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Post Category: Heart Prep for Sunday

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Heart Prep for Sunday, July 14th

One of our children has not seen many of the Marvel movies, so her siblings and I are guiding her through the movies. The big question (which is also the question for those wanting to catch up on the Star Wars films) is: do you watch them by release date or by chronological order? We've decided to go chronologically, so we've started with the first Captain America movie se...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, July 7th

Have you ever had to make a hard decision, not knowing how it would turn out? You weigh all the pros and cons, get counsel from others, try to figure out what the result will look like, and then make the decision. And something goes horribly wrong. Usually, it's due to what we call "unintended consequences." After you made the decision, something happened that you either d...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 30th

This Sunday we're continuing our series in Jeremiah. But the scene shifts a little bit from what we're used to. For 10 months, we've been hearing about the impending judgment by God of the sinful people of Judah. But now, the judgment has happened. We went over that last week in chapter 39. This week we're looking at the aftermath of the judgment and exile in chapters 40-4...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 16th

Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do? Sooner or later, most of us have to endure such an accusation and it can really hurt. It can also make us angry, bitter, resentful, and scared. You try to explain, and the other person doesn't seem to care. Why? Usually because they're angry, bitter, resentful, and scared too (although sometimes they're just mean, but...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 9th

Have you ever been accused of burning a Bible? Probably not (at least, I hope not). And yet, it's happening today in many parts of the world. I know that seems hard to believe in this day and age, but sadly, it's getting worse, not better. In reality, it's not a new thing at all, the history of the Bible is filled with accounts of them getting burned. I don't know when opp...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 2nd

Well, this week we'll be looking at "The Prophet's Promise Keepers" from Jeremiah 34-35. If you remember, the exile is almost upon them, the enemy is camped at the door, everything looks hopeless, and so now God tells Jeremiah that it's time to teach the people about the importance of keeping the promises they've made before Him. But it's not just a passage about making pr...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, May 26th

I can't wait to hang out with you all this Friday night in downtown Leesburg at the Trinity House Caf! It will be a great night of singing old and new worship songs, and hopefully people walking by will be drawn in. We've participated in a number of different outreach events this Spring - flyer invitations to Easter, hospitality for our neighbors, literature table at a com...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, May 19th

Well, this week we have the privilege of hearing from Rev. Chris Hutchinson, Pastor of Grace Covenant PCAin Blacksburg, Virginia. Over the years, we've had a number of folks who've passed through his church and have blessed ours. You may recognize Chris as he's visited our church every year for about a decade now. Chris will be speaking at our Officer Retreat this weekend ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, May 12th

Well, this week we'll be looking at "The Prophet's Land Deal" from Jeremiah 32. The exile is almost upon them, the enemy is camped at the door, everything looks hopeless, and so God tells Jeremiah that he should go buy a plot of land. At first glance, the timing is so bad it just may be the worst land deal in the Bible. It's akin to buying oceanfront property in Arizona (t...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, May 5th

Well, this week we have the special treat of hearing from Ron Clifton, who will be preaching on "The Prophet's New Covenant" from Jeremiah 31:31-40. As you may know, Ron has been going through Officer Training for the last few months which consists of weekly classes and a heavy reading load. Part of the training process for a Ruling Elder is giving the Session an opportuni...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, April 28th

I hope you had a wonderful holy week and Easter Sunday! We enjoyed the Good Friday service with Ketoctin Covenant OPC (the transcript from the sermon is on our website), the Sunrise Service (thanks to Tom Gardner, Frank Pugh, and Jon Thompson for speaking), and our main Easter service. Thank you also to Ken Christian Colley and my daughters for passing out flyers all o...

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Heart Prep for Easter Sunday, April 21st

Well, this week it's Easter Sunday so we're going to take a break from Jeremiah to talk about the "So What?" of Easter. There are a lot of people in the world today (including many of your neighbors and co-workers) who hear us talk about faith and respond with something to the effect of "I'm glad that works for you but it's not for me. It doesn't have any bearing on my hec...

