Love is Love?
by Ben Forbes on June 15th, 2021
I’ve been seeing this phrase a lot lately  “Love is love” has been used for years to mean something like, “Romantic love between any two individuals is equally valid and beautiful.”  It’s been a popular slogan for some time, generally used to express support for those in homosexual or other non-traditional relationships.  When brilliant composer Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Tony Award for best origina...  Read More
The Normal Christian Experience
by Brent Osterberg on May 6th, 2021
What does normal life look like for the believer in Jesus Christ? Most certainly, it involves living in a new relationship to God. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, the believer is no longer God’s enemy, but God’s child. Understanding this is crucial, but this is not the only new relationship that salvation brings us. Dan Kirk, a fellow contributor to the CBCD, has often said that Jesus’...  Read More
Necessary...So That
by Ben Forbes on April 23rd, 2021
(1 Pet. 1:6).“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith…may result in praise and honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”Sometimes I make knives.  My favorite part of the process is moving from sketchbook to steel, from designing to grinding.  At the end of this step the basic s...  Read More
Scripture Memory: Avoiding the Things that Trip us Up
by Brent Osterberg on March 22nd, 2021
For most of my life the practice of memorizing Scripture has been emphasized and encouraged. I grew up in the AWANA program as a child, I bought my first Fighter Verses pack when I was a freshman in college, and for the last seventeen years I have been serving in churches where Scripture memory is deemed an important habit for growth in Christ. With this ongoing influence prodding me to commit God...  Read More
How to Pray for Deliverance
by Brent Osterberg on March 18th, 2021
Evaluate your prayer life with me for a moment. I know that can be a painful task because many Christians are frustrated with their lack of devotion to God in prayer, but I think this will prove valuable. So, ask yourself what kind of prayers you pray the most. I know you don’t record every plea you utter to God, but you should be able to answer this question generally. I suspect that at the top o...  Read More
Evaluating Our Anger in the Current Crisis
by Brent Osterberg on March 18th, 2021
Along with the devastation and tumult that has characterized much of our experience in 2020, and now 2021, we have felt the added burden of the common responses people have had to all that has occurred. I know I’m not the only one who has spent some time scrolling social media in the past year feeling like it was the emotional equivalent to walking through a car wash. And while it’s easy to think ...  Read More
What Trials Can't Take Away
by Brent Osterberg on March 18th, 2021
Why do our trials sometimes feel like they are crushing us? There are a number of ways that question can be answered, but I want to suggest what I think is one of the more prominent answers. Our trials feel like they are crushing us because they take things away from us…and the things they take away from us are often things we cherish. Trials can take away comfort, health, a sense of control, free...  Read More
A Church Culture Ripe for Spiritual Transformation
by Brent Osterberg on December 4th, 2020
When we consider the biblical understanding of “church,” it’s clear that we don’t really go to church, because the church is the people of God who have been called “out of darkness into his marvelous light” through Christ (1 Peter 2:9). Certainly, when Paul wrote “to the church of God in Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2), he was not referring to a building in Corinth, but the Christians there. It is tr...  Read More
Turning from a Reduced Repentance
by Brent Osterberg on October 20th, 2020
It can be argued that repentance is not a popular subject to bring up these days, even in the church. And your response to such a statement may be, “Yeah, and it wouldn’t take much to make that case either.” Assuming that this is true, how should this neglect be addressed? More sermons on repentance? A Sunday school series, perhaps? Those are good answers, but only if the repentance that is taught...  Read More
Your Goal in Suffering
by Brent Osterberg on July 15th, 2020
I have never met someone who enjoys trials. Yes, many believers enjoy the spiritual maturity and deeper relationship with God that come as a result of trials, but I have not met one that enjoys the trial itself. When trial strikes, we all desire escape to one degree or another. This can be seen in the way that many of us pray in trials. In desperation we plead with God to make it all stop with lit...  Read More
Temptation Begins Earlier than You Think
by Brent Osterberg on July 15th, 2020
It is no secret that believing lies leads us into sin.  We see this as far back as Genesis 3 when Eve believed the lies of the serpent and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree (vv. 1-6).  But perhaps it is not as obvious that we also believe lies as we seek to repent of the same sins that were influenced by lies in the first place.  This is, of course, not true repentance, but rather, a false repen...  Read More
Redeeming the Time in the Days of the Coronavirus
by Brent Osterberg on July 14th, 2020
Only a matter of days earlier, life was remarkably different than it is now.  It may be that we are living in a time that has not seen its equal in our country for a hundred years.  Many of us are working from home, with kids out of school, and it seems like each time we check the news something else has been closed or canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  We are trying to practice social d...  Read More