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Posts by Jacob Atchley

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Just Like Jesus

History tells of James, his leadership in the church, his legacy of praying, and his unrelenting commitment to the work of his big brother. As we've seen James undeniable "family" resemblance and commitment to his big brother led him to pastor, shepherd, preach, teach, write, and ultimately die for the cause he was earlier in life critical of. ...

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James, the Little Brother of Jesus

The Bible provides a pretty clear picture of James, the little brother of Jesus. He is first seen as a critic, second he’s converted, third he’s caring, and finally, he’s courageous....

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Diary of a Formerly Wimpy Kid

One of the great challenges we all face is applying the biblical truth we hear and read about in our daily living. James, the little brother of Jesus, saw these challenges and wrote specifically to address these things. In five short chapters – which will likely take you approximately 20 minutes to read – we have more than just information, instruction, and en...

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David’s Final Words - Psalm 145

David's last words in the book of Psalms ought to be our great aim. David's closing words don't simply drive us to praise God they point us to the worship of Jesus....

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The God of Wow

On Sunday as I began to pray as the sermon closed my prayer was shaped by a kids song that was written by Sovereign Grace Music. One of the pastors at the Church at Martinsburg introduced me to this song during the preparation process to deliver Psalm 145. The song has been encouraging and led me to worship the God of Wow! I hope it does the same for you....

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Taking God at His Word

From Psalm 119 we can see clearly what the Bible does. Below we have listed some of what the Bible does for us:...

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In AWE of God

Could there be a greater danger in the life of a Christian than living, loving, working, playing, and resting and losing the ability to see God in all things? The awareness of the need for awe?...

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Jesus and Psalm 119

As we look longer and more in depth at Psalm 119 we can see Jesus more and more clearly. Take a look with me today at how Jesus shows up in Psalm 119:...

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Agassiz and the Fish

Earlier this year I was introduced to a professor from the 19th century. Louis Agassiz was an educator I'd venture to say most of us would be frustrated with. He was the founder of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology as well as a professor. Evidently, he was known for his simplicity and his willingness to lead (or force) students to be patience, look closely, and loo...

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Practice and Unstable Feelings

Simply, we can't arrive at knowing by doing. Biblical counselor, Carrie Mansfield states, "Feelings are unstable, change direction, and were never intended to lead us to truth or to fuel our actions." Truth ALONE is able to create faith, affections and joyful actions....

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Math According to Psalm 100

Mathematics teaches us the order of operation is critical to finding the right solution. The writer in Psalm 100 makes clear where we must start when it comes to truth, feelings, and behavior. Take a look at how the math works and see where your answers land....

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Deadly Expectations

Have you ever been in a relationship, a circumstance, a job, a situation where you had unrealistic expectations foisted upon you? A spouse that expects to much of you? Parents who demand grades, scores, and obedience at all costs? An employer whose demands are untethered from reality?...

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Made to Sing for Glory

Do you believe you were made for Global purposes? Do you believe God made you with a mind toward all nations knowing him through you? God made you for his glory, your joy, and for the nations. ...

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Faithful Fabric

Honor, Respect, and Glory. What do you think of when you hear those words?...

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A Statement from our Elders to the Church at Martinsburg and our Community

We likely have all heard the phrase "out of sight...out of mind." For many of us our exposure to the news cycle provides us with information that takes place to other people, other communities, and deals with other concerns. If we're not careful we read, listen, and observe with a distant eye, out of touch, and this leads us to live with an "out of sight....out of mind" me...

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Nomadic Sheep and a Faithful Shepherd

The twenty-third psalm portrays life as a pilgrimage, and in the final verse (6) the psalmist rightly comes to life’s goal, which is God’s house. Life can feel nomadic can't it? Sure we have a place we call home, but we all long for something more. Not necessarily bigger, but something more stable. No need of another addition, updating fixtures, remodeling kitchens, re...

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A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23

Phillip Keller was a shepherd for many years before becoming a pastor. The years as a shepherd provided him with unique insights into Psalm 23. He writes in A Shepherd's Look at Psalm 23 describes what can hinder sheep from getting rest....

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A Less Familiar Psalm 23

Do you remember the first time you walked into you a new environment (home, work, community, organization)? Do you remember the last time? Strange isn't it? Time, memories, experiences shape how we see things we so deeply love or loved. How about your marriage? The birth of your child? Hopes, dreams, desires now smashing into reality. Familiarity can be both friend and foe...