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Heart Prep for Palm Sunday, April 14th

Well, this week we're going to celebrate Advent in April. Advent is traditionally centered on the Old Testament prophecies concerning a coming Messiah and His establishment of an earthly kingdom. And this Sunday, we have the first of four chapters in the book of Jeremiah (chapter 30) where the Lord gives His people a bunch of promises to look forward to, except He gives th...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, April 7th

Well, this week we have one of the key chapters in the book of Jeremiah (chapter 29) where the Lord tells His people how they are going to live, work, have families, and keep the faith while they're in exiled in Babylon. Of course, this chapter includes one of the most popular verses in the world Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, pl...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, March 31st

This week's passage is Jeremiah 27-28. We're getting into the second half of Jeremiah, and the Lord seems to be hammering home the themes of His sovereignty and our submission. As we've seen in past weeks, our submission isn't really a choice. We will submit to the Lord, regardless of if we want to or not. We will either submit to His refining and sanctifying, or we will s...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, March 24th

It's been a crazy week. That usually happens when I try to do too much stuff in too little time. It's also why this is coming to you so late. Apologies all around. This week we're in Jeremiah 26 and it's a different chapter than any of them we've seen so far. Jeremiah continues to preach, he gets arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced to death, overturned on appeal, and in...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, March 17th

Well, this week we have another passage in Jeremiah (chapters 24-25) where the Lord tells His people who they are, what will happen to them (both good and bad), and why those things are going to happen. Of course, He's told them these kinds of things already. So why say them again? Because now He will present them in a paradoxical (or opposite) sort of way. For those who ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, March 10th

It's March and my son is already home for Spring Break! This semester is going fast. Baseball teams are at spring training, and soon we'll be filling out brackets for March Madness. And Lent isjust starting, which means Easter is only 40 days away! The other thing about March that we've been promoting is Mission:Possible, a challenge to invite an unchurched family in y...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, March 3rd

Well, this week we have another long stretch of Jeremiah (there will be a lot of those over the coming months) where the Lord compares and contrasts the Kings of Judah. Using the prophet Jeremiah, He calls out specific kings and states how they have fallen short of what he expects of a king. And yet the criticisms the Lord levels, although harsh, are surprisingly common. T...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, February 24th

Wow! It's been six weeks since the last sermon I preached. It will be good to be back in the pulpit. You all have been very patient with my preaching absence (some of you have even enjoyed it)! So, first of all, I'm very grateful to Dave Dorst and Frank Wang for filling in and doing such a great job (including our first video sermon!). It was wonderful to hear from Paul Ha...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, February 17th

Between paternity leave and snow days, I feel like I've been away forever. It's great to be back, even though I'm slowly working myself back up to a full schedule. It also feels like so much has happened since I've been gone. I guess that's to be expected when adding a baby to the family dynamic. On that topic, I want to thank all of you for your care and support of my...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, February 10th

You might be wondering why it says "guest preacher" when it's Pastor Dave Dorst from Leesburg preaching to us this Sunday. But it's not me - it's the older, wiser (and even more competitive) Dr. Dave Dorst who pastors Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Leesburg, Florida. I'm really excited that he'll be speaking on the Men's Retreat and then preaching to the whole co...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, February 3rd

I hope you got a lot out of our guest preachers the last two weeks.Paul Hahn from Mission to North Americais a great, dynamic guy who reminded us how to strive to be a flourishing church, and Jegar Chinnavan, the church planter,reminded us that we have, and can share with others, the glory of the one and only God. We'll be back preaching in Jeremiah this S...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, January 27th

Wow what a great Sunday with Paul Hahn. He is one of the most engaging guys in the PCA. I hope you appreciated his presentation during Sunday School and his sermon during worship as much as I did (though it was pretty convicting). I look forward to the discussion we'll have about it at my Community Group this week. If you're not in a Community Group, it's not too late, ju...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, January 20th

