Theology of Joy
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John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Dr. Studebaker has worked in full-time professional ministry for 24 years. He is currently a Lecturer in Religion at Hillsdale College and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries, Inc. in Michigan.

Posted 6/8/09 at 9:58 AM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Forgiveness (Part 3)

Forgiving Others

"Love Hurts!" was the name of a popular song in the early eighties. Its message was simple: to love someone means to make oneself vulnerable to be hurt. To love another person can be a very big risk!

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Posted 4/26/09 at 8:39 AM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Forgiveness (Part 2)

Understanding God's Forgiveness

Alexander Pope said that "To err is human; to forgive, divine." Is that really true? Is God really a forgiving God?

To understand God's forgiveness, we first need to understand what forgiveness is. Forgiveness actually has three parts to it. First, there is the hurt, or the harm, that which we experience due to some moral or emotional wrongdoing we have suffered. When forgiving someone, we will usually recognize that there has been an injury to our spirit, and we will experience emotional hurt.

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Posted 4/10/09 at 10:46 AM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Forgiveness (Part 1)

The Reality of Conflict and the Root of Bitterness

Remember the story of Little Red Riding Hood? Upon arrival at grandmother's house, Miss Riding Hood encountered a big bad wolf disguised in grandmother's clothing! The wolf had one intention to deceive her, so he could eat her!

Now obviously there's a conflict of interests here. Miss Riding Hood wants to see Grandma, but the wolf wants to eat Miss Hood! FULL POST

Posted 3/3/09 at 4:51 PM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

How Can I Enjoy Sharing My Faith with Others? (Part 3)

How can we "build bridges" in today's world? Lets think about some practical things can we do to actually enjoy sharing our faith with others.

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Posted 2/19/09 at 11:28 PM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

How Can I Enjoy Sharing My Faith with Others? (Part 2)

As a college minister I once listened to a Chinese student as he shared his belief in Taoism and their view of creation. I asked him several questions along the way, sincerely wanting to discover more about Taoism. After listening for about 45 minutes, he finally asked me, "What do you believe?"

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Posted 2/13/09 at 5:48 PM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

How Can I Enjoy Sharing My Faith with Others? (Part 1)

As Christians, we are called by God to be Christ's ambassadors. Now that's quite a job description! Why is it that many Christians, though, don't love to share their faith? Shouldn't this be one of our most enjoyable activities in life?

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Posted 2/7/09 at 2:12 PM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Looking for an Exciting Small Group? (Part 3)

What are some practical ways you can begin to develop Mission Communities within your own church?

First, you need to develop a clear sense of your personal mission. For this, you may want to utilize some of the resources offered through Bridge Ministries, Inc. (www.bridge-ministries.org). The LifeBridge Personal Workshop or (even better) the LifeBridge Video Workshop will help you develop a life plan centered around the unique design with which God has created you!

Some of the basics steps in the LifeBridge process include: FULL POST

Posted 1/30/09 at 8:49 AM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Looking for an Exciting Small Group? (Part 2)

In Part 1 we defined "Mission Communities" and discussed how the Holy Spirit forms these communities as a testimony of Christ in the world. Lets now examine how the Holy Spirit uses Mission Communities to fulfill Jesus' "Great Commission" (His command in Matthew 28:18-20 to "make disciples" throughout the world).

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Posted 1/21/09 at 5:54 PM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Theology of Joy ... What is it?

After writing my first article on this "Theology of Joy" page I received a very interesting email from one reader. Part of her response: "Your title is a curious one. Theology is so textbook and the word Joy is a very confusing word in the Christian community." FULL POST

Posted 1/17/09 at 2:20 PM | John A. Studebaker, Ph.D.

Looking for an Exciting Small Group? (Part 1)

Ever wonder what it would be like to be in a "small group" like the one experienced by Jesus' disciples? Over the next three weeks lets try to look at what Jesus says about this, because Jesus seems to speak as if this were actually possible today! FULL POST

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