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Habits of Grace

HOG_FBCover

Our culture is drawn to the instant. The flashy. The monumental. But as biblical counselor Paul Tripp explains, our life is not made in one or two glorious moments, but is made up of the tens of thousands of seemingly mundane moments that transpire every day. This summer I’m excited to study with you five simple and seemingly unexceptional means of grace that Jesus’...

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A Blessed Man and a Worthy Effort

George Müller lived from 1805 to 1898 and is famous for establishing numerous orphanages and relying on God for help in remarkable ways. Listen to his testimony about how and why to meditate on Scripture. ...

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People Helping People Find and Follow Jesus

As part of our 8th anniversary celebration, Pastor Jacob's sermon focused on the mission of our church. This blog post is an excerpt from his sermon on Sunday, May 7, 2017. ...

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Jesus is alive, and in a few days we’ll celebrate the resurrection!

Here are seven things you can do between now and then to get ready Easter Weekend: #1 Mark your calendar: Easter is on Sunday, April 16!The Church at Martinsburg will meet at 50 Monroe Street at 9:15am and 11am! All of the details are at martinsburgchurch.org. #2 Remember Good Friday on April 14Before Jesus rose on a Sunday, he died on a Friday. At the Church at Martinsb...

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Learning About Lent

  Have you ever encountered a word that you can’t quite figure out how to pronounce or what it actually means? Perhaps you’ve found yourself there recently. I can remember shortly after becoming a Christian being told about the meaning of Christmas and Easter. Talk about earth shattering. I’d come from a home where we celebrated Christmas with gifts...

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Counseling the Counselor

Counseling is by definition "professional guidance in resolving personal conflicts and emotional problems." While that seems to be a rather daunting description of what I find myself doing on almost a daily basis it's actually quite accurate. One of the truths that's become abundantly clear for me in these years of helping people connect life and biblical truth is that I ...

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Good and Angry

Up until early 2017 if you asked me for some quick help dealing with anger issues I’d have recommended only one resource – Uprooting Anger by Robert Jones. Jones provides an incredibly accessible resource to an epidemic in our culture, homes, and communities. Endorsements from well known biblical counselors make clear Uprooting Anger deserves to be, needs to be...

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Where Do Sermons Come From Anyway?

On any given week, pastors and preachers all over the world are working on messages, lectures, devotions, and lessons that will be delivered to congregations. Most traditionally these homilies are delivered on Sundays and are most often referred to as sermons. You may be asking yourself the question, “Where do sermons come from anyway?” Like a young child askin...

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A House and a Home

The difference between a house and a home is monumental. A house is a structure where people and their possessions dwell. A home is an immaterial understanding, pervading attitude, and an altogether place of security and rest. A house is purchased with financial means. A home is established by work, forgiveness, kindness, love, and commitment. Seeing the difference between...

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Embrace Boredom, Memorize a Deck of Cards, and Quit Social Media

Embrace boredom. Memorize a deck of cards. Quit social media. What do you think when you read those statements? I know for me when I read them initially I was not only concerned I was resistant. How exactly do you embrace boredom? Isn’t that a paradox? Seriously, memorize a deck of cards? I find myself at the stage in life where I incorrectly call my three kids by ...

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Fostering Thoughts and Changing Lives

For the past 10 years my wife and I have been parents. We’ve been graced with a beautiful girl and two handsome boys. Right now all three of them are 10 and under so most days are filled with love, encouragement, repentance, coaching, and heavy doses of refereeing. If you’re anything like us we often feel overwhelmed, falling short, and unqualified. Parenting h...

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Who's In Your Top 5?

A couple days ago as I finished reading the newspaper. Yes! Some of us actually still read a real newspaper. I noticed on the back page there were several lists which showed what was was trending in culture on that day. Most lists were generated from iTunes and pertained to entertainment. Looking intently I was able to see which movies were being purchased, which songs we...

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Sundays are for Celebrating

On February 5 I was able to witness 2 incredible events, but one will be told about through all of history and deep into eternity. Late into the evening I watched Tom Brady orchestrate the comeback of a lifetime. After a year of obstacles coupled with a long term illness being battled by his mother Brady led his team to overcome what appeared to be an insurmountable defici...

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

As we celebrate womanhood and motherhood today, I want you to know that you are loved, cared for, and incredibly valuable to the one who created you....

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8 Ways to Get Ready for Easter 2016

Jesus is alive, and in a few days we'll celebrate the resurrection! Here are eight things you can do between now and then to get ready Easter Weekend:...

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The Dangerous Journey of Growth

You've started reading the Bible for growth and development and not simply for the acquisition of knowledge and information. You've taken the time to enter into a conversation with God (and others)…both talking and listening. The sparks of a vibrant life with Christ are beginning to break through. ...

