• How to Fight Sin in the Moment of Temptation

    by Shawn Merithew on September 2, 2009

    This past Sunday, we finished our exposition of the Disciple’s Prayer in Matthew 6 by examining the final request:  “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  When we consider the subject of temptation, many thoughts come to mind.  As Christians, we all have areas where, by God’s grace, we enjoy a measure of success in fighting sin.  However, all of us also have areas of besetting sin where we find it extremely difficult to resist temptation and (more…)

  • FORGIVE AS YOU HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN

    by Shawn Merithew on August 26, 2009

    Forgiveness can be a very difficult subject for many people.  God has made us to be relational beings, but because of sin, we have become very adept at hurting one another in the midst of our relationships.  And when we are hurt, forgiveness is not our natural response.  Our natural human tendency is to withdraw and retaliate when we have been injured by someone.  We also tend to think that to forgive someone (more…)

  • We proclaim the biblical mandate; are we brave enough to walk it?

    by Shawn Merithew on August 18, 2009

    Last Sunday, August 9th, Pastor Vic Pentz of Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Metro Atlanta was preaching a sermon on politics, abortion, and the sanctity of human life.  Near the end of his sermon, he said the following:  “I make a promise to you now and I don’t want you to keep this a secret. The Peachtree Presbyterian Church will care for any newborn baby you bring to this church.  We will be the family to find a home for that child, and there’s no limit on this. You can tell your friends, you can tell your family, (more…)

  • Off to a new start – again!

    by Shawn Merithew on August 12, 2009

    August is always a wonderful time of year.  The air is almost electric with the smell of new school supplies and the eager anticipation of young people who are headed back to school.  We feel it here at church, too.  New Sunday School classes are (more…)

  • HOW WE “VOTE” IN CONGREGATIONAL LIFE

    by Shawn Merithew on July 29, 2009

    This past Sunday, we had the privilege of holding the vote of affirmation for our Lay-Pastors.  I was very pleased to see how our church family overwhelmingly supported all of these men; a majority of them even received a near perfect percentage of votes.  Being part of a congregational church and having this privilege to take part in such matters of governance and polity is both a beautiful gift and a sacred responsibility.  God has shown us, particularly through the book of Acts, that every member in each local, autonomous church bears the weight of following Scripture and the Holy Spirit as we affirm leaders, grant and (more…)

  • Developing the Habit of Deeper Prayer

    by Shawn Merithew on July 22, 2009

    Prayer is, without question, one of the central graces of the Christian life.  It is a God-given avenue for us to communicate and commune with God in a manner that transcends any other relationship we could ever experience.  It is truly an awesome gift from our Father.  Yet it is a gift that so many of us fail to rightly enjoy.  It is a gift that goes largely underutilized in our day-to-day lives.

    There are many reasons for our failures in prayer which I set forth in my sermon Sunday.  We think we don’t know how to pray or that we’re not good at it.  We let worldly concerns and pursuits choke out the vitality (more…)

  • Pray for Our New Lay Pastors

    by Shawn Merithew on July 14, 2009

    It is always exciting to welcome a new pastor to a church.  Especially when so many aspects of ministry tend to get put on hold while new leadership is sought out.  But then the day comes when you get to meet the person who is going to be your new spiritual shepherd – you get excited about building a new relationship (more…)

  • A Divine Appointment in Ecuador

    by Shawn Merithew on June 30, 2009

    Once our mission team was on the ground in Ecuador, they learned that some serious political changes had taken place during the last year.  In 2008, Ecuador adopted a new constitution (which happens there about every 8.5 years).  This new constitution is much more socialistic than the previous one.  For all practical purposes, it puts in place a soft dictatorship under Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.  The majority of seats in the new government (more…)

  • Lingering Thoughts on the Love of God

    by Shawn Merithew on June 23, 2009

    I love the third stanza of the hymn “The Love of God.”  It says, “Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, To write the Love of God above would drain the ocean dry.  Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky. (Refrain) O Love of God, how rich and pure!  How measureless and strong!  It shall forevermore endure the Saints’ and Angels’ song.”

    Rarely do we rightly capture the boundlessness of God’s love in this way anymore.  In our modern Christian sub-culture, we have reduced God’s love to a self-serving sentimentality that makes us the center of God’s universe and diminishes the reality of His holy transcendence.  In the end, we are self-assured of His love for us, but we have completely abandoned the force of its biblical meaning and expression.

    It is that reality that I sought to bring us back to as I preached on the love of God this past Sunday.  In the hopes of inviting further meditation on the wonder of His love, I am going to reiterate some of those truths here this week. (more…)

  • Jesus Loves the Little Children

    by Shawn Merithew on June 11, 2009

    You may have never heard of “Biological Church Growth,” but I guarantee you have seen it.  It is what is happening right now at Morningview.  Biological Church Growth takes places when the members of a congregation contribute to the growth of the church by having children.  You might have noticed from our attendance numbers that (more…)

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