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"The Story of Silent Night, Stille Nacht," The Joyful Heart, Issue 50, December 22, 2004. Traces "Silent Night" from its author Fr. Joseph Mohr, its composer Franz Gruber, its first performance in Oberndorf, Austria, and the reasons for its popularity.
"Tennis Mirrors Christian Life," reflections on the importance of perseverance and grit needed to have victory in the Christian life. The Joyful Heart, July 3, 2004.
"Feed My Sheep," an Easter story of Jesus appearing to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee following his resurrection. The Joyful Heart, April 8, 2004.
"How to Survive Ungratefulness — and Vanquish It with Thanksgiving," The Joyful Heart, March, 2004. Advice for Christian leaders who are under-appreciated, taken for granted, and criticized.
"Don't Write 'New Years' in Old English Script" The Joyful Heart, Issue 44, January 3, 2004. Traditions preserve values, but can keep you from listening to God speaking today and from changing in response to his future for you."Learning Faith from Doubting Thomas," Joyful Heart, April 12, 2003. A short story of St. Thomas's struggle with disbelief, his confession of faith, and his later years as Apostle to India.
"A Tiny Portion from the Feast: A Communion Meditation," considering the Lord's Supper as a portion from two Feasts.
"God's Shepherd," a short story about one of the original Bethlehem shepherd boys who meets Jesus later in life.
"Pray ... with Thanksgiving," The Joyful Heart, November 24, 2002. Thanksgiving is the seasoning that makes our prayers edible to God.
"Take the Handle Off the Broad Street Pump," Herald of Holiness, February 1, 1986. Also in Seek, June 14, 1987, pp. 6-7. On protecting the well-springs of our lives from pollution, Proverbs 4:23.
"The Story of the Sterile Food Tree," The Joyful Heart, November 21, 2001. A parable of Thanksgiving in the midst of adversity and change.
"Seeking," reflections on seeking the Seeking God. June 17, 2001.
"Squanto's Thanksgiving," a 15-minute, one act children's play that tells the story of Squanto's assistance to the Pilgrims.
"Old Zechariah's Promise," The Joyful Heart. A short story of Zechariah's angelic visitation in the Temple, and the promise of a son — John the Baptist.
"Galilean Teacher Seen Complicit in Own Execution," Joyful Heart, April 14, 2001. Eyewitness reporter describes Jesus' arrest and shocking words.
"Review: Crosswalk.com Bible Study Tools," JesusWalk, January 6, 2001. A positive review of Crosswalk's tremendous collection of Bible study tools.
"A Flesh-and-Blood Christmas Miracle," The Joyful Heart, Issue 30, December 24, 2000. Enumerates the various miracles that attended Jesus birth, and focuses on one especially, the miracle of the incarnation.
"Indian Aid and a Blessed Thanksgiving," The Joyful Heart, November 18, 2000. Discusses the role that native Americans Samoset, Massasoit, and Squanto had in the first Thanksgiving celebration.
"Introduction to Textual Criticism: Why Newer Translations Sometimes Differ Slightly from the KJV," October 2000 as a part of the JesusWalk Bible Study. Written for laypeople to understand.
"Using the Internet to Build Christian Community," appears in Worship Leader, Fall 2000. Describes use of chat, instant messaging, forums, and e-mail discussion for evangelism, fellowship, and teaching.
"Not One of Them Empty-Handed," The Joyful Heart, Issue 28, September 2, 2000. Brief reflections on the industrious nature of summer's harvesters — the ants.
"Four Reasons Why I Believe in the Trinity," The Joyful Heart, August 22, 2000. Why a careful reading of the New Testament requires a trinitarian understanding of the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Hosea's Love Song, Valentine's Day, 2000. A tragic parable of love lost and found once more.
"Two Constants in the New Millennium," The Joyful Heart, Issue 24, December 30, 1999. With change swirling around us, one thing doesn't change.
"Shepherds, Angels, and a Manger," The Joyful Heart, Issue 23, December 20, 1999. The story of the shepherds outside of Bethlehem and their angel visitation.
"Don't Cling to the Firewood," The Joyful Heart, Issue 16, November 27, 1999. Thoughts on courage and faith in the midst of change.
"Don't Ask the Blessing, Offer One," Joyful Heart, November 15, 1999. Explains that prayer before meals is to offer thanksgiving to God, not bless the food.
"Scared to Death of Smiling", The Joyful Heart, August 24, 1999. On loneliness, fear, and smiling.
"My El Capitan," The Joyful Heart, July 1999. Recounts the awe of the mighty Rock.
"The Jericho Connection". The Joyful Heart, March 27, 1999. A short story explaining how Jesus is the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world."
The Day Peter Ran, a short story of Easter based on John 20:1-9. The Joyful Heart, Issue 13, April 6, 1998.
"Smiling Outside, Lost Within" The Joyful Heart, Issue 12, February 8, 1998. Examines struggles and healing illustrated by the woman with the flow of blood.
"Walkers," The Joyful Heart, Issue 11, January 7, 1998. Thoughts on discipleship and walking with God.
"Will the Real St. Patrick Please Stand Up?" Vista, March 15, 1987, pp. 6-7. It also appeared under the title "Patrick: Evangelist to Ireland," Purpose, March 15, 1987, pp. 1-3. The story of St. Patrick, the English-born apostle to Ireland and churchplanter par excellence. A shorter version, "Ireland's Church Planter" is also available.
"Will You Lead Us In Prayer?" How to minister as you pray in public. The Joyful Heart, Issue 9, November 6, 1997.
"Does Your Church Run a Spiritual Sweatshop?" Here's a message you'll never hear your pastor preach, but one you and other church leaders need to take very seriously. The Joyful Heart, Issue 8, October 27, 1997.
"Lord, You Can Use My Boat," The Joyful Heart, Issue 7, October 3, 1997. A new short story of the call of Peter dealing with the stewardship of all we possess.
"Why Do People Attend Church?" An article to encourage non-attenders to come back to church.
"Keepers of the Dream," a letter to a church planter whose congregation had to close.
Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastorjoyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.
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