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Many years ago, Casting Crowns released a song entitled “Stained Glass Masquerade.” It was a haunting, convicting song about the masks we wear to church each Sunday to cover our insecurities, flaws, and sinfulness.

So I tuck it all away, like everything’s okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them

Are we happy plastic people
Under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation’s open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade Continue reading

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One of the most successful movies of recent times was Titanic. The movie made millions based on the true story of the tragic sinking of a ship that was considered unsinkable.

The World Book Encyclopedia, in an article by Robert L. Scheina, defines a shipwreck as “the accidental destruction or loss of a ship. A ship may be lost by striking land, another ship, or another floating object, such as an iceberg. Fire also causes shipwrecks.” The article goes on to say, “Although ships are now safer, the impact of shipwrecks that do occur is much more severe. This is because present-day ships can carry more cargo than ever before, and many cargoes are hazardous.” Continue reading

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Graduation season is upon us. I believe the greatest gifts you can give new grads are books!

Courageous Teens is a student-focused presentation of Courageous Living. The book brings fresh insight to “stories of people in the Bible who displayed great courage when it would have been easier to play it safe . . . (who) challenge me to keep moving forward. They demand that I examine my priorities and deal with anything that brings fear to my heart.” Teen readers will be inspired to resolve to live for God as they learn more about Abraham, Moses, Nehemiah, Ruth, Daniel, and many more. Best-selling youth market author Amy Parker arranges the heart-stirring material into four categories: Courageous Faith, Courageous Leadership, Courageous Priorities, and Courageous Influence. Discussion questions are also included at the end of each chapter. Courageous Teens won the award for Best Young Adult Non-Fiction book at the 2013 International Christian Retail Show.

Purchase your copy here or wherever Christian books are sold.

 

Free Series COH MCC Blog

Be sure to download this month’s FREE monthly sermon series through Sherwood’s online bookstore – City on a Hill.

In this 6-part series, pastor Michael Catt discusses what it means as a believer to be a city on a hill, the light of the world. How do we shine for Christ in a dark world? Series includes:

The Need is Obvious (Matthew 5:14 – 16; Romans 1)
God’s Will for His Church (Matthew 5:13 – 16)
The Word is Proclaimed (Acts 2:14 – 40; 2 Timothy 3:16, 4:2)
The Opportunity Before Us (Matthew 5:14-16; Acts 2:42)
The Butterfly Effect (Acts 1:8; 2:47)
We Are the Light of the World (Matthew 5:13 – 16)

To download the free series, click here. Once on the series page, please check the box next to “MP3” for each message, then click “Add to Cart” for each message. After adding the messages you want, click on the shopping cart icon in the upper right corner of the screen next to “Quick Links”. Choose the option “Checkout”. Follow the prompts through the check-out process.

If you create an account in the bookstore, it will keep track of all your purchases. So, for example, if you download these MP3s to a laptop and then lose your files or change computers, you can come back to your bookstore account and download the messages again! It’s free and easy!

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Through the decades of ministering and outside speaking, I’ve been in a variety of situations. I’ve been in places where I’ve seen God work and others where “Ichabod” was written over the door and I’ve tried to get out of town as quickly as possible. It’s one thing to say you want God to work; it’s another thing to desperately want it.

The work of God is not a program or an event. It is a sovereign work. At the same time, God won’t work where He’s not wanted or welcomed. If we’ve got it figured out in our flesh, we can forget power from on high. Continue reading