November 2016

Intentional Confession

John Wesley defined sin as a willful transgression against the known law of God. The Church of the Nazarene teaches that if we sin unintentionally or unknowingly, we are not responsible for that sin. Should we still confess it?

Before we tackle that question, let’s note that by discriminating between intentional sin and unintentional sin, Wesley affirmed the Apostle John’s teaching that we do not commit intentional “sin every day in word, thought, and deed” (1 John 5:18).

Following His Steps

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In the dark of the night, on the days when my body is exhausted and my spirit is worn, I am reminded that we are fragile creatures. Fragile and forgetful. We get tired. We get weary. We have self-doubts. We feel the pressure and the significance of what we are called to do, and we are overwhelmed. Are we doing too much? Are we doing too little? What if we fail? And all of this is just from our own hearts.

Why Compassion?

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Passionate evangelism, intentional discipleship, and purposeful compassion top the list of important ministries of growing Christians. They all flow naturally from a Christ-centered life.

Jesus called His followers to passionate evangelism (sharing the good news about Christ) and intentional discipleship (assisting new believer growth in the Christian faith) when He said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19).

Q&A: The confessional life

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Q: The church teaches the need for confession yet it's often not practiced. Does it matter that we avoid it?

A: A theme runs through many of our conversations: the longing in the hearts of clergy and parishioner alike to be known. Whether we’re talking about studies that show pastors experience isolation and loneliness, or the conversation about how to better connect people with one another, this theme exists.

A Global Family

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The Church of the Nazarene is a global church. Consequently, every district, local congregation, and member forms a fragment of that global structure. Together more than 2 million Nazarenes all over the world shape who we are as a global body. That is a beautiful thought—and at the same time a frightening one.

It’s beautiful because it reflects in so many ways the kingdom of God and gives us a glimpse of heaven. It’s frightening because here on earth it seems to mainly cause aggravation with the potential for undesirable consequences.

Let Love Overflow From Our Hearts

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The year of missionary home assignment ended and my husband and I, along with our four young children, headed back to Israel with heavy suitcases and hearts. It was not just the farewells that made leaving difficult, but we were moving from Nazareth to Jerusalem as soon as we arrived. We didn’t know what was ahead. Earlier that summer of 1990 a ruler named Saddam Hussein began to rant and rave, but that was not unusual. After all, anger and bullying were common place in the global neighborhood where we lived.

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