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January 20 2016 By dvirtue YOU ARE INDISPENSABLE: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

We also live in a society where we have accepted a social contract to share responsibility for those who are disabled, or disadvantaged by factors beyond their control. We voluntarily join together to promote and support programs, charities, sports teams, political parties, and events that interest us and in which we can participate. The higher degree of commitment we feel translates into the greater support we give.

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December 31 2015 By dvirtue VALUING EACH STAGE OF LIFE: Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

"There is a time to be born & a time to die": we cannot hasten or determine either one.
"A time to plant & a time to uproot": the seasons of planting and harvesting are set.
"A time to kill & a time to heal": we defend & protect as well as bind up wounds.
"A time to tear down & a time to build": we demolish and we redevelop.
"A time to weep & a time to laugh": we lament our failures and we rejoice in our successes.

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December 25 2015 By dvirtue Christmas in Solitary Confinement: 2015

But something happened to him. He began to think about himself in relation to the universe, eternity, and his fellow men and women in ways that he never had before. He pondered his way to a respect for faith, and belief in God. Not only that but he began to think about Jesus. He had always scorned his ideas, especially forgiveness. He thought of Jesus as a wimp in a callused world that knew better to take care of itself than he did.

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December 21 2015 By dvirtue Regret and Hope at Christmastime

Twilight carries a certain, passing beauty. Birds sing the last songs of the hour. The city begins to settle down and sparkle. Home is appreciated as refuge. We eat and rest. Twilight also signifies a truth about mortality we avoid. We are, indeed, passing through this world and at the end of the day, and life, only love endures...yes, only love endures. (This is one reason why acts of terrorism are so confounding, devoid of meaning, damnable.

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December 16 2015 By dvirtue THE SONG OF MARY: MAGNIFICAT: Luke 1:46-55

The Bible is full of praise and thanksgiving. Biblical religion is a religion of rejoicing, of music and son. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4) It is noteworthy that Christianity has produced so much music. Christmas, in particular, is the season for so much beautiful music as we celebrate the coming of the Messiah and the hope he brings. The message of Jesus is called Gospel: good news. That is what Mary sings about.

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December 03 2015 By dvirtue The Importance of Prayer

He went to a hospital in Hong Kong where he learned the cancer had spread to the base of his skull, and that he would need 195 hours of chemotherapy. He called Richard, a friend who was visiting from Malaysia. Though he was about to leave the next day, Richard felt God was telling him to remain with Walter and his wife, Shirley.

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November 25 2015 By dvirtue THE 33: Luke 21:25-36

New cave-ins complicated attempts for a direct rescue through a ventilation duct. Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said that the chances of finding the miners alive were slim. 12,000 people die of mining accidents each year. After 17 days a drill probe reached the miners and a message was sent from them that they were all well. They begged to be rescued soon and received first supplies via a pipeline. They were told that it could be months before they were rescued.

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November 18 2015 By dvirtue THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving is the result of an awareness of our gifts from God for ,"from him and through and to him are all things" (Romans 11:36). We are totally dependent on God who "gives to all men life and breath and everything else" (Acts 17:25). We are a privileged people. The median income in the USA is $53,894, i.e. $147 a day. Compare that with nearly 3 billion people -- half the world's population -- live on less than $2.00 a day.

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November 11 2015 By dvirtue THE PURPOSE OF GOD: Acts 13:13-52

Atheists do not believe that there is any purpose in the universe, that life happened by chance and that events occur randomly. It is difficult to believe that Earth could develop life and that humanity could seek reasons for being, or ask the question “Why?” without there being some purpose to existence. We live purposeful lives. Without purpose we would have no goals to achieve, no aim in life, no sense of destiny. We get frustrated when we cannot fulfill our dreams.

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November 05 2015 By dvirtue What Playing Rugby Taught Me about Being a Christian and a Pastor

I played from childhood on. Since I was fast my position was wing three-quarter (the equivalent of wide receiver). When I was a student at Canterbury University I played for a team in Christchurch. At Durham University in England I played for my college (St. John's). At Gordon College in Massachusetts I coached, and in Jacksonville, Florida I closed out my career as a referee in the 1970's when I could no longer keep up with the players.

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