Spirit Empowered Mission: Hoist the Sails

Crowd in circle, rolling dice

Should we cast lots today? What can we learn from the disciples’ actions before advent of the Spirit? What does the addition of a 12th disciple say about Israel and the church? We asked Art Azurdia… Listen to sermon (Acts 1:12-26): First, the obvious question: Should we make decisions by casting lots? Oh sure, as…
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Starting and Ending with Why: The Importance of Asking “Why?” When We Prepare to Preach

Man reading at messy desk.

Tonight, I decided to clean off my desk at Western Seminary. Like my desk at church, it has lost a fair amount of dignity due to the mess of endless piles, sticky marks from drinks, and the occasional untidiness of homeless pens and paperclips. I left it impressively clean when I took a brief leave,…
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The Mysterious (and Perplexing) Ways of the Lord

Wandering in desert

The blessing of the Jews by the pagan sorcerer Balaam, in Numbers 22-24, is a perplexing series of events. Balaam is also known from a text outside the Bible. An inscription was discovered near the junction of the Jordan and Jabbok rivers in the language of the Ammonites, descendants of Lot. The inscription is dated…
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So Who Is the Holy Spirit? The Unseen Potency

Black and white photo of church with a square drawn around the church in ink.

How should 1 Cor. 2:4 shape our understanding of the art and craft of preaching? Is there any correlation between skill and Gospel effectiveness? We asked Art Azurdia… Listen to the sermon (1 Corinthians 2:4): How do you understand the craft of preaching in light of 1 Cor. 2:4?  Is Paul telling us that preachers…
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Introduction to Youth Ministry: 1 Timothy 4:12 vs. Toys R’ Us

Boy sneaking cookies while dog watches

By Timothy Rucker “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”   -1 Timothy 4:12 “I don’t want to ever grow up, I’m a Toys R’ Us kid…” -Toys R’ Us Youth ministry is one of the most misunderstood…
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