December 2010

Reclaiming the Message of Holiness

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Stuart Briscoe wrote, "In light of the widespread disinterest in holiness in the church, and the deep distrust outside the church . . . it is not surprising that the subject is often treated with benign neglect by the church."

While that attitude may prevail, it is not an option for Nazarenes who see holiness as a priority in both our practice and our preaching. Yet how do we make the connection to today's audience? What communication barriers do we need to overcome?

Jennifer Brown: Leader and Mentor

Jennifer Brown is the Global Nazarene Missions International (NMI) president. Elected to the position in 2009, she is the first in that role to be elected from outside the U.S. An ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, she holds B.Ed. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of West Indies. A teacher since 1980, she teaches high school Spanish and English, currently. Born and raised in Jamaica, she is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene.

Connected But Isolated

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Facebook exists because of our search and hunger for affirmation.
 - We want to be loved.
 - We want to be liked.
 - We want to be talked about.

The "Like" button fuels our desire to be affirmed. If we don't get 17 "Likes," we feel inadequate. If people don't comment on our status, we feel insignificant. There is an obsession to constantly check our page for positive comments and posts. The danger here is that we may look to others for approval and worth.

The Living Christ Replaces Static Idols

Approximately three years ago*, a young man named Karthik became troubled by mental illness. He was hearing voices and increasingly losing touch with reality. He was hospitalized in the psychiatric ward of an Auckland, New Zealand, institution where he remained unable to function or even hold coherent conversations with his parents, Ramesh and Shaila, and his brother, Kashyab. His family appealed to the idols displayed in their home, petitioning their gods for the healing of Karthik, but his condition worsened.

Meet 5 Unique Women in Jesus' Family Tree

Are you one of those persons obsessed with your family tree? If not, perhaps you have a relative who has an account with and keeps urging you to look at the site and see what has been discovered about your family tree. Usually, we find that we are related to some famous person or royalty. Whether that is accurate or not, it does give one a sense of importance and may boost one's self-esteem for a short while.

Great Expectations: Theotokos

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My congregation and I are about to embark on new territory for all of us. I am their senior pastor and my husband and I are expecting our first child. It is a pretty amazing thing to me to be pregnant, to be a pastor, and to experience all the joys and expectations in the context of the community of faith.

The congregation is excited. Not only is their pastor going to have a baby, but their pastor is going to give birth to the baby. It is unusual, but they think it is the coolest thing ever, and so do I.

Q&A: Sinless Perfection?

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Q. I've heard that Nazarenes believe in sinless perfection. Is this true?
A. Isn't it amazing how information can become so twisted and distorted?

Every Nazarene believes that we can pray the Lord's Prayer as we confess and seek forgiveness for our "trespasses," and offer forgiveness to those who "trespass against us." We also believe in the possibility of continual, unbroken fellowship with our Lord afforded through the cleansing blood of Christ Jesus.

Modeling Generosity

'More than any other reason, I set up gift annuities through Northwest Nazarene University because, while I enjoy the income and tax benefits during my lifetime, I know that the Johnson and Kathryn Johnson Endowment and its recipients will benefit for generations to come.' -B. Edgar Johnson