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Mark Buckley's Reflections

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The Healer of Broken Lives

Like many people around the world, I grieved when I heard the news of Robin Williams' death. We both grew up in Marin County and attended the College of Marin at the same time. Kristina knew Robin from Redwood High School and College of Marin. She loved listening to Robin ...

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Misunderstandings

My sermon June 1 was titled, "What’s the Big Deal about Sex?" About fifteen minutes into my message, two rows of high school students sitting in the front right side of our sanctuary stood up and walked out. I didn't know what I had said that disturbed them so much. I continued my message, but I was upset. I felt like I must lack the wisdom...

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A Walk of Grace

At Living Streams our Easter services are packed with members and visitors. I feel extra pressure to prepare a good sermon for Easter. I want to bring fresh inspiration, not a recycled message. I had felt impressed by the Spirit to speak about the walk Jesus took with two disciples on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection. Two weeks before Easter, I went ...

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An Unexpected Blessing

In February, Living Streams hosted a worship and prayer meeting that was attended by a few hundred Catholics and Evangelicals. The local Catholic bishops were present along with Matteo Calisi and Giovani Traettino from Italy. I was sitting in a front pew next to Matteo when Robert Briggs, the Executive Vice President of the...

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Obedience Has Its Rewards

Giovani Traettino leads a network of Pentecostal Churches in Italy. For years Pentecostals had experienced persecution from Italian Catholics. So in 1992, when Giovani was invited to speak to a large meeting of Catholic Charismatics in Bari, Italy, he felt conflicted. He loved preaching the gospel, but he didn't want to betray...

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Hope for the Future

Kristina and I were listening to the news and having one of those, "Can you believe how bad things are getting," talks recently. Actually, evil has been in our society for a long time. We would be outraged if we lived in a society where people had slaves. Yet Americans, including many Christians, lived with slaves and justified their actions for two...

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Time to Live

On June 29, 1979, I was praying in my office in Novato, CA. As I knelt beside the couch, I heard a voice in my heart say, "I'm going to take you home." I got off my knees and sat down on the couch. I was really upset. "Lord, are you telling me that I'm going to die? I have two little boys who need me. Kristina is pregnant. She and our new...

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The Value of Relationships

I'm heading to my 45th high school reunion in Marin County this month. The dinner will be expensive, and it won't be served until hours past my usual dinnertime. I won't be indulging in cocktails beforehand, or much of the dancing at the end. I attend our reunions because I value relationships. It takes effort to establish and maintain good relationships...

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My Sabbatical

Four years ago, the elders of Living Streams suggested to me that I take a sabbatical. The idea sounded interesting to me at the time, but I wasn't sure how practical it would be for me to be away from our church for three months. I didn't want Living Streams to lose people or momentum. I was basically too insecure to take our elders up on their gracious ...

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