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God's process is not man's process
In industrial engineering and manufacturing, the process of creating a product is keenly scrutinized -- by a team usually using some type of Lean Management or Six Sigma process improvement strategy -- to find out the best way to begin the product's cycle of creation to completion, beginning to end, over and over again, so that whatever product is manufactured is done as-close-to-perfectly as possible. The goal is to finish with as close to 0% imperfection as possible.
All of us go through moments that shape who we are and redefine our convictions. It is by God’s grace and mercy that we can continually grow in our understanding, and have the chance to live again through Christ. Our lives on earth are fraught with many trials. But our faith teaches us that that when we overcome them, we not only live eternally with our heavenly father, but we can learn the secret of enjoying our lives in the here and now.
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. -- 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. -- 2 Corinthians 5:1-7
Editor’s note: Daniel and Berin Krenek of the Cambridge Church of Christ share their story of how they met and married through the website ICOC Match Point, a site that no longer exists. Please check out DT Heart & Soul if you’re interested in finding other disciples and seeing more great testimonials.
ICOC HotNews recently visited our churches in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, and was amazed at all that God is doing. In this episode, the first of four-part series on Central America, we tell the story of two couples who courageously left their lives of comfort behind for the sake of the gospel in Nicaragua.
This short, heart-warming video was made possible because of three faithful women who can't stop sharing the good news of Jesus and his good work in their lives. ICOC HotNews says "thank you" to Barbara Porter, Jane Chin, and Tammy Flemming.
Writer's note: I would like to clarify that this essay does not address the morality of kissing before marriage. The Bible is silent on that issue, and so am I. What follows is simply an attempt to share why my fiancee and I have decided that our first kiss will be on the wedding day.
We’ll be married in December, and our lips have yet to meet.
Editor's note: The following article features Kelly Boyd, who leads the recent church planting in Eugene, Oregon. The article was originally published at The Register Guard and is reprinted here with permission.
The unmistakable sound of a vintage horn on the streets of Eugene signals that the Give One Take One truck is near.
A glimmering metal grill and classic bug-eye headlights catch the sunlight as a stylish black 1937 Chevrolet pickup truck rolls into the Starbucks parking lot at 18th Avenue and Pearl Street.
He found himself lying in a nursing home bed at the age of 45.
Darryl Owens, a Boston police officer, disciple of Jesus and a member of the Boston Church of Christ, had – in the course of his twenty years on the force – been a member of the SWAT team, the late Mayor Menino’s personal driver and bodyguard, and the self-defense instructor to over 1000 police officers.
Now he lay in a bed in a nursing home at the age of 45, hoping to recover from a double hip replacement. He worried that his life would never be the same, and prayed that God would show him what to do next.