Art Challenge!

We need art. We need art to remind us of the grandeur of gifts that people possess, to remind us that our imaginations need to be stoked, and to remind us that beauty helps recalibrate our being.

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Crosland Stuart
Missing a Milestone???

I’m generally not one for new years resolutions. If, however, any of my evangelical friends were to ask what I’d recommend, I’d suggest three. 1) Recognize an important milestone likely to happen in 2019. 2) Recognize what this milestone means. 3) Recognize that doing more of what we’re already doing is not a solution.

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Crosland Stuart
Do You Have A Dream?

At the beginning of this week we, as a nation, celebrated MLK Day. While not everyone received a day off, it would be hard to miss that much of our country was moving to a different rhythm this past Monday.  It is curious to me how a variation, even a seemingly insignificant one (like a day off), can prove to be a positive disruptor. These positive disruptors can manifest themselves in a myriad of ways, something out of the ordinary.

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Crosland Stuart
I Am NOT Eloquent

Of all the human responses to God in the Bible, I relate to Moses’ response the most. There are those people whom God calls and without hesitation they say, “Okay, I got this, use me.”  I wish.

But no, like Moses, my response is, “You want me to do what now?”

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Emily Matteson
Double Feature: Inside Amazon & Work Is Changing

We should ask ourselves several questions and among them should be: 1) Does my company/department/policies/work habits promote the well-being of the family? And 2) Does my management style devalue humans or bolster one’s worth? There are other questions that could surface, but these are places to start.

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Crosland Stuart
Redemptive Resolutions 2019

As we re-emerge from the Christmas haze, it is a good time to remember the point of Christ’s birth. He came so that we might be redeemed, and as a redeemed people we are called to live in a manner that strives to recover that which has been lost through the Fall. Asking ourselves how our jobs, families, friendships, etc. can be redeemed helps to shape our goals for 2019. Understanding what the idols in our lives are can also shape our resolutions. So much of what needs to be redeemed is tied to our destructive idols. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Atheism was not introduced in the garden, but idolatry was.” So, these two questions about redemption and idolatry serve to minimize how distracted we are by our feelings, our personal definitions of truth, and our own sins—filters that keep us focused on those things that are truly significant.

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Crosland Stuart
Merry Christmas!

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,

(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten

of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (KJV)

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Crosland Stuart
Should Christians Abandon Christmas?

Recently, someone told me they had never heard of Sinclair Ferguson. My internal response was a groan, not in judgement, but rather out of sadness for what this person has been missing. Sinclair is a spiritual living giant that I would commend to you. He is a prolific writer and his speaking and preaching is not far behind. The article below is just a taste of Dr. Ferguson as well as an article that is on point as we think about what we are doing this December.

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Crosland Stuart
Advent and Work

Culturally, there is nothing virtuous about waiting, and yet throughout Scripture we are called to wait on the Lord and to be still and know that I am Lord. There is the fundamental assumption (particularly in the marketplace) that no good can come from waiting—it is not progress, it is not advancing the cause, it is not success. The questions then become how do I grow my appreciation for this Biblical mandate, what does that look like, how do I more fully cultivate it in my own soul.

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Crosland Stuart
Record Producer

For me, Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, the totality of the Gospel, joy, fun, and moments of reflection. This message does not change year to year, but how these ideas get communicated does. The most important concept for me always is the idea that while Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, its significance lies in the life of Christ, His death on the cross, and the atonement made for my sins through His resurrection.

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Crosland Stuart
Work and Family in Sync?

Many families are experiencing a lot of stress regarding their ability to care for family members, especially after the birth of a child or older family members who need a lot of medical care and attention. Our research is not directed at mothers in particular, but we do show how women experience the stresses between work and family.

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Crosland Stuart
Being Thankful...When You Don't Feel So Thankful

This is the time of year that should be full of excitement and celebration. Sadly, for many of us the dread of spending extended time with family has already begun to settle into our bones. With the crushing weight of stress that many of us shoulder daily, the added strain of navigating family dynamics can be a tipping point, with a  result that is never pretty.

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Crosland Stuart
The Big Picture

In a working world where we are often measured by what we produce or in meeting our quotas, it is all too easy to protect our turf and fail to grasp the larger picture. We can easily forget the “abide in faith” part, not realizing that as we work, it is not ultimately about us, but about advancing God’s Kingdom on earth.

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Dan Sharp
What Are You Begetting

In the cattle show world there is a class called “Get of Sire.” This is a class where multiple offspring (usually 4) of one bull are judged against other groupings of offspring from other bulls and the standard is all about the idea of production. Is the gene pool strong enough from one bull to produce not just one outstanding calf, but to do it repeatedly? The idea is that outstanding breeding begets outstanding offspring.

This is not only how bovine genetics work, but it is also true for most things, whether it is sin begetting more sin or virtue producing more virtue. The question is, what are we begetting?

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Crosland Stuart
Right Where We Are

In this world of never enough, our culture pushes us to create whatever façade makes you look better, sound better, feel better because obviously your current life is not the most attractive.

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Shelly Shafer
What Bach Teaches Us about Work, Worship, and Service

Bach lived in Germany in the first half of the eighteenth century, yet in his day, he was virtually unknown as a composer, and those who knew of his work hated it. He was an accomplished organist, yet the genius of his work as a composer would not be discovered until 80 years after his death. This humble man, who would become the baroque era’s greatest organist and composer, wrote most of his music never knowing if it would ever be played by anyone other than himself.

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Crosland Stuart
When Justice Fails

We inhabit different universes. We have no shared standards of conduct, especially sexual conduct. Our elites jettisoned all the old rules a long time ago, and we have to limp along on the thin reed of consent. There were odd twists in the latest spectacle. Some traditionalists excuse Kavanaugh for youthful indiscretions; for sexual progressives, his opposition to Roe is evidence he’s a creepy serial rapist. Our rudderless sexual ethics make no sense: The same people who defend pornographers and sex workers are in high dudgeon whenever someone acts out a pornographic fantasy.

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Crosland Stuart
Individual Care is Critical to Church Effectiveness (Part 1 of 2)

Millennials are the canary in the mine telling us that our impersonal reliance upon technological shortcuts, in both work and personal interactions, has its drawbacks. They long for greater connection and purpose. A fundamental aspect to the imago Dei in each person is the inter-relatedness of the Trinity. The next generation has noticed what many of us have not seen creep up all around us as technological advances have claimed more and more of our attention.

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Case Thorp
Begin at the Beginning

In our culture we are abundantly blessed with opportunities for laziness. We don’t have to walk miles for clean water or hunt for food. At the press of a button, without leaving our homes, food and things appear on our doorsteps from all over the world. We can afford to be picky, to have a brand preference, to complain about calories. Even more so, we can afford to quit when things just are not working out the way we had wanted or planned. Everything is convenient.

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Emily Matteson