“We pray for all the emperors, that God may grant them long life, a secure government, a prosperous family, vigorous troops, a faithful senate, an obedient people; that the whole…
An elderly – and very wise – man finally retired and bought a home in a neighborhood near a junior high school. Since it was summer, he spent the first few weeks of retirement in quiet contentment.
But then school resumed…and middle school kids began canvassing the neighborhood.
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How would you respond if someone asked you to describe reconciliation? What sort of picture would you paint? Would you talk about forgiveness? Granting pardon? Showing mercy after wrongs were committed?
Or would you just point to these pictures taken in Africa?
If you had to describe your church, how would you go about it? What words would you use? Even better, how would your community describe your church? What would they say about you?
Authentic, or obligatory? Loving, or lacking? Transformative, or stagnant?
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Scripture has some incredibly compelling stories of second chances. Jonah was swallowed by a whale, but was “released” three days later. Peter’s infamous denial of Christ was forgiven by the resurrected Lord. Oh, and those guys thrown into the fiery furnace had quite a story to tell, too.
But none of these guys have anything on Dr. William Mackay’s God-given second chance!
Sarah Winchester was a wealthy woman because she married William Winchester, the maker of the “gun that won the West.” Sadly, both her husband and young daughter died in quick succession, and Sarah was told that the souls of murdered people were responsible for her loss.
But that’s not even the weird part….
As of February, 2013, the average credit card debt for Americans who carry a monthly balance was a whopping $15,257. This staggeringly high number means that many Americans have a big problem with debt.
And the Bible says that debt is a very bad problem to have.
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Though quite wealthy, Ludvig’s life wasn’t particularly noteworthy, and on April 12, 1888, he died after a long bout with heart disease. But when his more famous brother Alfred read the obituary, he was struck to his core…for two reasons.
First, his name was listed as the deceased, and second, it didn’t read too kindly.