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Today is my favorite holiday of the year! I know as a Christian I should probably say it’s Christmas or Easter, but I have to admit it’s actually Halloween.
ALL RIGHT, OK: Danielle Johnson, a camp counselor, teaches a class of girls cheer during a CampLearn session at Chandler Christian Church.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: A small group meeting at Mountain View Lutheran Church in Ahwatukee Foothills is using the book \"The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?\"
Being sick — taken out of the game of life’s commitments — is so tough. But sometimes that’s what it takes for God to show us that He’s working through us, in us, and even in spite of us.
The steady, slapping cadence of basketballs on concrete provided the accompaniment as a band of boys repeated phrases from the Bible passage most associated with sports.
This Lenten season, congregations are buzzing about something more than Mel Gibson’s controversial film, "The Passion of the Christ."
I need to start out with a big apology. In last month’s article, I inadvertently credited Jason Gray with “I Refuse,” but that is really Josh Wilson’s song. I was made aware of my mix-up by a kind woman who graciously pointed out my mistake and then shared a few things that I hadn’t known. I learned that Gray has a speech impediment and stutters when talking, but it isn’t noticeable at all when he sings. Amazing.
Elder Greer speaks during the One Nation Under God program at Higley Center for the Performing Arts in Gilbert on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
Rabbi Jeremy Schneider during the One Nation Under God program at Higley Center for the Performing Arts in Gilbert on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
(L-R) Speakers Pastor Chad Moore, Rabbi Jeremy Schneider and Elder Greer during the “One Nation Under God” program at Higley Center for the Performing Arts in Gilbert on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014.
As a pastor to a developing congregation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I have often pondered how faith and money are linked in the way they define us as individuals.
This film publicity image released by Radius-TWC shows Ryan Gosling in a scene from "Only God Forgives."
In this film image released by Magnolia Pictures, Tara Lynne Barr, left, and Joel Murray are shown in a scene from "God Bless America."
Lamb of God Lutheran Church will perform its live nativity Nov. 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 599 E. Chandler Blvd. [Submitted photo]
Guest commentary by Peter Funt
In this film publicity image released by Sony Pictures Classics, Lambert Wilson, left, and Jean-Marie Frin are shown in a scene from "Of Gods and Men."
There is another important day this November besides Nov. 2, Election Day. It is Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day.
Romans 8:31 If God is for us, who can be against us? That is such an encouraging scripture. Think about it. The God who created the universe, who is king of kings and lord of lords is on your side. He created you. He loves you. He wants what is best for you.
Hollywood bean counters have started calling them "God films."
The Rev. Mark Ernst
Half of our country is excited, half is fearful with the results of recent elections. Whatever your politics are, this is a time to pray earnestly for our president and our government.
In March I wrote about my friend Kathy and her lifelong battles with cancer. I am thrilled to tell you that she has been completely healed by the Lord! I was praying with her and she suddenly felt an intense heat beneath my hand. Unknown to me at the time, I had placed my hand directly upon a spot in her brain, where there was a brain tumor. Because the part of the brain that controls the heart and lung function was affected by this tumor, Kathy has had to get fluid drained from her lungs every 10 to 12 days for the past six years so she can breathe without difficulty. However, since that moment, all the symptoms she has had for the past six years are completely gone and she has not needed to have fluid drained from her lungs since that incredible day more than eight weeks ago. Praise God! He is mighty and awesome and still in the business of healing and miracles! Thinking about this led me to ponder the Holy Spirit and the power God uses to accomplish His purposes here on earth. One of my favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20: "Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen." We cannot forget the impact of the countless prayers that have gone up on Kathy's behalf. But I also know there is no way my hands and prayer could have done anything for Kathy on that day without the power of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus appeared for 40 days after His resurrection, He instructed the disciples to wait for the gift His Father had promised. Acts 1:8: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." This was no one-shot deal. I used to think the Holy Spirit was given to believers at the moment of the acceptance of Jesus as Savior and that was it. But as I looked further through the Scriptures, I noticed something different. The disciples were filled more than once. The first time was at Pentecost when the tongues of fire came to rest upon them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). A couple of chapters later, we find these same men gathered together and praying with others. And what happened? Acts 4:31: "After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." The disciples were filled again and spoke with boldness. They prayed and the Holy Spirit came. What does the church look like today? Do the buildings ever shake when we pray? Do we expect to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Do we even bother to ask the Lord for a fresh filling? Luke 11:13: "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." The fastest car with the biggest engine will not get very far unless it is filled with fuel. And then refilled when the tank gets low. And then refilled again. When I run a marathon, getting to the end does not depend entirely on being well trained. To finish strong, I need to consistently take in fuel along the way to supply my muscles with power. I am not implying that every person we pray with will be healed exactly as Kathy was. But I do believe that the Father will send the Holy Spirit again and again to fill those with clean hands and pure hearts who truly desire to be filled and used as Paul was, for the glory of God and His purposes. "And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). --Ahwatukee Foothills resident Lisa Jisa is a member of the Foothills Baptist Church, where she is active in the choir and mission work. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.