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God of the valleys

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There’s a lie running around in Christian circles that followers of Jesus should never be discouraged or depressed. Sometimes we’re even told to put on a happy face for the sake of the non-believers around us. These are interesting—but not Biblical—thoughts. The idea that Christians can’t have times in the valleys, times of despair, does not square with God’s plain teaching in the Bible. The Psalm we’ll study this Sunday will correct these attitudes for us. Please join us in person on Sunday at 9:30 for English and 11 for Chinese to hear more! If you can’t make it in person, you […]

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A good dose of Christmas, (and this week’s sermon outline)

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Good news! We only have one month left in 2020! It has been some kind of year. But I’m glad that we’re nearing the end. It seems to me like we all need a good dose of Christmas. Not just extra food, or presents, or lots of parties. It looks like we can’t do many of those things anyway. What we need is a fresh dose of the deeper truth behind all the trappings. We need the hope, joy, freedom, and peace that only the Christ of Christmas can bring.  That’s the plan that we’ll pursue during four sermons over […]

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From hope deferred to hope directed

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Have you ever hoped for something? I mean really hoped that it would happen. Hoped that you would get THAT job or THAT promotion. Or you hoped that you would get into THAT school. Maybe you hoped to be in a relationship with THAT person. Or any person. You hoped. Maybe even pleaded with God. Yet it didn’t work out the way you hoped.  Probably all of us have experienced this kind of disappointed hope at some point in our lives. It hurts, doesn’t it? Proverbs 13:12 tells us that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” That’s a great way to describe […]

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But it might be a train

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“I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it might be a train!” How many of y’all have ever felt this way? How many of y’all are feeling this way about life in 2020 right now?  It could be very easy to assume that nothing is going to change. That “normal” will never be the same again. And when we start thinking this way, it becomes very easy to lose hope! But we can’t. We can’t live without hope.  Even in the face of grief or suffering or sickness or hardship. Even in the face of […]

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The light at the end of the tunnel

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When we lived in China, we rode lots of trains. Fast trains. Slow trains. Clean trains. And dirty trains. And on almost every train trip we ever took, at some point along the way we had to go through at least one tunnel. Some tunnels seemed to go on forever. It was easy to wonder, “Are we ever going to come out of this tunnel?” Another aspect of my life in China involved frequent written or verbal progress reports to my leaders. These reports were sometimes useful, but often monotonous. But during some seasons of our time in China we […]

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Typhoons, tyrants, and trust

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Tomorrow hurricane Florence is supposed to hit the east coast. It looks like it’s going to be a big one. Several others have recently hit Hawaii and parts of Asia. Political typhoons are also wrecking havoc on the body of Christ and in societies around the world. Our brothers and sisters in Mainland China are facing new yet familiar challenges to living out their faith. Believers in other countries face even worse, as powerful people abuse their power in order to maintain the illusion of control. So much is outside of our control. Many like to think that we humans […]

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“If you can make it through ________, you’re going to make it!”

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So we’re still relatively new here to Tucson. When we arrived last December the weather was beautiful, and in the midst of our transition it was a gift from God. As spring sprung and the temperatures starting rising, many of y’all began reminding us that “It’s not hot yet.” You were right. Many of you also said, “If you can make it through June you’ll be ok!” As June came and went many others of you said, “Whoever told you that was wrong. Monsoon season makes everything hot and sticky. Hang in there. It’ll be better in September.” So here […]