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Listen Closely

In this short but powerful phrase we stumble upon a conversation between God and Moses. At first glance one could think this is just a reminder that has been inserted in the event Moses had forgotten how important the conversation was. But upon further investigation you start to discover that God was rather adamant and particular about what he had spoken. While the entire ...

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A House and A Home

The difference between a house and a home is monumental. A house is a structure where people and their possessions dwell. A home is an immaterial understanding, pervading attitude, and an altogether place of security and rest. A house is purchased with financial means. A home is established by work, forgiveness, kindness, love, and commitment. Seeing the difference between...

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The Gospel According to John

Starting this Sunday, February 7 a new preaching series begins at the Church at Martinsburg. We will begin an exposition of The Gospel According to John. When I became a Christian in 1996 I was instructed to read these 21 chapters before reading anything else. I was struck then, as now, at the simplicity of John's writing and at the same time the crystal clarity he deliver...

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Best Books of January 2016

At the beginning of each month I'm planning on sharing the two books I enjoyed the most from the previous month and why that's the case. It's obviously subjective and influenced by my tastes, desires, and circumstances. I've got two simple objectives. First, I want to be able to recommend helpful books that I'm learning from and being shaped by. Second, I want to encourage...

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The Good Samaritan

The world as we know it is changing. By "we" I mean our family and by "world" I mean healthcare. A couple months ago our family shifted away from traditional health insurance (think Blue Cross Blue Shield) and ventured in a new direction. ...

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The Briefing

I, like most of you, am more of a news consumer than contributor. There are certain channels I'm drawn to and websites that I visit regularly, but many times those places aren't clear and certainly aren't concise. Recently, I began listening to a short news update each weekday morning as I commute to work. By short I mean 20 minutes or so. The president of the Southern Bap...

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Counseling the Counselor

Helpful reads for those who counsel...not just for those counseled, but for the one offering counsel....

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Family Worship 101

On January 25 Crossway announced the launch of Family Worship 101 with Don Whitney, a free, 5-day email course created to help men and women lead their homes in family worship each and every day....

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#VTREADINGCHALLENGE

January is a month for new beginnings and fresh opportunities. I know every year in January I take time to take stock of where I am in life as well as where I want to be. Our family sits down in the weeks leading up to January to evaluate plans, budgets, goals, dreams, etc...

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Ever Changing...Always the Same

This year I cross the 20 year threshold of being a Christian. I can still remember when I first picked up the Bible and began reading. It was quite an intimidating period in my life....

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"Resolved" - A Note For Father's Day

The culture we've found ourselves in seems to be changing so quickly. As conversations about marriage, gender, race, politics, religion, finance, and any number of other important issues arise and take place we must ask the question, "How do we live lives that are consistent, honorable, and filled with integrity in a world which seems so fluid and so untethered to any abso...

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From Here to There - Pride and Humility

On Sunday I delivered a message from Philippians 2:1-11 that focused on humility. During the sermon I mentioned several resources used in the preparation of the message....

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Easter Sermon from 167 AD

From the final section of Peri Pascha (On the Passover), one of the earliest Easter sermons extant, written around 167 AD. This translation from the Latin appeared at http://www.kerux.com/documents/KeruxV4N1A1.asp....

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Bonhoeffer on Good Friday

In his Good Friday sermon of 1928, Dietrich Bonhoeffer drives this cosmic tragedy home like three cold steel stakes pounded through the nerves of humanity's own wrists and feet....

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Why 50 Monroe?

One of the questions I've fielded over the last couple of weeks is "Why 50 Monroe"? If you've seen the new space the Church at Martinsburg recently moved into you've noticed on the front of the facility we didn't opt for a sign with the church name, rather we used "50 Monroe"....

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8 Ways to Get Ready for Easter 2014

Jesus is alive, and in a few days we'll celebrate the resurrection! Here are eight things you can do between now and then to get ready Easter Weekend:...

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From Pride to Humility

From Pride to Humility is a quick read...only 31 pages. Don't let its brevity fool you. This biblical exposition of pride and humility packs quite a punch. My initial intent was to read through with the care of others in mind. Shortly after starting to read I realized my mindset demonstrated my own pride. I was certainly in for an afternoon of instruction and repentance. ...

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Secure - Certainties from I John

This coming Sunday, 4/6, we're kicking off a new preaching series. Whether you're certain of your faith or you have questions, I want to invite you to come along with me as we experience Secure - Certainties from I John....

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