Inner Workings

Inner Workings

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I remember the first time I took apart a watch. My dad gave me an old watch that no longer worked, and I decided to fix it. After using a hammer to get the back off of the watch, fixing it was no longer an option, so I set about learning how watches work. It was amazing how many gears, springs, and sprockets are required to make the big hand and the little hand point in the right direction. I had never seen any of that. In fact, I never saw the big hand or the little hand moving, even when the watch worked. I could hear ticking but saw no actual process. The hands seemed to be perfectly still. But at 2:00, the big hand was on the 12…
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Prayer for You

Prayer for You

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I recently traveled to Mexico, with the great privilege of sharing with pastors from the Guadalajara area in a weekend retreat. I quickly learned my name (Vaughn) is difficult to pronounce for Spanish speaking people. There is no equivalent sound for the letter “v” which is pronounced like a “b” in Spanish. The “aughn” doesn’t have a good equivalent either, so I told them they could just call me “hey you.” That doesn’t make much sense in Spanish either, so they called me “Bro. U.” At the end of the retreat, one of the pastors prayed for our group as we prepared to return to the United States. He concluded his prayer by asking God to bless the ministry of “Bro. U.” You can call me anything you want –…
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You Forgot Something

You Forgot Something

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I tried to impress Marsha early in our marriage with my grocery shopping abilities. I went to the store planning to have everything purchased and put away before she arrived home from work. I went through the store filling my shopping cart with all the things I thought we might need. I reached the checkout line and realized I had forgotten something – my wallet. Not wanting to go through the entire store putting everything back, I parked my cart over to the side, rushed home and grabbed my wallet. When I got back, my cart was still there waiting for me to check out. At first, I was amazed no one stole it. Then I realized – who is going to steal a grocery cart full of groceries that…
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Thanks, Mom!

Thanks, Mom!

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If you haven't said it yet today, you still have time. This Sunday is Mother's Day, an opportunity to tell our moms how grateful we are for all they do. My mom certainly did. I look forward to the day in heaven I will be able to one more time tell her "thank you" for all the things she did for me. I've been able to watch my wife and see the sacrifices she makes as a mom, and now my daughter as she cares for my granddaughter. Moms are great! One thing moms do is provide examples for us to follow. This week we will learn from John 17:1-5 how we can all be an example of prayer. See you Sunday!
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Comeback Story

Comeback Story

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We like comeback stories, stories of people who overcame overwhelming obstacles to succeed. Walt Disney went bankrupt and lost the rights to his animation character before he gained success with Mickey Mouse and Snow White (no one even remembers the character he lost - Oswald the Rabbit). R. H. Macy opened, and closed, four retail stores, including his first attempt at Macy's Department store, before finding success in New York. Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times before becoming an intern at Universal Studios. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team because they thought he was too short. Last week, we celebrated the Resurrection, the greatest comeback story of all. But the story does not end there. Need a comeback story in your own life.…
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Time to Celebrate

Time to Celebrate

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This Sunday, come join us in celebrating the Risen Savior! This week, we will look at an extraordinary promise Jesus made, and fulfilled, in John 16:22: "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." Come, celebrate with us!
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When You Need It

When You Need It

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Whenever we travel, we try to pack for possible emergencies. Those items are usually determined by emergencies our family has faced on previous trips. When our children were young, we packed more diapers because, on one trip, we ran out. We pack a pair of nail clippers after facing the agony of a random hangnail. We now always pack allergy medicine, no matter the season, because on one trip I sneezed more than I exhaled. Unfortunately, you can't pack for every emergency. I don't have that much luggage. We have discovered, though, wherever we go, whatever we forgot to pack, there's always a Walmart. As Jesus' earthly ministry comes to a close, he recognized his disciples had no idea of the challenges they were about to face. He knew, however,…
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Just a Pinch

Just a Pinch

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I always worry when the nurse tells me "You're going to feel a little pinch" just before I get a shot. I've been pinched before, and that's not what it feels like. Same with the dentist telling me that I'm "going to feel a little pressure." If a "little pressure" means a construction worker jackhammering my lower jaw, then the dentist is correct. The disciples may have felt a little like that when Jesus told them "It is for your good that I am going away" (John 16:7). We would probably have some difficulty believing that, too. How could Jesus' absence be better than his presence? But what was true for the disciples is also true for us today. Jesus is not absent from us. He is more present today…
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Facing Life’s Irritations

Facing Life’s Irritations

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Everyone has those "rock in the shoe" kinds of days. We all experience the irritations of life - the hurtful words, the back-handed compliments, the behind-the-scenes attacks. Initially, they may not be as devastating as the major issues of life, but as they pile up, these minor attacks can be brutal. This week, we discover a simple, yet powerful principle in dealing with life's irritations in Psalm 119:21-22. See you Sunday!
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Headed Home

Headed Home

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Over time, most couples develop a code language, phrases that someone on the outside of the relationship might not understand, but the couple knows exactly what they mean. In the age of texting, that has become even more pronounced. For example, when my wife texts me "Errands," I know that she won't be home for lunch. When I text "Hosp," it means that I am with a family at the hospital. When either of us texts "headed home" it means, wherever we are, we are on our way home. In Psalm 119:19-20, the psalmist recognizes something all believers need to know: we are headed home. This Sunday, we will look at the important ramifications of that understanding. See you Sunday!
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