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FIRST-PERSON: Looking in the rearview mirror

CORDOVA, Tenn. (BP) – A few years ago, a church member’s mother from North Carolina visited our church in Tennessee. When I introduced myself, she asked, “Pastor, do you remember a woman named Lois Pendley?” I replied, “Yes, I do. She was a member of my first pastorate.”

FIRST-PERSON: Seeing beyond this life

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) – King Solomon ruled the nation of Israel in peace for 39 years during the mid-tenth century B.C. At that time, the borders of Israel extended from the Euphrates River to the edge of Egypt.

Bible Study: Fight evil with mercy and grace

Even sinners will extend mercy to the merciful, but Jesus calls His followers to be merciful towards enemies. The way we treat others opens the door for God to work in that person’s heart, making us an extension of God’s mercy.

FIRST-PERSON: Fear not the future, God is already there

NASHVILLE (BP) -- On Saturday, Dec. 26, I became ill with what Jeana and I suspected was COVID-19. Due to the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville and the technical challenges caused by it, the testing sites near us were closed. When I was able to be tested, the diagnosis was clear: I was positive for COVID-19.

Bible Study: God sees, knows and cares when we’re depressed

In our moments of despair and depression, we may feel no one sees or cares; but God sees, knows and cares. God will set us free from the tight space of depressing thoughts and bring us to a spacious place.

FIRST-PERSON: A story that changed my life forever

JACKSON, Miss. (BP) – The International Mission Board's The Commission magazine ceased publication years ago. But an article in one issue changed my life forever. It was so tiny, I’m confident that the person who dropped it in had no idea how powerful it was and no inkling of how God would use it.

FIRST-PERSON: Supernatural help needed for my New Year’s resolutions

VIENNA, Ga. (BP) – I don’t recall ever making a list of New Year’s resolutions. If I did, the goals were not memorable enough to stay with me. The year 2020, however, has left many of us wanting a fresh start.

Bible Study: Jesus Christ our godliness

For God’s glory and our good, Jesus was sent so we might share in a new “Jesus nature,” having been transformed and enabled to properly bear God’s image.

Bible Study: Habitat for divinity

God takes us residence within Christians. As He renews believers and makes us more suitable dwellings for Him, our relationship with Him grows in corresponding measure.

FIRST-PERSON: Encouraging words for frightening times

The familiar words of Psalm 23 reveal important truths that can help us find comfort in fearful times. And to be sure, we’ve known fearful times recently. COVID-19, harsh reminders of racism, police brutality, protests turned to riots and looting, overt divisiveness in the nation’s political structures – all are suggestive of the valleys of life.