Places?

Stephen: I wrote this book because I believe the gospel is really big in terms of its importance, power, effects, and centrality, and because I’m very eager for that big gospel to have its full impact in small places.

By small places, I mean communities that are lacking in cultural and economic influence, small towns and rural areas (and perhaps also some communities with larger populations) that are mostly forgotten and unknown.

I’ve pastored for more than a decade in a small New England town, and this book is the overflow of my own joyful, painful, hopeful small-town ministry. At times, I’ve wrestled, struggled, and searched for answers, and I’m recording here some of the things I’ve discovered which will, I pray, be helpful for others.

Ed: Who did you write this book for?

Stephen: I’m writing for the many thousands of small town/rural laypeople and pastors around the world who are ministering for Christ, and who often feel as isolated, forgotten, and unvalued as the communities in which they minister.

They sometimes wonder whether their ministries even matter. I’m seeking to answer with a strong ‘Yes!’ – not based on my own wisdom, but on the Bible. The gospel is our clearest window into the character of God, and the gospel shows us that God often works in small ways, on a slow schedule, with lavish, inordinate, ‘unstrategic’ love.

Therefore, the gospel demonstrates that small is probably better than we think, slow is often wiser than we think, and strategic isn’t always what we think. In other words, the gospel makes room for small town ministry!

I’m also writing for those who are considering ...

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Nov
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November 21
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
Westside
Nov
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November 22
Friday 7:30 PM
Nov
28
November 28
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
Westside
Nov
29
November 29
Friday 7:30 PM
Dec
05
December 05
Thursday 7:00 PM
The association of Bible study and prayer is an important one. Christians do not merely study the Bible as an academic disciple, but with the desire to know God better. Therefore, they frequently pray that God will give them understanding of the passage being studied.
Westside
US, Allies Split Over Fate of IS Foreign Fighters

The United States and other members of the coalition to defeat the Islamic State failed to reach consensus on what to do with captured foreign fighters, one of several issues threatening to reverse gains made against the terror group in Syria and Iraq.

The post US, Allies Split Over Fate of IS Foreign Fighters appeared first on Worthy Christian News.

Ex-IAEA Official: Iran’s Apparent Explanation for Uranium at Tehran Site is Dubious

A former IAEA official says diplomats working with the U.N. nuclear agency do not believe Iran’s apparent explanation for the presence of manmade uranium particles at a site in southern Tehran.

The post Ex-IAEA Official: Iran’s Apparent Explanation for Uranium at Tehran Site is Dubious appeared first on Worthy Christian News.