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April 20 2005 By virtueonline The Limits of Moralism

Anyone reading this article cannot fail to be moved by her appeal. She acknowledges that we need to combat ego, "to dethrone ourselves from the center of the world and put others there." She admits that "we need training in compassion because it does not come to us naturally." The problem with her case, and the problem with all kinds of moralism, is that it urges change of behavior without providing the means by which the behavior can be changed.

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April 03 2005 By virtueonline DOUBTING THOMAS - by Ted Schroder

This desire for first-hand verification is perfectly normal. It is especially understandable when extraordinary claims such as these are made. To have seen and spoken with someone who was certifiably dead cries out for some kind of proof. That is why it is so difficult for modern man to believe anything unless he has had direct experience of it. The resurrection of Jesus is no easier to believe today than it was two thousand years ago. Some people find it easier to believe than others.

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March 26 2005 By virtueonline THROUGH CLOSED DOORS - by Ted Schroder

At various stages in our lives we find ourselves in a room with doors closed and locked because of our fears. It is then that we crave the joy of the liberating presence of the risen Jesus.

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March 18 2005 By virtueonline The Spirituality of the Cross

A friend of mine was interviewing for the position of pastor to a church in south Florida. In reviewing his ministry experience he shared with the search committee how each position that he had filled had a particular challenge and mission to accomplish. Each one had been different.

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March 18 2005 By virtueonline Coming Forth As Gold

My heart was beating hard, and I prayed rapidly for help. Suddenly the leader of the gang asked ‘Why are you here?’ ‘Because I am a Christian,’ I answered timidly, expecting the first blows. ‘You don’t beat people up?’ he asked. ‘No,’ I answered. The next question surprised me: ‘Can you sing?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied, wondering where this was heading. The gang leader told me to sing. The song ‘I Give Myself as a Seed’ came to mind, so I sang.

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March 15 2005 By virtueonline PUTTING OUR TRUST IN THE LORD

Much to our chagrin, we were locked out of our accounts. So folks who bought Enron on the street could trade, but we could not. So where does that leave me? I can tell you, without pulling punches, something stinks here. There are people at Enron who made millions selling Enron stock, while we, the rank and file, got burned. It's that simple. I am left with a tiny fraction of my $1.3 million, or about $8,000. It's too late in my life to start over to build up my funds."

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March 15 2005 By virtueonline Show, Teach, Lead, Save

* Poor in quality
* Inconsistently heated
* A cheap imitation of the real thing

May we all come to grips with reality: that true, enriching, consistent and long lasting Godliness can only be acquired in slow, methodical, tested, forged, sacrificial daily portions.

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February 26 2005 By virtueonline The Ultimate Protagonist

The book of Genesis reveals to us that God is the supreme initiator of all activity from the creation of the universe, to the creation of the history of a man and his family as the bearers of divine revelation. After getting past the early chapters which set the stage for the history of our salvation: human creation and fall, Genesis introduces us to Abraham and his family.

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February 19 2005 By virtueonline History's Bestseller, Part Four

William Gladstone, three times Prime Minister of Great Britain once said, "If asked what is the remedy for the deeper sorrows of the human heart, what a man should chiefly look to in his progress as the power that is to sustain him under trials and enable him to confront his inevitable afflictions, I must point him to something which in a well-known hymn is called 'The old, old story,' told in an old, old Book, which is the greatest and best gift ever given to mankind."

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February 15 2005 By virtueonline No Excuses

We can play these silly games as a society, with each other and sadly, even in our churches, but we cannot play them with God. The all-knowing, all-seeing, all powerful Creator of the universe is not fooled nor amused at the excuses we make for our failures and neglect. Society would have us believe it's not our fault that we are undisciplined, addicted, lazy, overweight, fearful, or ignorant. It makes us feel better when we can point to the "experts" who validate that is not "our fault."

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