First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful snow day last Sunday. If you were able to use the Worship at Home Service we sent out, let us know on Facebook or Realm how that went. It was the first time we've done that, and we'd like to know what you thought. Also, how did you like the video sermon Dave Dorst preached? The links are still online if you didn't get to see it...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, January 13th

"I'm back! I'm back in the saddle again!" the classic rock song plays in my head as I've entered the office or Harper Park this past week. In some ways it feels like I've only been gone for a month, as the old habits and routines have come back quickly. But it other ways, it does feel like I was gone the full 5 months of my sabbatical, and I definitely feel rested, spiritu...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, January 6th

Well, we've finally gotten through the holiday season (though, since The Twelve Days of Christmas doesn't end until Epiphany on January 6th, I'm still listening to Christmas music, so don't judge). The beginning of a new year brings all sorts of questions: Will this be the year I get that promotion? Or maybe it's time for a new job? Will I suffer from the same illness / ad...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, December 30th

We have come to the end of 2018! We've spent our year in 1 Corinthians, James, Jeremiah, and now John. We even fit a topical series on trouble in there somewhere too. Basically, we've spent a lot of time looking at the idolatries of our hearts. But we've also spent a lot of time looking at how the Gospel sets us free from those very idolatries. I hope that our time in ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, December 23rd

Wow! It seems like Advent is just flying by. Didn't we just put the Advent wreath out? These are the days I miss having the kids at home. So many of our family traditions revolved around watching our children and family grow more each year. And we kind of see that in miniature each Advent season in worship. The 1st Sunday we had the preschool class come up, light the wreat...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, December 16th

We're now well into the Advent season. This Sunday will be the 3rd Sunday of Advent, and our reading for the day is The Story of the Angels from Luke 2. And it's a wonderful story, and you probably know it well. If not from the Scriptures, then from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" where Linus gives his famous "The True Meaning of Christmas" speech. If I knew how to embed it in...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, December 9th

Advent is here. This Sunday will be the 2nd Sunday of Advent, and our reading for the day is The Story of the Shepherds from Luke 2. And it's a wonderful story, full of promise and hope. But for many among us, and even some of us, this season seems to lack promise and hope. There's no doubt that many people are struggling with one form of darkness or another in their lives...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, December 2nd

"Celebrating Advent means learning how to wait. . . . Those who learn to wait are uneasy about their way of life, but yet have seen a vision of greatness in the world of the future and are patiently expecting its fulfillment. The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, November 25th

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving. Be sure to take some time to reflect on the ways that the Lord has blessed you this past year. And speaking of blessings, Jeremiah has been a blessing to us. I hope that all of you have been as impacted by it as your pastors have been. What a rich book that dives deep into the heart of idolaters to call them ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, November 18th

We're getting close to entering the holiday season and we've already started getting flooded with gift catalogs at home. And each catalog shows us the latest, greatest, coolest, just-gotta-have-it gift for this season. And it got me to thinking about gifts. Have you ever gotten a gift that seemed like it would be really great at first, but after a little while it's lost it...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, November 11th

Have you ever been surprised by the words or actions of a friend? Here's someone you know well, that you're close to, and all of a sudden, they say something, or do something, that just surprises you. And perhaps you respond with, "Something must be up with them. That's not like them." Or maybe even, "Wow, you thought you knew a guy ... and then they do something like th...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, November 4th

Have you ever suffered through a time of great loss when you felt lost, lonely, or abandoned? Most of us have experienced that at one time or another. And if you haven't yet, sadly, you probably will. Perhaps for you it was the loss of a loved one, an unexpected change in job, location, or school, maybe a fractured relationship or even just a friendship that has faded aw...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, October 28th

I was just reading through some news articles this week and I'm continually amazed, especially in this election season, how easily we make ourselves out to be far better than we are. We rate ourselves as above-average drivers, wise investors, and productive employees, even though math dictates that can't be true for all of us. We also tend to believe we are less likely tha...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, October 21st

