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Posts by Paul Ortlinghaus

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Jesus weeps with Santa Rosa

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The shortest verse in the Bible is my greatest comfort in the aftermath of the Santa Rosa fires: John 11:35 - "Jesus wept."...

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Summer Reading

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Solomon notes that "there is no end to the making of many books" (Ecclesiastes 12:12, CSB). This is good news for those of us who identify as bibliophiles....

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These Six Things… Yea, Seven (one who sows discord)

In Solomon's list of seven things that God finds detestable, "one who sows discord" is number seven....

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These Six Things… Yea, Seven (a false witness who breathes out lies)

In Solomon's list of seven things that God finds detestable, "a false witness who breathes out lies" is number six....

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These Six Things… Yea, Seven (a heart that devises wicked plans and feet that make haste to run to evil)

In Solomon's list of seven things that God finds detestable, "a heart that devises wicked plans and feet that make haste to run to evil" are fourth and fifth....

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These Six Things… Yea, Seven (Hands that shed innocent blood)

In Solomon's list of seven things that God finds detestable, "hands that shed innocent blood" is third....

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These Six Things… Yea, Seven (A Lying Tongue)

In Solomon's list of seven things that God finds detestable, a lying tongue is second....

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These Six Things… Yea, Seven (Haughty Eyes)

Six things the LORD hates … yea, seven are an abomination. Wow! If God is going to list for us six or seven things that are an abomination to him, we better listen!...

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How is your grip on the Bible?

How is your grip on the Bible? There are six ways we can attend to and guard God's Word in our life....

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Your work matters to God

Many of you shared with me how much you appreciated the Tim Keller sermon on "Faith & Work" from May 22. I'm glad that it was such an encouragement and challenge for so many. Here is a list of a few other resources that have recently crossed my path. I share them with you in the hopes that they might continue to stir you up as you pray and think through how your work ...

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Be angry and do not sin

I get angry. Just ask my kids. (Okay, please don’t ask my kids.) It isn’t a secret. People that know me have heard me share about my anger. I’ve shared about this in my preaching. It is one of my besetting sins that I hate and fight against and pray that God would be pleased to miraculously take away from me. This week we at SOMA are memorizing the follo...

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Preparing for a Sermon

As we have been learning from our “Endurance in the Gospel” series through 2 Timothy, the apostle Paul has had a lot to say to Timothy about the Word. Some of the synonyms that the apostle uses for the Word of God in 2 Timothy are: “the testimony about our Lord” (1:8) “the gospel” (1:8,10; 2:8) “the sound words” (1:13) ...

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Thursday are for Theology - The Resurrection

Having just celebrated Easter/Resurrection Sunday, I thought I'd share three things related to the doctrine of Resurrection....

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Speaking the Gospel to Yourself

Here are several verses to use - what is often called "speaking the gospel to yourself - as you unpack the implications of the amazing promise from Romans 8:1: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."...

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Thursdays are for Murmuring

Usually when I post on Thursday the title is “Thursdays are for Theology”, followed by some specific area of theological study (for example “Thursdays are for Theology: The Doctrine of Election”). This Thursday is for murmuring. Yes, murmuring. The Bible calls us to murmur. Murmuring sounds like something we ought not to do. After all Philippians 2...

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SOMA, let's grow in loving God in 2016

Jesus said that what matters most is loving God. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. - Matthew 22:37-38 To put it simply, the best way to grow in our love for God is to spend time alone with Him. How do we spend time alone with Him? By reading the Bible - His...

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Thursdays are for Theology - Reformation Day

Reformation Day is the observance of the events of October 31, 1517. On that day, Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Buy why? ...

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Thursdays are for Theology - The Doctrine of Election

For this week's Thursdays are for Theology post I'm going to cheat by having you read a blog post from Tim Keller. On Sunday we conclude our Church Like We Mean It series with a look at being "An Evangelistic Church." Stated simply, to be an evangelistic church means to be a church that proclaims the good news of the work of Jesus Christ (through his life and death and res...

