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Tough Texts and Deep Truth, part 2: Noah and Baptism

Read Part 1 As if 1 Peter 3:19 wasn’t difficult enough to understand, Peter then follows with a somewhat confusing illustration of Noah and the flood. So why does Peter use Noah to make his point? Noah was actually a great example to use because he was a popular figure in Asia Minor. In fact, Roman emperors even had his face minted on some of their coins. Additional...

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Tough Texts and Deep Truth, part 1: Spirits and Proclamation

Martin Luther called 1 Peter 3:18-22 “a strange text and certainly a more obscure passage than any other passage in the NT.” Scholars have counted over 180 different interpretations to these verses. So the question is when tough texts come, how are we to approach them properly? When tough texts call for deep study and careful intention to even the most minute ...

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Gentle and Respectful Apologetics

1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” This verse is the hub for almost every conversation I’ve ever heard on the subject of apologetics, or in other words, defending the Christian ...

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Why Are We Doing a Ministry Fair?

A few months ago, the idea was brought up to do a “ministry fair” for our church. After some discussion, we settled on late April as a great date to let people know about the ministries we have at Harvest and how people can get involved. The reasons for putting on a ministry fair are simple: 1. Harvest is growing. 2. Because we’re growing, our opportuni...

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The How and Why of Prayer, Recap part 2

After Jesus gives us the how of prayer by giving a model, or template, on mature prayer to aim for, he turns his attention to some of the “why” of prayer. To be sure, no single passage, book, or sermon says all there is to say about prayer, so I won’t pretend that this says it all. But it would help us if we press in to what Jesus presses upon our hearts....

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The How and Why of Prayer: Recap part 1

Prayer is something we all need help with. Whether we just want to get started praying, or need to believe God that he hears and responds to our prayers, or anything else related to prayer, there’s much growth to be had. Fortunately, Jesus gets it. His disciples ask him in Luke 11:1-13 to teach them to pray, and Jesus gets right to work. He gives a model prayer that ...

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Don’t Let Your Life Speak Louder than God’s Word

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As we see our lives play out, we spend much of our time trying to make sense of what we watch unfold. But wouldn’t you agree that your perspective on the interpretation of your life is limited? Despite our limited understanding, we still tend to poorly interpret our circumstances and come to believe that God is not good or that somehow God is not for us. What’s...

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Learning to Rejoice in the Gospel

What do you find yourself rejoicing in these days? A good dinner? A nice glass of wine? Perhaps a beautiful sunset, waves crashing on the beach, a glorious view of Lake Tahoe, or a baby being born. What are the sorts of things that make your heart full of joy, full of awe or inspiration? Those are things you rejoice in. We all rejoice in things; I would even argue we rejo...

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My Wife is My Best Friend

Tomorrow is my 8 year wedding anniversary to the love of my life, Noelle Marie Ritter. It’s hard to believe that 8 years ago we began a family of two. These days, with a family of 3 and so much attention going to our awesome son Colton, it’s all too easy to spend less time cultivating a great marriage. I am a man tremendously blessed to have a wife who is also ...

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What To Do With Your Feelings

I have at many times in my life following Jesus been frustrated by my feelings. It is sadly not an unusual thing to go a few days doing very well, and then for no apparent reason the next day is hard, unmotivated, and just lame. I’ve slogged through many days hoping to become more chipper merely as time passes, but to no avail. I try praying and even get very honest ...

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