Welcome to Provocative Church

As you browse, read and share the many articles, our hope is that you may find this site an encouragement to your faith and Christian life.

Worship

We were created to worship. And we are to worship God with every aspect and area of our lives - presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.

The Church

The bride of Christ can often times be difficult and messy - but it is Christ's beautiful mess - to which He is the head and chief cornerstone.

Ancient Future

Our faith comes out from a rich heritage and history. It was during the formative years of our faith that creeds, confessions, traditions, and liturgies were developed. These practices and traditions recaptured will not only anchor us but move us forward in our faith.

Freedom

There is freedom in the gospel as it proclaims that in Christ we are sons and daughters of the King. The importance is learning to preach those truths to our heart and life everyday.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rescued

The evidence of our broken and hurting world is everywhere and the images are powerful. Even more powerful, though, is the rescue and hope that comes through Jesus Christ.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

He Is HERE


On the morning that Jesus rose from the dead, the angels asked a profound question that can still be asked of us today. In this motion graphics piece, we are reminded that Jesus is no longer in the grave- He is here with us! Used as a service opener or part of the worship set, this will be a great part of your Easter service.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Something More

One man's life changed the course of history for billions of people across the globe. He is both revered and reviled, famed and feared and you know who he is without a single mention of his name.

 

Ash Wednesday - Beginning Of Lent



“God’s mercy is greater than our sins. There is an awareness of sin that does not lead to God but rather to self-preoccupation. Our temptation is to be so impressed by our sins and our failings and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in paralyzing guilt. It is the guilt that says, ‘I am too sinful to deserve God’s mercy.’ It is the guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God. It is the guilt that has become an idol and therefore a form of pride.

Lent is a time to break down this idol and to direct our attention to our loving Lord. The question is: ‘Are we like Judas, who was so overcome by his sin that he could not believe in God’s mercy any longer… or are we like Peter who returned to his Lord with repentance and cried bitterly for his sins?’ The season of Lent, during which winter and spring struggle with each other for dominance, helps us in a special way to cry out for God’s mercy.” – Henri Nouwen (from A Cry for Mercy)

Friday, February 14, 2014

What Is Poverty? - Video



Brian Fikkert—co-author of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself, and founder and executive director of the Chalmers Center (whose vision is for “local churches to declare and demonstrate to people who are poor that Jesus Christ is making all things new”)—looks at the deeper meaning of poverty:



(ht: Justin)

(cross-posted from www.MinistryBestPractices.com)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

4 Lessons From The School Of Suffering

from Darryl Dash:

Suffering is real, and it is a very good teacher. Okay, I knew this, but I knew it in a new way last year. There is something about experiencing an intense period of suffering. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I’m the better for it. What Spurgeon said is true: 
Do we not profit most in stormy times? Have you not found it so -- that your sick-bed -- your bereavement -- your depression of spirit, has instructed you in many matters which tranquility and delight have never whispered to you? I suppose we ought: to learn as much by joy as by sorrow, and I hope that many of my Lord's better servants do so; but, alas! others of us do not; affliction has to be called in to whip the lesson into us. 
Christianity has rich resources for suffering, but Christians often don’t. The Psalms and other writings became real to me in new ways. My prayer life was deepened even as my prayers contained fewer words. The consolation from knowing that Jesus was no stranger to suffering became even more precious. 

At the same time, I found that there’s a stigma to certain kinds of suffering in the church. We aren’t always comfortable when the answers aren’t easy. Perhaps it’s an over-realized eschatology (complete victory is ours now!) or a lack of experience, but I wish we were better equipped to stand with those who are suffering. 

There’s a secret group of sufferers. Begin to speak about your suffering and you will find a lot of people who say, “You too?” I was amazed by the number of people who understood what we were going through, because they’d been through it too. 

Weakness is the way. One of the things I’ll never forget is Charlene’s reminder that weakness isn’t a distraction from ministry; it’s often in our weakness, not our strength, that God most powerfully works. God seems to love using weak people. As J.I. Packer writes: 
For all Christians, the likelihood is rather that as our discipleship continues, God will make us increasingly weakness-conscious and pain-aware, so that we may learn with Paul that when we are conscious of being weak, then— and only then— may we become truly strong in the Lord. And should we want it any other way? (Weakness is the Way
At some level, the suffering continues, as do the lessons, although at a completely different level. I pray I’ll never forget the lessons I’ve learned in the school of suffering.

The Daily Benefits Of The Gospel

“God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness.
The wise believer learns this truth early and becomes proficient in extracting available benefits from the gospel each day. We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do.”
— Milton Vincent

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