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New Horizons

December, 2015: Crime, Cruelty and Christmas

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The entire issue is available in the following formats: PDF  ePub  and  Mobi 

Crime, Cruelty, and Christmas

Have you noticed at this time of year how some people get so upset by stories of crime and cruelty in the news? These are the same people who seem to take all sorts of bad things in stride throughout the rest of the year. Frequently they will comment on how terrible it is that people commit crimes around Christmas. For some reason, they believe that this season of the year should bring a moratorium on bad behavior. In fact, some of us may even have similar feelings. We have the idea that Christmas should have such an impact on our world that it makes people better.

Those in the helping professions may notice that Christmas brings on certain kinds of emotional difficulties for some people. Again, some of us may be surprised. We would like to believe that Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year that it should have a therapeutic effect on people. Read more

Worship Words: Selecting Great Hymn Texts

How do we know what songs are worth singing in corporate worship? Do we sing only the ones we know? Do we sing only the pastor’s favorites? Are we only supposed to sing songs written before 1890—or is it only those after 1980? As the phrase “worship wars” clearly connotes, this area of church life is a touchy subject for many people. Indeed, too many churches have split over issues pertaining to worship music. But are the songs we sing in church only a matter of taste and subjectivity?

Created in God’s image, we are required to reflect the perfect character of our Creator by offering our very best to him. To that end, our worship is not subjective, and it is my belief that there are certain principles to which our worship songs must adhere. Read more

Being a Middle-Aged Mom

Being a middle-aged mom (especially in the church) is at times a difficult position to be in. You’re no longer bearing children, changing diapers, or potty training, but you also aren’t old enough to be considered a senior citizen—so you live in limbo, attempting to find your new “normal.”

The younger mothers have a hard time relating to you because you are no longer in that stage of life. Because you don’t homeschool, you are also not in the loop with those who do. A mom who finds herself being forced back into the workforce can’t meet up with other families to go to the park during the day, and the museum visits are suddenly replaced with dropping kids off at school and getting to the office by 8 a.m. Read more

Love Wins

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that “gay marriage” was a constitutional right, the advocates of that perversion celebrated that decision with signs proclaiming “Love Wins!” Sometimes people speak the truth in spite of themselves (as Caiaphas did in John 11:49–50).

Love does win, because God is love (1 John 4:8). Love was the root of God sending his Son into the world, so that all who trust in him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). God expressed his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). Read more

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