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Sexuality & Gender Identity

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Sexuality & Gender Identity

Last Sunday we concluded the "Our Confession" series.  It was 12 weeks of considering deep and glorious statements that make up our core doctrine... our Confession of Faith.  We finished the series discussing The Restoration of All Things.  What an awe-inspiring subject to dive into on Easter Sunday.  Jesus is returning, people will be raised and shalom will be restored.  God will be our God and we will be His people.  No more death, sickness or sorrow.  Perfection everywhere.  God as the center.  To this we say: come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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Emma's Friday Finds

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Emma's Friday Finds

A few times a month I'll be posting articles, podcasts, books, music and other favorite finds I've found throughout the month! Please feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments. 

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Lent Resources for 2016

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Lent Resources for 2016

We have compiled a list of (free!) resources to use as we start the season of Lent today. Our prayer is that these guides would allow you to wade deeper into Christ as we anticipate the hope of Easter Sunday.

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Emma's Friday Finds — 12/11/15

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Emma's Friday Finds — 12/11/15

A few times a month I'll be posting articles, podcasts, books, music and other favorite finds I've found throughout the month! Please feel free to share your favorite finds in the comments. 

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On My Shelf: Lou Damiani

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On My Shelf: Lou Damiani

On My Shelf: is a new series designed to help you get to know various staff members through providing a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. This week's feature is with Lou Damiani, discipleship coach & garden-grower guru, about what's he's reading in his spare time, books he re-reads & any favorite fiction.

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Advent Resources: Devotions

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Advent Resources: Devotions

We have compiled a few resources for the Sojourn Church family to use during the upcoming Advent season. We pray that this can be a season of meditation and reflection during this season of Christmas.

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On My Shelf: Ben Whipple

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On My Shelf: Ben Whipple

On My Shelf: is a new series designed to help you get to know various staff members through providing a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. This week's feature is with Ben Whipple, associate pastor & mastering the art of beard care, about what's he's reading in his spare time, books he re-reads & any favorite fiction.

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On My Shelf: Leighton Crick

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On My Shelf: Leighton Crick

On My Shelf: is a new series designed to help you get to know various staff members through providing a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. This week's feature is with Leighton Crick, director of ministries, about what's he's reading in his spare time, books he re-reads & any favorite fiction.

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On My Shelf: Matt Herron

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On My Shelf: Matt Herron

On My Shelf: is a new series designed to help you get to know various staff members through providing a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. This week's feature is with Matt Herron, lead pastor & horse-racing enthusiast, about what's he's reading in his spare time, books he re-reads & any favorite fiction.

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On My Shelf: Emma King

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On My Shelf: Emma King

On My Shelf: is a new series designed to help you get to know various staff members through providing a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. This week's peak is with Emma King, director of communications, about what's currently on her (ever-growing-in-height) nightstand, books she re-reads, her favorite fiction, and more.

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Christians & Climate Change

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Christians & Climate Change

We are already neck deep in the political season.  For the next 15 months, we are going to hear a lot about policy, about the failures of the past and about the needed changes for the future.  I hope this campaign does not devolve into the nasty mudslinging that so often occurs... but if these first few months are any indicator, it could get rough.

 

However, I hope we are able to listen well, truly care about our nation and actually go to the polls and vote.  Voting is too often an ignored privilege.  I think that is due to some very real factors.  So, how about this: let's not put our hope in politics/politicians, but let's not ignore the whole thing either.  Care, but don't despair.

 

One of the issues that stirs a lot of political discussion is climate change.  Over the years this ongoing debate has had a few primary questions: Is the world's climate actually changing?  If it is, what role (if any) is humanity playing in these changes?  What will the results be?  What can be done to fix it?

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Words Matter

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Words Matter

We live in a unique time.  Things are moving fast.  I know every generation thinks that "their era" is moving fast but, by historical comparison, it is a provable fact that our society/culture is changing at crazy fast rates both technologically and morally. 

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Compassion for the Afflicted

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Compassion for the Afflicted

The last two Sundays we have been considering God's counsel, from the pages of the Book of James, regarding how we interacting with others... specifically orphans, widows and those who are often discriminated against.  James calls upon us to "visit" them in their "affliction"... meaning to help them in the affliction of their situation in life.  It has been heavy, but it has been good.

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Sojourn in Africa

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Sojourn in Africa

Africa.  What an amazing place.  I had been told by people that Africa "is hard to explain...you just have to go."  Well, in October I realized what they were saying and that they were right.  Although I have not visited every continent, there is a grand uniqueness to Africa.  It is majestic and mysterious.  It is undeniably full of beauty and it is tragically full of brokenness.  Some of you have lived there, adopted from there or visited there and know exactly what I am talking about.

As I mentioned on Sunday, two Sojourners (Austin Jenness and Ethan Morrical) are in Africa right now.  They are there for different reasons and in different countries but they are both there in an effort to help people. 

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Why Gifts?

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Why Gifts?

As we continue to celebrate this Advent Season, I want to share with you a reading from one of the books available on our Book Wall here at Sojourn, John Piper's "Good News of Great Joy".

Below is yesterday's reading and I found it helpful because our Christmas has become so centered on the giving and getting of gifts.  Ask any kid what they think of when they hear Christmas and you will find that the most common answer will be presents.

Well, God gave us the ultimate gift in the person of Jesus and we are forever grateful!  But what about us giving presents to Him?  Piper helps us think about why the wise men gave gifts to Christ and why should too...

 

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Choose Hospitality

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Choose Hospitality

My family recently moved into a new house. For our first eight years in Traverse City, we lived in a  114 year old farm house. In some ways it was a great house. It was unique and had some charm. It also provided shelter for our family as we grew from 4 people to 6 people (plus a dog). 

But, it also had all the problems of a house that was 114 years old.  

Now, my wife and I believe that because Christ welcomed us, we should welcome others (Romans 15;7). We should be proactive and warm. We should have open doors and be generous with our food, time and possessions. However, two of the problems that existed at our farm house created some major issues regarding "hospitality" . . . 

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A Comforting Prayer of Confidence in God

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A Comforting Prayer of Confidence in God

Over the years, I have found the ministry of Scotty Smith (pastor, professor and author) to be extremely helpful.  You may know him from the short but insightful observations he tags as “a sign you’re growing in grace”.  Many of them have pierced deep into my heart…sometimes with encouragement of how God has grown me and sometimes with conviction as I realize how absent that “sign” is in my life.  We have shared various collections of those statements in this midweek communication over the years....

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Africa

I arrived back in Traverse City on Monday.  I had 9 flights over 13 days.  I was in 3 countries (Kenya, Tanzania and a layover in the Netherlands) and met a lot of incredible people.

 

Having only been back for only a couple days there is no way for me to have processed the full significance of what I saw and experienced in Africa but I will share a few thoughts...

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