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Posted on June 6, 2014

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12NASB).
-Jesus Christ
Why do people not love or have respect one another? Why is there a devaluation of human life? Why are people so miserable within themselves that they would take a shotgun to a university campus (even though he or she has the right to bear arms) and shoot unsuspecting, unarmed people? There is an increase of lawlessness, and a decrease of love. 
The term “lawlessness” is a transliteration of the Greek word anomia: meaning contempt and violation of law; iniquity, wickedness.  In essence anomia is the condition of knowing and understanding the existence of a legal construct (such as the laws of nature, law of gravity, laws of the land, or the Laws of God), even acknowledging such, and working to alter, redefine, and/or change the law so that it makes wrong have the appearance of right.  
The “love” (agape) in this [...]
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Posted on October 18, 2013
By Pastor Jonno Strickling
Spiritual Formation Pastor, Center of Praise Ministries, Sacramento, CA  
Labeled a "misfit", the man contemplated jumping. The stress of being a square peg forced to function in the confines of a round hole, even though he did it faithfully, had become too much. His true identity was yearning to break through the ceiling and out of the mold. The enemy of his soul whispered, “Your edges have been rounded down therefore you’ll never be what HE intended you to be. Give it up.” 
Friends and family spoke based on their own experiences and what they could foresee attempting to advise him, even encouraging him, to stay in the cylindrical prison that tradition and man’s wisdom placed him in. He might just end up dead, serving outside of his capacity, beyond his area of passion, within the confinement of expectations, and inside the prison of tradition: all in the name of Jesus.   
Long enough:  [...]
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Posted on May 25, 2013

By Jonno
I was driving on Interstate 80, leaving Sacramento, on my way back to the Bay Area when I noticed this billboard. It read: “Find Jesus in the Quran 3:45”.  The billboard also gave the web address.
Of course, inquisitive me, I have to look it up.  Mind you, I have never read any part of the Quran before.  I have read of it, and have researched some of its history.  I figured, if it is talking about the Jesus whom I know, love, and serve, I should check it out.
I went to the website, and arrived at the passage marked 3:45.  It read:
“[And mention] when the angels said, ‘O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ].”
I had to draw comparison to the Biblical account found in Luke 1:28-33, which read:
 The angel came to her and said, [...]
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Posted on April 9, 2013
PERCEPTION AND PERSPECTIVE - MERCYOn more than one occasion non-believers (pre-Christians) have given a  indictment over all Believers with the accusation of imperfection.  The normal reaction is become combative and take offense. After all, we are here to be defenders of righteousness. While in our humanity we experience the grace of Christ which enables us, the anointing of the Holy Spirit which empowers us, and the love of God which is our sole motivation. Yet, Christians have a predisposition from birth to sin (missing the mark).  The writer of Proverbs shared, "The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked" (24:16 NET).  Yes, the righteous and just ones will fall and stumble, sometimes horribly in public. I believe the writer meant that we fall seven times daily. We must remember, there was and is only One in all of human history who lived a sinless life, even though tempted daily.While we enjoy the [...]
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Posted on March 27, 2013

Marriage is the covenant union between God, one man, and one woman. Marriage reflects the relationship God, Jesus, and the Church shares.  Marriage also reflects the relationship within the Trinity. 

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