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Some Concerns About Weekly Communion

January 26, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The elders of Oak Hills have decided to transition our observance of the Lord’s Supper from a monthly occurrence to a weekly occurrence. The ultimate reason behind this decision is our understanding of the meaning and significance of this meal. I used the Touchpoint articles in the past two weeks to unpack what Scripture and our doctrinal confession says about the significance of communion (you can read those here and here). It is a means of God’s grace to feed us spiritually on Christ. Let me use this space today to address some commonly expressed questions and concerns related to weekly communion. If you have a question in mind that is not addressed here, please do not hesitate to let us know. We will also allow for interaction at our congregational meeting this Sunday, January 29.... Keep Reading

Christ as Spiritual Food Offered in Communion

January 19, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The elders of Oak Hills have decided to transition our observance of the Lord’s Supper from a monthly occurrence to a weekly occurrence. The ultimate reason behind this decision is our understanding of the meaning and significance of this meal. We understand that some may have questions and even concerns about this change. I am using these few weeks of Touchpoint articles to unpack our reasoning behind the switch and try to address some of the common questions. We will also provide a time to ask questions at our annual congregational meeting on January 29.... Keep Reading

Looking for Grace in Communion

January 13, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The elders of Oak Hills have decided to transition our observance of the Lord’s Supper from a monthly occurrence to a weekly occurrence. The ultimate reason behind this decision is our understanding of the meaning and significance of this meal. We understand that some may have questions and even concerns about this change. I plan to use the next few weeks of Touchpoint articles to unpack our reasoning behind the switch and try to address some of the common questions. We will also provide a time to ask questions at our annual congregational meeting on January 29. Most conservative Bible students and scholars would agree that the New Testament is silent about how frequent the Church ought to observe communion. Jesus never commands “do this” weekly, or monthly, or quarterly, or annually. So how are we to decide how frequent to partake in communion? We believe the meaning and significance of the meal would encourage a regular and frequent observance.... Keep Reading

Spiritual Stability

January 5, 2017 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

It's amazing how a little snow can create so much instability for driving. If you attempt to stop in a hurry, that little snow creates a slick surface so that your tires have no traction to slow your vehicle. This leads to a loss of control of the vehicle, even fish-tailing or spin outs. Unless you’re a thrill seeker, no driver likes that instability. The apostle Peter speaks about stability as well; not in driving, of course, but in one’s spiritual life. He commands he readers to “take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability” (2Pe 3:17). What is our “own stability”? How can we lose it? How can we create and deepen it?... Keep Reading

How Is the Word Active in Your Life?

December 29, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

For Christmas 2010 my family and I celebrated one of our most unique Christmases. I was teaching at the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary for the school year. While in Africa, we did not have access to all of the normal Christmas amenities we enjoy in America. No Christmas lights. No evergreens for a tree (we did have a Christmas tree, but it wasn't an evergreen). No shopping malls or Amazon Prime. Considering gifts for the boys, we had to be creative with what was available at the weekly market. Since one of our favorite activities had become exploring the woods near our home and finding sticks to carve and whittle, we decided to get knives for our older boys (ages 9, 7, and 5 at the time). Of course, we taught our boys knife safety. Knives can be useful for many things, but they also come with an inherent danger.... Keep Reading

The Great Gift Giver

December 22, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Do you like gift giving? I really enjoy giving gifts, but it comes with a side of stress. I like giving surprise gifts. I like giving thoughtful gifts. I like giving frivolous gifts. These gift parameters, though, require some planning and work. And then there are deadlines. Therein lies the stress. But when I find the right gift and have the opportunity to watch the excitement of the gift receiver, I know it is worth all of the effort.... Keep Reading

Who Is Your Redeemer?

December 15, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The story of Ruth has one of the most heart-warming and fascinating endings of all the stories of the Bible. Ruth is married to Boaz and they have a son. But the story does not end by focusing on Ruth or Boaz or even the son; it concludes with attention on Naomi. You may recall that chapter 1 focused on Naomi and her devastating losses… in a foreign land, husband dies, sons marry foreign women, barrenness for ten years, then her sons die. One tragedy after another leaving Naomi to exclaim, “I went away full, and the LORD has brought me back empty… the Almighty has brought calamity upon me” (1:21).... Keep Reading

Providential Coincidences

December 8, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

The story of Ruth is well known for the beautiful displays of sacrifice, faithful devotion, and love. We see the healing of Naomi’s bitterness. We see the widow Ruth provided for by Boaz. We see godly strength in the man Boaz. And, of course, we see how God preserves a family line that will eventually produce the great king David and the even greater king Jesus Christ. As much as there are great story lines in Ruth to celebrate, this little Old Testament book is very frank about suffering. Life is hard. From natural disasters, to untimely deaths, to socio-economic struggles, to crises of faith, Naomi’s and Ruth’s lives are filled with hardships. Their lives are not too different from ours.... Keep Reading

The Significance of Advent

December 1, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

When John the Baptist was born, his father, Zechariah, after nine months of being mute, “was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied” (Lk. 1:67). Zechariah’s “Benedictus” (from the Latin “Blessed”) is filled with praise for a covenant-keeping God. He concludes his song of praise with predictive words for his own newborn son. He says, And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Lk. 1:76-79)... Keep Reading

Advent: A Time of Longing

November 24, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

My son’s birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day this year. For at least two months he has been asking, “How many more days until my birthday?” For a six year old about to be seven, a birthday is a momentous day. He looks forward to the gifts he’ll receive and the special ice cream cake prepared for his day. All that excitement and anticipation for a single day that comes once every year. Can you imagine waiting your entire lifetime for a single event? There would be great rejoicing when that moment finally arrives. But what if the event never comes in your lifetime? You are promised a great blessing, live every day longing for it, and then you die never having received it. If fact, the promise extends to your descendants, and generation after generation passes away looking for fulfillment but never receiving it. Some generations lose hope. Others are reinvigorated in deep longing. Can you imagine the excitement and rejoicing that comes when the day arrives?... Keep Reading

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