Joyful Jesus?

This past Sunday was so enjoyable for me: Worshiping, eating, playing, listening to spontaneous music, talking, watching—all with my dear sisters and brothers of New Covenant Fellowship on a gorgeous day in a beautiful park. It all reminded me how much it means to me that Jesus was a joyful person who enjoyed both God

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How much should we rely on commentary when reading the Bible?

“I recently heard about a group in a remote part of Africa that is hearing Bible stories translated aloud into their language for the first time, but without any explanation or  commentary. They are coming to very interesting and wise biblical interpretations. What do you think about this approach?” This question was posed in a

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One of the many things I love about Jesus

For the past several weeks, my theme here in the NCF blog has been “God’s Story Goes On,” with an emphasis on the fact that the biblical records were not recorded just to tell us what happened some time “back then,” but to invite us into God’s ongoing story. It means a lot to me

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In what ways am I Simon the Pharisee?

She crashes the party and stands at Jesus’ feet as he eats and talks with the others who have been invited to Simon’s formal banquet. She is not wanted—by anyone other than Jesus. (Well, not quite true. We later find out through Jesus that God wants her, too.) There is a lot to learn and

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Nearly Buried Alive By the Blues

**This post was written Kristin Tennant, a member of the NCF community, for her blog, Halfway to Normal. Michael Powers plays drums for NCF worship services nearly every Sunday. ———— He’s not your typical street corner evangelist. In fact, most people who know of Michael wouldn’t tie the word “evangelist” to him at all, unless

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Joyful Oneness in the Midst of Deep Diversity

2 Chronicles 29-30 tells the story of one of the great renewals/revivals in ancient Israel. People move from burning their children as sacrifices to the gods to renewing the worship of Yahweh. The entire story is one that invites us to allow God to continue this great story in our lives and in our fellowship.

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What God can do with whatever you do well

Many of us often ask ourselves “What can I do to serve God?” but we’re less likely to combine that question with this one: “What do I love to do, and do well?” The narrative of 1 Samuel 17—one of the most commonly told and perhaps most commonly mis-told narratives in the Bible—brings those two

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What is the “lead story” for Easter?

If you were to ask the average believer what Easter’s “lead story” is, you might receive this response: “God did the biggest miracle of all time.” Or, someone might answer, “God proved that He can do great miracles.” Someone else might answer, “Now we know what our future will be like.” Yet another common response

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Meanings of the Cross: Jesus experiences our loneliness

Genesis 2:18 claims that God knew from the beginning that “It is not good for the human to be alone.” Nevertheless, a reality upon which modern literature, art, and theater often focus is human loneliness.  God has allowed something to become a part of the wounds of our existence that God knows is “not good.”

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Gehenna: The garden-turned-garbage dump

In my previous post (Is Hell a Key Tenet of the Christian Faith?), I focused on showing that references to “Hell/Gehenna” in the New Testament are almost all from words credited to Jesus and are almost all warnings to church/religious leaders not to abuse their influence. Never once does Jesus threaten the tax gatherers, the

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