The Fellowship - Articles

Nov
2009
Bernie Powell
  The colored leaves, the nip in the air, the shorter days remind us of that time of year when our forefathers would celebrate harvest. Today we have so little direct experience of the cycle of sowing, growing, and harvesting: long hours of hard work, and long months of waiting and praying. Everything depended on the harvest.   Perhaps we taste it a bit if we invest (sow) in the stock market and wait for long periods through influences beyond our control to see if there... + read more
Nov
2009
Steve Cox
  Do you ever have that feeling that God is trying to teach you something? I suspect this is a fairly common experience to all of us that follow Jesus Christ as Lord. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives to gradually transform us to be like Jesus Christ in our character and our actions. Sometimes I even get the feeling that God intends to teach me something the hard way. These are usually the deeper issues in life that He is seeking to address. If I am to be... + read more
Oct
2009
Bernie Powell
  Since everyone is asking me about our sabbatical adventures, this month’s column will be more personal than the usual. This space is usually filled with some reflection on The Fellowship and what is happening here.   Both Cheryl and I are deeply grateful to The Fellowship for the generous opportunity for six weeks travel to visit our missionaries around the world. The missionaries also, in so many ways, have expressed their gratitude that the church cares enough... + read more
Oct
2009
Steve Cox
  No, I am not asking this question in the way people say it when they think you are staring at them. And I am not asking it in a way to question the appropriateness of what you are viewing on television or the internet (although it is a good idea for us to re-evaluate our viewing habits every once in a while). By asking “What are you looking at?” I mean, what is drawing your attention lately, what are your thoughts and concerns focused on? In other words, where are your... + read more
Sep
2009
Steve Cox
God Is At Work!   (even when you're not looking for or expecting it) As part of my devotional time this morning, I read through Acts chapter 12 and found Luke’s recount of the events actually quite humorous. Peter is placed in prison by King Herod with the plan of having Peter face a public trial and then be put to death. (This isn’t the humorous part.) As Peter is behind locked prison doors being guarded by sixteen soldiers (and chained between two of them), an... + read more
Jul
2009
Steve Cox
  A few of my friends are really into the latest electronic gadgets. I imagine you know some people like this as well. Maybe you are even one of these people, which is fine with me. I do find it fascinating when they show me all the things the latest phone, television, computer, or whatever, can do. I even find it downright amazing how much information, or function, can be packed into such a small device. But what I find very interesting is how quickly we lose our sense of amazement at... + read more
Jun
2009
Steve Cox
I was talking with a parent recently who was frustrated by the frequently negative attitude of her teenager. This teen seemed to be looking at every situation in life from a negative viewpoint, and was complaining about even the smallest inconveniences as if they were major disasters. I shared with this parent that I can still recall a period of my teen years when I had a fairly similar negative attitude.    As a matter of fact, as I gave the issue some further thought,... + read more
May
2009
Bernie Powell
  John Newton’s wonderful hymn Amazing Grace is easily the most recognized and most popular hymn among people of many religious backgrounds, and those with no religion at all! Yet do we really understand grace as Newton did?   We sing Amazing Grace, yet we are surprised to learn the shocking difference between grace and love. Love is enthralled with all the good it finds in the beloved. But grace is an acceptance of a person who is bad. It’s the difference... + read more
May
2009
Steve Cox
Our culture has probably always been this way, promising us great benefits if we will only buy this or that product. But, with the tight economy and sales down, it seems the prevalence of such promises is increasing. The big thing now is “Reward Points”. Advertisers tell us, if you use our credit card, or our services, or buy our product, we will give you a reward.    The dictionary defines reward as “something given in response to something done or... + read more
Apr
2009
Bernie Powell
  No, I haven’t seen the movie yet, despite its many Oscars. I’m not sure I will, because of what I’ve heard about the almost unbearable scenes of child torture. Nevertheless, The Fellowship has a keen interest in this story. Why?   Because we are there.   No, not in the movie. But in the mean streets of Mumbai, India. Our Bethany is serving the street children, bringing them hope and life through Jesus. We are in regular communication, and... + read more

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