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Thursdays are for Theology - Church as Organism & Organization

The Church exists as both a divinely created organism and as a human run organization. The balance between the two is difficult to maintain. This is critical if we will be and do "church like we mean it."...

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Thursdays are for Theology - Unity in Essentials

When it comes to what we believe at SOMA, one important truth is that we strive for "unity in essentials, dialogue in differences."...

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When you need something Perfect, Sure, Right, and Pure

God's good word to us - the Bible - is utterly amazing. Psalm 19:7-8 describe some of these amazing aspects of God's self-revelation....

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REAPing in 2015

As the the New Year approaches I encourage you to be intentional with your Bible reading. There are so many tools and helps available for us to spend quality time alone with God in His Word. If you are not sure where in your Bible to read I highly recommend that you begin by reading this post by blogger Tim Challies. He provides links to many of the best reading plans incl...

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More on REAPing in 2015

In yesterdays post I encouraged you to be intentional in your time alone with God. I shared a simple and straight forward process called REAP (Read, Examine, Apply, Pray). I should note that REAP is not original with me. I first heard about it through the Verge Network and Austin Stone Community Church. Since tomorrow is January 1st I want to add one more component for yo...

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Holy Week Reflections, Resurrection Sunday

Reflections for Resurrection Sunday of Holy Week....

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Holy Week Reflections, Saturday

Reflections for Saturday of Holy Week....

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Holy Week Reflections, Good Friday ("It is finished!")

Reflections for Good Friday of Holy Week...

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Holy Week Reflections, Maundy Thursday

Reflections for Maundy Thursday of Holy Week....

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Holy Week Reflections, Wednesday

Reflections for Wednesday of Holy Week....

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Holy Week Reflections, Tuesday

Reflections for Tuesday of Holy Week....

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Holy Week Reflections, Palm Sunday

Reflections for Sunday of Holy Week....

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Holy Week Reflections, Monday

Reflections for Monday of Holy Week....

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Conviction without change is wasted emotion

As I was studying for this Sundays sermon out of Acts 17 and Paul's witness in Athens, I was particularly struck by these words: "Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols" - Acts 17:16 (ESV)....

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Test post

this is a test post...

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Bible Reading in 2014

Here is my paraphrase of the opening words of the first Psalm: "Happy are those... whose delight is in the instruction of the LORD" (Psalm 1:1-2). It is my prayer personally, for my family, and for our SOMA family that these words would be true of us in 2014. One way this is accomplished is through Scipture Memory. The other way is through each of us feasting on God's Wo...

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Why memorize the Bible?

Why Memorize the Bible?* I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. - Psalm 119:11 Memorization works on our hearts to instill faith, cultivate Christ-like character, fight temptation, and enhance prayer and worship. Scripture mentions the following encouragements for memorizing. Memorizing... Is one of the most effective ways to &ldquo...

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Why "fighter verses"?

An encouragement and reminder for our church community to memorize scripture....

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International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Let us remember our persecuted brothers and sisters suffering for Christ as we are told in Hebrews 13:3....

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Our Blessed Hope

Some thoughts on Christ's Return....

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Providence, Today's Sermon, and Scripture Memory

Providence, todays sermon, and scripture memory....

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Devotional reading for Holy Week

Devotional suggestions for Holy Week...

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Reading the Bible in 2013

What is your plan for Bible reading in 2013? Here are some suggestions....

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Do you lack Self-Control?

Here is a quick Bible Study on "self-control"....

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Bible Reading Plans - it's not too late!

If you are part of the SOMA family or are a friend of SOMA or if you are just visiting our site... it's not too late to start a Bible Reading Plan for the new year! Last week I wrote (mostly shared great links) a little article encouraging us all to "live on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." Today is only January 10th - it's not too late to plan and start a...

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Not by bread alone in 2012

Sorry for the hopping around from page to page... Click here to read my personal prayer and desire for 2012 and my pastoral prayer and desire for SOMA in 2012....

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How we can glorify God

The phrase "glorify God" is used a lot in the life of Christians and the Church. But what does it really mean?...

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What is the Emerging Church?

CT article on the Emerging Church....

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