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  • Ezra: A First Person Reflection (Part 2)

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Jan 23, 2017

    Ezra reflects on the Exile, the Return, and the future

    WWelcome back. It’s good to see you again. For those who were not here last week, I will introduce myself again. I am Ezra. I am, by vocation, a priest and a scribe, a record keeper. I am also a teacher of the Law. I served the Lord during the Restoration, the most exciting time in our history more

  • Ezra: A First Person Reflection, (Part 1) Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Jan 16, 2017

    Ezra reflects on the Exile, the Return, and the Future

    Ezra: A First Person Reflection on the Exile, the Return, and the Future (pt 1) Welcome. It’s good to see you! In the 2500 years since I lived on earth, I’ve enjoyed meeting my heroes of the faith. Some, like Barnabas and Stephen lived after I did, but I admired their work. Some, like Job, more

  • Was Jesus Married?

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Sep 23, 2012
    based on 2 ratings

    A response to claims that "evidence" that Jesus was married is “apt to send jolts through the world of biblical scholarship - and beyond.”

    Was Jesus Married? “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” 1 Timothy 4:7 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15 Popular characters tend to be more

  • The Purpose Of Second Coming Prophecy

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on May 29, 2012
    based on 1 rating

    Many misinterpret second coming prophecy because they do not know its purpose. It is not to inform us about events. It is not to identify the anti-Christ. It is to inspire us to obedience.

    The Purpose of Second Coming Prophesy 2 Thessalonians 3:4-13 Thomas Fuller was born in Africa about 1710. He was sold as a slave in Virginia in 1724. There is some disagreement about whether someone taught him to count to 100 or if he taught himself. He never had a day of formal more

  • Prayer Keys - Alert Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Apr 23, 2012

    Jesus commanded the disciples to "watch and pray." Paul encourages us to "be alert and always keep on praying." The same word is used for "watch" and "alert." Both are in the context of spiritual war. Like it or not, every time we engage in prayer, we eng

    Prayer Keys - Alert Pray and ask in the Spirit all the time. Keep this in mind. Watch out. Keep praying. Pray for all the saints, Ephesians 6:18. Jayme Biendl, a 34-year-old prison guard, was strangled to death in the prison chapel. The chief suspect was serving a life sentence. Even in the more

  • Prayer Keys - Conclusion Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Mar 15, 2012

    An interviewer asked Billy Graham if he had it all to do over again, would he do anything differently. He answered, “I’d travel less and pray more.”

    Prayer Keys - Conclusion “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord teach us... to pray.’” Luke 11:1 Mickey Mantle’s father was right handed and his grandfather was left handed. Between them, they more

  • Prayer Keys - Praise Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Mar 1, 2012

    Jesus himself thought praise was so important that he began and ended the model prayer with it. “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name... for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.” Surely our prayers are incomplete wi

    Prayer Keys - Praise “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalms 34:1 Vultures and hummingbirds are both birds, but the similarity doesn’t go much beyond that. If you watch an old western, when people on the trail see vultures more

  • Prayer Keys - Thanksgiving Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Feb 24, 2012

    “Returning thanks for blessings already received increases our faith and enables us to approach God with new boldness and new assurance.... As one meditates on the answer to prayers already granted, faith waxes bolder and bolder, and we come to feel in th

    Prayer Keys - Thanksgiving “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” Philippians 4:6. Rudyard Kipling was one of the few writers of his day who had opportunity to enjoy his success while he more

  • Prayer Keys - Abiding In Christ And Christ's Words Abiding In Us Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Feb 24, 2012
    based on 3 ratings

    Abiding in Christ, a relationship more intimate than being at home with a loving family, is our source of life. Christ’s words abiding in us should be so familiar to us that when we encounter the false we know it. These are two keys to empowered prayer.

    Prayer Keys - Abiding in Christ and Christ’s Words Abiding in Us “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you,” John 15:7. For this prayer key, I prefer the “old fashioned” King James Bible language. Abiding more

  • Prayer Keys - Humility Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Feb 16, 2012

    Humility is being totally consumed with glorifying God and not at all concerned with glorifying self. When I am totally consumed with glorifying God and not at all concerned with glorifying self, I pray as God wants me to pray.

    PRAYER KEYS - HUMILITY One Christmas afternoon, a pastor's wife dropped into a chair and said, “Boy! Am I ever tired!” Her husband looked over at her and said, “I’ve been on my feet for most of two days. I led two special services last night, three today. I’ve more

  • Prayer Keys - With Understanding Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Feb 11, 2012

    When we pray in public, we should not be concerned with tongues. We should be concerned with clearly making our requests to God. In public, we should pray in a language everyone understands.

    PRAYER KEYS - WITH UNDERSTANDING “So what shall I do? I shall pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind...” 1 Corinthians 14:15. A breakdown in communications can be frustrating. A man trying to move a sofa by himself got it stuck in the door, so he called a friend for more

  • Praying About God's Business Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Feb 1, 2012
    based on 1 rating

    It's easy to think that business meeting is boring, but church business is God's business. We may be too casual with God's business. Every vote should be bathed in prayer. We should pray until the answers come.

    “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and said...” Nehemiah 2:4-5a. This is not part of the original series, but it offers us an opportunity to apply what we have been studying. Last week, we voted on the disbursement of gas more

  • Prayer Keys - Faith Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Jan 10, 2012
    based on 1 rating

    If God reveals to you that he is going to do something, you should believe it and not doubt it. If God reveals to us that he will do a marvelous thing when we step out in faith, we should step out in faith. If we don’t step out in faith, we will miss the

    Prayer Keys - Faith “‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore more

  • Prayer Keys - Submission Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Jan 9, 2012

    Jesus often prayed privately. When he said, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” He did not get what he wanted, but he got what he needed. He had the strength to face what was to come. The time to choose submission is now. If we wait, we may not desire to

    “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39 Our list of prayer keys uses Matthew 26:39 as the text for submission. I generally use the more

  • Prayer Keys - Sincerity Series

    Contributed by Mark Stepherson on Dec 15, 2011

    Prayer keys are not ways of manipulating God. Rather, they are like a boat hook. If I am in a row boat and cast a hook to shore, does pulling move the shore to me or does it move me to the shore? Prayer keys do not pull God to our will. They pull us to Go

    “These people come near to me with their mouth & honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.” Isaiah 29:13 Before saying anything else to introduce sincerity as a prayer key, I want to repeat something about more