We are continuing our series on Jeremiah this Sunday, and we've come to Jeremiah 7:1-29. And over the past couple of months, as Jeremiah confronted the people of God with their sin, we also were confronted with ours. And this Sunday is no different. To be honest, this week has been difficult to prepare because it's telling me something that I don't want to hear. Jeremiah ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, October 14th

After traveling last week to Georgia and Florida, it was good to come back home. I like returning to what's familiar, to what's comfortable, to all those things (and people) that make home ... home. But sometimes that can backfire on us too. We get so used to the comfortable and familiar we're no longer able to see how that can sometimes harm us as well. We become blind ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, October 7th

This Sunday, we're continuing our trek through the book of Jeremiah. It's been kind of a depressing journey thus far. We have been treated to a tapestry of horrors just in the first 3 chapters of Jeremiah. The faithlessness and sin of God's people is stunning. And here in chapter 4:5-31, we begin to see the consequences of their wicked behavior. The judgment that we expec...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, September 30th

Have you ever been disappointed? I'm sure you have. Perhaps when you were a kid Christmas morning came and you didn't get that one present you really wanted. Or when you were a teen you didn't get that prom date you set your heart on. Or maybe you picked out the perfect college ... until you got that letter. Then you entered the work force, and got that first job intervie...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, September 23rd

Have you ever gotten lost? Just driving around with absolutely no idea where you are or how to get where you're supposed to be going? That happens a lot less than it used to with the advent of GPS devices and map apps on our phones. But it's enormously frustrating when it does happen. And it still happens sometimes (usually when your phone dies and you forgot your car char...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, September 16th

Have you ever seen someone make a complete train wreck of their lives? Maybe you saw it from a distance? Or perhaps it was up close and personal? Sadly, it's common enough that most of us have, or will, suffer through watching such a personal disaster. And sometimes it's made even more difficult because you see it coming before it happens. You're watching people make bad...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, September 9th

Have you ever had something happen to you that you couldn't figure out? Perhaps it was some illness or injury or accident? Maybe it was a relational failure of some sort? Or even a missed opportunity at work? But some event or circumstance has taken place in your life, and as hard as you try to understand it, you can't come up with why this is happening to you. Maybe you...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, September 2nd

There are things I love and don't love about starting the new school year. I don't like to see summer come to a close -- there's a relaxation to summer that I don't feel any other time of year and I don't look forward to the hecticness of the fall. And yet, at the same time, there's an excitement about starting new things - and at Potomac Hills we're starting a number of...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, August 26th

The Book of James is extremely practical. It goes over very specific, very concrete aspects of practical Christian living. This Sunday, we'll be finishing our series on James, entitled "We Walk in Wisdom." And we'll be looking at James 5:13-20 on having "Wisdom in Prayer." It tells us two things. It tells us about the power of prayer in general, and then it tells us abou...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, August 19th

This Sunday, we'll be working our way through James 5:1-12. We've been talking about worldly and heavenly wisdom the past few weeks, highlighting the need for gospel humility in order to live wisely. We've talked about slander (4:11-12) and arrogant planning (13-17). And now, we're getting the most extreme look at where worldly wisdom leads and heavenly wisdom leads. One ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, August 12th

We've been working our way through the Book of James in our series entitled, "We Walk in Wisdom". This Sunday, we'll be looking at James 4:13-17 on "Wisdom for Humility". This passage, at first glance, seems to be nitpicking. It seems like James takes issue with the way that we announce our plans. That interpretation would even have an appearance of truth since James empha...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, August 5th

The book of James is a practical book, and the question it asks and answers is If you really believe the basic message of Jesus, the gospel of Jesus Christ, what kind of life will that create on the ground?What will it look like practically?Each passage we've looked at has been asking ... What kind of church community is created among those of us who believe the gospel? ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, July 29th

