• By Pastor Steve Ellison
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In my last devotional, I pondered what it meant for me to render unto God that which belonged to Him.  You and I created in God’s image is what we are called upon to give to God.  We can only do that by submitting to Christ, allowing Him to live in us.  But it seems only fitting during the m…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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As Jesus kingdom parables became more and more direct in pointing out the sin of the religious leaders, so they became more and more devious in their attempts to do away with Him. Matthew 22:15-22 is an excellent example, “Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him …

  • By Robert St. John
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In a lot of ways I feel like I’m “back home” in Barberino Val D’Elsa, Tuscany, and especially at Villa il Santo. I first discovered this area while on a lengthy tour of Europe with my wife and two children. I was also working on a collaborative book project at the time with my friend and wat…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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I am thankful for parents and churches who faithfully remind children that Easter is about Christ not a bunny rabbit. Several years ago, I saw a church sign that both amused and pleased me.  It read, “Easter is not about eggs, you silly wabbit!”  Easter is about the resurrected Christ.  I am…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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God loves you.  That’s not new news to you. You have heard that before.  You have heard that God created everything and cares for His creation. However, very seldom do we stop to think that God loves each one of us as individuals.  He desires to have a personal, intimate relationship with YO…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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God used Saul of Tarsus as an example of how one is adopted into God’s family. Acts 9, 22, and 26 record Saul’s conversion. God was providing a way to measure ourselves, to see if indeed we are in the faith. Saul of Tarsus was an enemy of God and God revealed Himself to Saul in such a way th…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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In Proverbs 23, God asks a series of generic questions that are basically directed at all of mankind.  The questions are rhetorical.  A certain answer is expected.  He doesn’t usually spell out the answer, but He does in this case.  Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has compla…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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I have a necktie which I love to wear.  It is a beautiful mixture of brown and green.  It has a stream, with four deer standing beside it.  Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water,so my soul pants for you, O God” is printed on it.  I have long loved that verse but upon a more car…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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In the seventh chapter of the gospel of Luke, a Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to dine in his home.  During the meal, an unnamed but notoriously sinful woman showed up uninvited.  This woman put on a tremendous display of love and adoration toward the Savior.  Jesus responded by telling …

  • By Robert St. John
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My wife and I first came here in the 1990s. We returned for our 10th wedding anniversary, and then started coming in the summer months after dropping our two children off at summer camp. Today we are here for our 25th wedding anniversary. After all of these years, and millions of miles trave…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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“But God” are two of the greatest words ever written. They are found in Ephesians 2:4 and other places in the Bible. God spells out man’s condition very clearly in the larger passage (Ephesians 2:1-10).  The person who does not know God, does not have a relationship with God, is in a terribl…

  • By Steve Ellison
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Several years ago, I had a phone conversation with an old friend whom I had not heard from in about ten years.  He had engaged in a time of repentance and felt like God had forgiven him.  However, he was struggling with forgiving himself.  This is a perplexing problem for almost every Christ…

  • By Robert St. John
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For as long as I remember I have been playing “this or that” type games with my friends and family. I don’t remember the first this-or-that I ever proposed to someone, but it was probably in the late 1960s and went something like this, “Who’s the best band, The Beatles, or The Rolling Stones…

  • By Robert St. John
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I  am feeling blessed this morning. It’s a feeling that I’ve experienced a lot lately. It’s not gratitude for monetary or material things, but for experiences and relationships. I’m grateful for many things, mostly for time spent with friends and family— morning, noon, and night.

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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January 1 is a day like any other day.  Except for the calendar and football, there is really nothing special about it to set it apart from any other day of the year. However, it does provide a great reminder for us to evaluate our lives and resolve to make beneficial changes.  One area of l…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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Expressing gratitude, being thankful is a quality we appreciate in others.  All of us long for people to show their gratitude for the things we do.   Giving thanks is commanded and commended in the Bible.  Living with an attitude of thanksgiving is promoted in the Scripture also.  The Old Te…

  • By Pastor Steve Ellison
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It is very easy for believers to become almost totally inwardly focused.  I am not speaking about contemplative self-examination like mystics would engage in.  Rather, what I speak of is individual Christians and their churches focusing inwardly in the sense that most time, energy, effort, c…

  • By Robert St. John
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There are a lot of benefits to being a restaurant owner for 30 years. The older I get, the more I have come to appreciate the non-monetary perks of restaurant ownership. It’s not always about the money. It can’t be. I’ve made some money in the restaurant business, but I’ve also lost a lot, a…

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