Guest Blogger: Mark Stayton

Galatians 1:10 says, For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.”

32082586_10156261891763490_7923632521252700160_nObviously, I am not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

I have had the privilege to serve in ministry for the last 30 years. During that time I have served in mega-churches, mid-sized churches and currently in a two year-old church plant.

I have had the opportunity to see many different leadership styles from the visionary leader, the gifted preacher, the anointed evangelist to the people pleaser. While each one has it strengths and weaknesses, I have come to this conclusion…right or wrong: Continue reading

Preparing for the Lord’s Supper

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Seventeenth Century Puritan, Thomas Watson wrote, “God can turn stones into bread, and a sinner can turn bread into stones – the bread of life into the stone of stumbling.” Almost 400 years later, spiritual people still stumble over one of the most precious and powerful ordinances in the local church.

For over 2,000 years, the Lord’s Supper has been a means by which followers of Jesus Christ have remembered their Lord and Savior, proclaimed His gospel and been knitted together in unity as a family of faith.

Here are three simple ways you can prepare your heart before you head to church this weekend and partake in Communion (without letting this symbol become a stumbling block). (see 1 Corinthians 11:23-33). Continue reading

One word – Clarity

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Some people call it a milestone, but I’d call it a millstone. It now takes me an extra second or two for my eyes to focus in on something that I’m reading. Others just call it ‘old age’ — I did hit 45 years of age in 2018. But there is a greater lesson I’m gleaning from this reality of life. I don’t want to settle for declining vision as I live out God’s purposes in my life each day. I suppose many Christians are prone to settling for mediocre vision, but I want to see God’s hand and God’s purposes in my life better than I have have before. Consequently, my one word for 2019 is CLARITY. Continue reading

Is belief in the virgin birth “necessary”?

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The virgin birth is not a part of the Christmas story that gets much attention in Christmas sermons. Frankly, a lot of Christians don’t see how the virgin birth is relevant to the Christian faith. While Catholics are criticized for making too much of Mary, Protestants often make too little of Mary. The virgin birth is a miraculous event, but not because Mary was sinless. The Bible does not teach Immaculate Conception. Mary was pure, but she was not perfect. Continue reading

Living Upside Down: Blessed are Those Who Mourn

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MATTHEW 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

In light of God performing an overwhelming work of grace in our lives, we are more sensitive to the part that our sin played in His death. “If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us…If we say, ‘we have not sinned,’ we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, 10). Ask God to be specific in revealing what sins you need to see, confess and repent of in your life. Continue reading