Everyone wants to be wise, and most of us think we're somewhat wise, but we have real concerns about everyone else. When something goes wrong in someone else's life, we're quick to wonder, "What were they thinking?" But when something's not going right in our own life, we're quick to get defensive, "It couldn't be helped. Sometimes things just happen. Nothing I could have ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, July 22nd

This weekend is the British Open golf championship. I don't think that we have a ton of golf fans in the congregation, and I don't watch much golf, but I will be trying to watch a good bit of this one because I have played at the course they're competing on, Carnoustie in Scotland. Long story short: I had a week of golf with my father-in-law and brother--in-law back in m...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, July 15th

I'll never forget when I was in high school, going with my youth pastor, Dan, to visit one of the new kids who had visited our church (we'll call him Chris). As we were talking to Chris, Dan realized that he knew a bit about the Bible but perhaps didn't have a great understanding of how we're saved. So he got out a piece of paper and, after defining the words "faith" "wo...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, July 8th

This Sunday, we'll be continuing our series on The Book of James, entitled "We Walk in Wisdom." We're spending the summer looking at what the brother of Jesus has to say about wisdom. And this week we'll be looking at James 2:1-13 on the "Wisdom for Prejudice." Now, we don't need wisdom on being prejudiced, but we do need wisdom on how to handle prejudice when it shows up...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, July 1st

Hey, first of all, thanks to everyone for being flexible with Sunday School and Children's Church rooms as we navigate our way through Harper Park's renovation this summer. I'm sure there will be lots more changes coming our way. And if you're looking for somewhere to serve, Children's Church needs some people. The more adults we have serving, the easier it is. Second, s...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 17th

This Sunday, we will be continuing our new study in The Book of James. Some havecalled James' epistle the New Testament's Proverbs. It is certainly full of practicalteaching and wisdom. Last week, we were introduced to the book's divinely inspiredauthor, the Apostle James, Jesus' younger brother. We were instructed "to count it alljoy" when we "meet trials of vario...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 24th

I hope you're enjoying summer and our study of the book of James. We're in the middle of a lot of preaching by Ruling Elders and Associate Pastors, so enjoy the variety! James Murphy did a great job last week. As we read and preach through James, we need to keep reminding ourselves that James is not writing to tell people what to do to be saved, he's writing to describe ...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 10th

This Sunday, we're starting our new series on The Book of James, which I've entitled "We Walk in Wisdom." I think coming off our series on "The Time of Trouble," it will be good to look at James since he puts such great emphasis on living wisely in all areas of our life. Now, of course, that's easier said than done. We all tend to think we're wise (most of the time, anywa...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, June 3rd

As May passes into June, we are looking at a lot of transition.Somehow Kath and I are old enough to have a son graduating from High School.Congrats to our Miles, along with Luke Adsit, Pierce Brenner, and Seth VanDerLinden as they graduate from High School!Congrats to Kathryn Christina Beaton, Annie Hunter, Sophia Clifton, Leah Bolzman, Nathaniel Mullins, Sam Rohrdanz...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, May 27th

This Sunday, we're well into the series "The Time of Trouble." Due to travel and surgery, I haven't been in the pulpit for the last four Sundays, so first, I want to thank Dave Frank (and Nick Batzig) for stepping up and preaching faithfully. I'm in the enviable position of not having to worry when I'm away or unable to preach, since I know that the church is in good ha...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, May 20th

This Sunday, we have the unique opportunity to hear from Rev. Nick Batzig, who will be leading our officer retreat this weekend. I've visited Nick's church and he's a wonderful preacher. Nick is the Pastor of New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Richmond Hill, Georgia. A native Georgian, Nick attended Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina wh...

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Heart Prep for Mother's Day, May 13th

Heart Prep for Mother's Day, May 14th...

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Heart Prep for Sunday, May 6th

Many of us had to read Homer's The Odyssey when we were in school; I even had to teach it when I was an 9th grade English teacher. I will never forget the part of the book where Odysseus' ship is heading towards home but passing through an area where the sirens lived. ...

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