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Bob Jones

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3 Choices for Strength in Suffering

"Suffering" can be an ugly word. Suffering brings to mind shades of pain, discouragement, anger, and darkness. You know all about it. So does God. It is tough to believe that suffering can reveal anything worth knowing. However, in the upside-down, inside-out, way of the Christian faith, suffering produces more than easy living ever could. Suffering has meaning. In the middle of intense affliction your spirit is more open than ever to the outpouring of God’s love into your life. 3 choices for strength in suffering: 1. Choose to cultivate spiritual serenity in spite of chaotic conditions.  "Shaking mountains” and “agitated waters” (Psalm 46:2,3) are figures of speech for the difficulties we face in life. The Psalmist was inspired to…
Bob Jones
October 5, 2013
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16 INSIGHTS ABOUT DEPRESSION AND LOSS

9/16/13 Photographer: Adam Rose When Matthew Warren died by suicide, Easter 2013, his parents' hearts were shattered. He was only 27 years old. Rick and Kay Warren were known for a ministry of hope. How would they survive his tragic death? Where was hope now? The Warrens share some remarkable insights they learned and lived. 16 Insights 1. "I’d rather have all my questions unanswered and walk with God than not walk with God and have all my questions answered.” – Rick 2.  “I’m terrible but I’m OK. In other words, we’re going to survive and someday we’ll thrive again. It’s the worst thing that could ever happen.” – Kay 3.  “I’ve cried every single day since Matthew died, but…
Bob Jones
October 3, 2013
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6 STAGES OF GRIEF: RICK AND KAY WARREN

Rick and Kay Warren were devastated when their 27-year old son Matthew committed suicide in April 2013. Matthew had suffered from depression all of his life. In September 2013 the Warrens gave their first public interview with CNN. Piers Morgan called it “one of the most moving interviews I conducted in my life.” 6 Stages Of Grief The Warrens identified six stages of grief they experienced. Stage One: "I think the first stage is shock. For at least the first month, I kept waiting for Matthew to come in the door… I just couldn’t believe that it happened. It was so sudden." Stage Two: Then you move from shock to sorrow and this profound sadness that comes into your life.…
Bob Jones
October 1, 2013
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8 Pivotal Facts About Jesus

Jesus never experienced an identity crisis, however he often sent his critics into a crisis because he was acutely self-aware. In one encounter he so frustrates his detractors that in exasperation they ask, “Who do you think you are?” (John 8:53) 8 Things Jesus Knew About Himself 1. "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you." (Luke 11:20) While this statement does not claim divinity, it amounts to a claim by Jesus to be exorcising demons as the agent through which the authority of God enters history. 2. Jesus spoke to God with an apparently unheard of intimacy by using the Aramaic term Abba ("Papa"). 3.…
Bob Jones
September 29, 2013
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3 THINGS ASLAN GOT WRONG ABOUT JESUS

Reviewers called his book “a bold, powerfully argued re-visioning of the most consequential life ever lived.” How can you argue with the acclaim Reza Aslan’s Zealot: Jesus of Nazareth received, becoming a NY Times bestseller and reaching #1 on Amazon? Fox News and CNN's Piers Morgan propelled his rise in popularity. Out of curiosity I read his book. In many ways, Aslan's book is simply a rehashing of old ideas. He regurgitates a multitude of bold, inaccurate and misleading observations about Jesus that lead him to recreate Jesus in his own image. Reza Aslan Reza Aslan is an Iranian Muslim who immigrated to the US with his family in 1979. He became a Christian in his teenage years. Aslan later…
Bob Jones
September 28, 2013
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WHAT’S WITH COMMUNION?

Everyone wants to be remembered for at least one thing after they're gone. Jesus told his disciples, then and now, one thing to do to "remember him." One Thing The night before Jesus was crucified he called his disciples together. He knew what they didn't - this would be their last supper together. He wanted to make a lasting impression on them. He knew losing focus or getting sidetracked from their faith would be a threat. Jesus took unleavened bread and broke it and told them to eat - this was "his body." He took wine and gave it them and told them to drink - this was "his blood." Then he told them to repeat this practice in remembrance…
Bob Jones
September 23, 2013
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How to Answer Tough Questions

How do you do answering tough questions? Jesus has a lot to offer on that skill. He must have been good at answering because people felt comfortable asking. “What is truth?” “When will the end of the world happen?” “How can we learn to pray?” “Who gave you the authority to do what you do?” “Why didn’t you show up when we needed you most?” Five insights into answering tough questions: 1. Start with the answerer. People may ignore, forget or reject the answer you give to their question, but they will remember how you answered. No one likes a condescending or self-righteous answer, even if the answer is a good one. People will remember you long after they forget…
Bob Jones
September 23, 2013
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HARVEST TIME

It's harvest time in Alberta! “Rural Alberta is a noisy, dusty, hectic place these days — and nights — as farmers on combines harvest their crop." Harvest Time In the spiritual realm, there is also a waiting harvest. Jesus said, “Open your eyes, and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 (NIV) Alberta has had “ideal growing conditions” for a harvest of souls: Moisture – the blessings of God have been abundant in Alberta making it a prosperous province. Now is the time to use our prosperity generously to reach out to others. Heat – believers in Alberta have been praying for months for this harvest. Wind – the “wind of the Holy Spirit” is blowing…
Bob Jones
September 17, 2013
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6 INSIGHTS INTO FORGIVENESS

When you can find the courage to offer and receive forgiveness, it has the power to reverse a slide into despair. Don Henley is the former lead singer of "The Eagles." His song, “The Heart of the Matter” takes him only four minutes to sing, but it took him 42 years to write. What he learned from the loves and losses of those years is that the heart of the matter is forgiveness. Forgiveness allows you to come out the other side of hurt, a better person - better, not bitter. When you forgive you are free. You are no longer chained to the other person. You can move on. Forgiveness is not:  1. Forgiveness is not excusing. Forgiving happens…
Bob Jones
September 4, 2013
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Questions and Answers

Answers reveal what you know. Questions reveal what you value. These were the thoughts I jotted down after reading North Pointe’s Bible chapter of the day: John 9. The passage begins with a question. Upon seeing a blind man, Jesus’ disciples questioned: “…who sinned, this man or his parents?” Their question revealed their values. They valued being right. Upon observing a man’s blindness they only cared to know why it happened to him. Who was responsible? For them, life was a simple equation – “sickness = sin” - so who done it? Their question revealed they needed a value adjustment. Jesus valued doing the works of God. It mattered not to him why the man was blind but that he…
Bob Jones
August 26, 2013