May 2010

Jesus is Lord!

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"Jesus is Lord!" was a common greeting among New Testament believers. They confessed a lifestyle of radical obedience to the Lordship of Jesus.

In the fullness of the Spirit
"Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, . . . was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil" (Luke 4:1, TM).

If Jesus was tempted, you and I will be tempted as well.

No work of grace will deliver us from being tempted. Temptation is not a sin.

The Lord encountered three basic temptations:

Revive Us Again

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I've been thinking about revival-maybe because it's spring and my spiritual clock anticipates a protracted meeting usually in the autumn and spring in the local church. My thinking has turned to prayer for revival. It's on my heart and mind each time I enter my daily devotional times. My Web surfing usually parallels what is occupying my mind, and I read this on-line in a scholarly paper:

The Mission and the Word

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One hundred fifty-five world areas and counting! It is hard to imagine the magnitude of the work of the Church of the Nazarene when describing our mission. It is not just that we are in so many countries of the world. But in every place where Nazarenes are found we have a definitive message: "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:19).

This message is not subject to varieties of interpretation that rob it of its decisive focus. The hope of the world is found in Jesus of Nazareth.

What is God Saying to the Churches?

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Recently I was walking in a shopping mall in Johannesburg, South Africa. Because we had several hours before going to the airport for our 16-hour flight home, the group I was with wanted to do some last-minute shopping before boarding.

Wandering the halls and looking at the stores with their goods, I saw a bold sign ahead reading, "Salvation!" Nearing the store, I was taken aback by the fact that the sign really read, "Salvation Ink," a tattoo parlor.

Comforting Those Who Mourn

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Dealing with tragedy is an all too common experience for pastors. During such times, a pastor may feel overwhelmed at the senseless nature of the event, or at a loss to give a word of comfort that might speak to the depth of grief.

On April 7, our mid-week prayer group interceded for those involved in the mine explosion that devastated Montcoal, West Virginia. We were visited and interviewed by a TV news team, since we are in a county where coal mining has a long history. Many in our congregation have friends or family connected with the industry.

Meet Micayla Simmons

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Micayla Simmons is a high school senior from Ohio who is also a full-time post secondary student at Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU). Check out her perspective on life and issues facing students.

Friends and free time:
We hang out with each other at someone's house and watch movies or play games on the Wii. We also drive to the city and go shopping or go out to eat. Since our free time is so scarce, we mostly just spend it relaxing and enjoying each other's company.

The Heart of a Pastor: Janine Tartaglia Metcalf

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Janine Tartaglia Metcalf is pastor of El Cajon, California, Church of the Nazarene. She and her husband, Ed, have two grown sons. Coming from a journalism background, she shares compelling faith and vocation stories.

Where were you born and raised?
San Luis Obispo, a college town on the central coast of California.

What's on your iPod?
Matthew West, Mercy Me, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin.

Ideal way to spend a free day?
Hiking and finding a lovely place to stop and read.

Speaking the Truth with Love

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The table was spread with the remains of a Sunday dinner feast. The group of friends moved to more comfortable seating for the next course. But it wasn't dessert.

"I just have to say it," one of them remarked. "The pastor's messages (insert the church leader or issue of your choice here) are just not feeding me spiritually."

"I'm not meaning to be critical," he added, "I'm just speaking the truth in love."

Leading During Transition

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James (Jim) Kraemer is superintendent of the newly-merged (since 2009) Dakota and Minnesota District. Previously, he was superintendent of what was then the Dakota District. Learn more about the joys and challenges of leading districts through a merger.
How many Nazarene churches are on the new district?

Counting NewStarts, 69.

What is the mood on the district?

The overall atmosphere of the churches seems to be positive.

Is it a challenge to manage churches spread over the large area?

A Transforming Mission

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February 2010

I greet you on behalf of the Board of General Superintendents (BGS) in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we come together for the 87th session of the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene and the first session of the new quadrennium. To our guests on site and on the Internet, we extend warm greetings.