Archives For Margaret

Brad Gray is the Teaching Pastor at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland, Michigan. He has traveled extensively to the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece, and currently leads biblical study trips to Israel and Turkey. Brad and his wife, Shallon, live with their four children in Holland, Michigan.

This fall, I've invited a few friends to share what God is teaching them. I hope their words are an encouragement to you as you continue to awaken to the joy and delight that comes with being a child of God.

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by Brad Gray

On September 25, my wife gave birth to a little boy–Xyler Josiah. He’s the fourth child in the Gray clan, and as with our other three, our hearts soared the moment we laid eyes on him. It still amazes me that something at 6 lbs., 3 oz. and 20 inches in length can have such a life-altering impact on you. But it does, and I’m immensely grateful for that.

For the last three weeks, I’ve been holding this little, vulnerable, dependent, precious miracle, wondering about his life. What kind of personality is he going to develop? What’s he going to do with his life? How will he impact the Kingdom with the gifts God has already instilled within him? And what effect will I have on his life?

It’s this last question that’s the most sobering. Continue Reading...

My friend, Eric Bryant has a new project that just released called A Fruitful Life: Becoming Who You Were Created To Be. Eric serves at Gateway Church in Austin, and previously he served at Mosaic in Los Angeles. His previous book is called Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World.

This fall, I've invited a few friends to share what God is teaching them. I hope their words are an encouragement to you as you continue to awaken to the joy and delight that comes with being a child of God.

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by Eric Bryant

Have you ever felt stuck in life? You feel something is off, but you aren't sure what it is?

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5 Reasons The Church Today Needs Matthew Paul Turner & Our Great Big American God

I’ve known Matthew Paul Turner for more than a decade.

We co-wrote Everything Twenties and 20 Things You Should Read together years ago. I remember his short-lived stint as an editor at CCM. Over the years, I’ve watched him grow and mature as a writer, editor, thinker, husband, father, and follower of Jesus. I’ve also had the privilege of watching Matthew—even from a distance—grow into who He was always meant to be—a provocative thought leader.

That said, I’ve never met anyone who has read much of Matthew Paul Turner, his wildly popular blogs, or his books including Churched and Hear No Evil that hasn’t gotten fire-engine-red faced angry. I’m sure that person exists.

Along with fairies, elves, and Sasquatch.

If you’ve read MPT for years and never once had your nose flare, show yourself. Then go to a doctor. You may not have a pulse.

This week, I read his newest book, Our Great Big American God, which provides a travelogue of God from the time He crossed the Atlantic until He arrived in what has become jesUSAMERICA. Beautifully written, Turner forces us to look at how Christianity has been influenced by nationalism, the economy, politics, entertainment, greed, agendas, and the history we prefer to ignore.

In his trademark playful style, some of Turner’s observations made me wince, others left me fuming, still others proved aha! moments. Some vignettes, much like a Gladwell book, only provided a sliver of the true tale, but still a shard we need to be aware of—even if it’s doubtful, questionable, or suspicious.

The reason the church today needs Matthew Paul Turner so much is because:

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Sunflower

This summer, friends from around the globe gathered for an online Summer Bible Study through The Sacred Echo. Over the last few months, I’ve seen God move, echo, guide, and nudge in amazing ways.

Not just in my life, but in yours too.

Here are a few words from friends who participated with us this summer: Continue Reading...

What To Do When You've Lost Your Holy Awe

As followers of Jesus, we are meant to toss back the covers, climb out of bed, and drink in the fullness of life God intended for us. We are called to live alert to the wonders all around and within us that expand our desire to know God more.

Yet the focus on the functionality of ministry combined with the increased sense of familiarity can numb us to the marvelous work to which we’ve been called—encouraging people to walk in the fullness of all God has called and created them through Jesus Christ.

Here are a handful of things that can pull us away from living wonderstruck and experiencing the daily splendor of knowing Jesus as we lead:

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