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June 18 2010 By virtueonline THE HEART OF THE MATTER

* Christians don't follow Christianity; they follow Christ
* Christians don't proclaim themselves; they proclaim Christ
* Christians don't point people to core values; they point people to Christ
* Christians don't preach about Christ; they preach Christ."

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June 10 2010 By virtueonline Getting By Without God

Many observers of the contemporary church have sounded the alarm here. One thinks of the trenchant and incisive works by Os Guiness and David Wells, to name but a few. Writing in the 80s and 90s, they offered important critiques of the church-growth movement, of mega-churches, and the Christian embrace of modernism.

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June 01 2010 By virtueonline Let's Talk About Death For a While

But reminding people that a major feature of the Christian life is putting self to death, and dying to our sin, is not quite what most believers want to hear nowadays. No wonder that the biggest churches today tend to be those which seldom talk about denying self, crucifying self, and saying no to self.

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May 14 2010 By virtueonline PASSING IT ON (2 Timothy 2:1-7) - Ted Schroder

What do we do with our memories, our family histories, our passions and property? Do they die with us? Are we the end of the road for the knowledge we possess and have painfully acquired over the years? What do we do with our experiences?

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Paul was in prison because of his convictions about Jesus. They were politically incorrect because they threatened the tyranny of the Roman emperor. Paul claimed that Jesus was the only Lord of all, and, by implication, that Caesar was not divine. He taught the words of Jesus that we are to seek first the kingdom of God, that there is a greater king than the state, and that all governing authorities were servants of God, and answerable to him.

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April 16 2010 By virtueonline THE PROMISE OF LIFE

Tradition has it that Paul was condemned to death and beheaded on the Ostian Way. Peter is believed to have been executed at the same time. Before his death Paul sent this message to Timothy, and through him, to the church. It could be said to be his last will and testament - his final words.

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April 02 2010 By virtueonline THE BASIS OF HOPE: Palm/Passion Sunday, 2010

"We are at one of those moments in history when it seems as if the tectonic plates are shifting. We are living through years in which a crisis has overtaken our increasingly globalized world, such as most of us have not seen in our lifetimes. The questions strike at the root of what we have taken for granted for at least a quarter of a century.

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March 10 2010 By virtueonline THE SECRET OF FLOURISHING

Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit.; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

The Bible uses the symbol of the vine to represent the people of Israel.

"You brought a vine out of Egypt, you drove out the nations and planted it.

You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land." (Psalm 80:7-9)

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March 06 2010 By virtueonline THE SECRET OF PROGRESS

"I am the Way" - a path prepared.

"I am the Truth" - light to reveal the path.

"I am the Life" - strength to tread the path.

What is this True and Living Way which Christ embodies? From the beginning Christians were called those who belonged to the Way. (Acts 9:2) What kind of Way is it?

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February 18 2010 By virtueonline SELF-DECEPTION

My goal, then is to renew the knowledge of a persistent reality that used to evoke in us fear, hatred, and grief. Many of us have lost this knowledge, and we ought to regret the loss. For slippage in our consciousness of sin, like most fashionable follies, may be pleasant, but it is also devastating.

Self-deception about our sin is a narcotic, a tranquilizing and disorienting suppression of our spiritual central nervous system.

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