He gets the last word
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One of the girls in my sixth-grade class loved to see naughty boys get caught by the teacher. “Cheaters never prosper,” she would cackle. Ah, if only she were right. Alas, my sad life experience is that cheaters seem to do very well. Everything’s a hustle. Everything’s for sale. Them that’s got shall get. Do you ever feel as though you are wasting your time trying to get ahead through honesty and hard work? Do you ever fantasize about taking... Read More
Love is the better way
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I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King is uniquely qualified to teach us about the futility of revenge and the ultimate triumph of love. He was unjustly imprisoned, his home was firebombed, and he was assassinated in the prime of life. He had various teachers and mentors in the area of nonviolent protest, but the greatest of them was Christ himself, who triumphed over evil by... Read More
God and my work
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Most of us struggle with inadequate vision—we forget we are immortal through Christ, forget our time on this earth is fleeting, and fall in love with things. But the reverse is just as bad—to be so heaven-focused that we ignore the significance of our mission and work right now. Your baptism was also your commissioning into God’s workforce. He calls you royal priests, not just irrelevant placeholders. He calls you to work for him, not just kill time waiting for... Read More
Whose money is it anyway?
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If you talk to people who dislike church (a.k.a. “organized religion”), high on the list of most-hated features is what they see as institutional money hustling. While most ministries authentically seek to reach out to people’s souls, sometimes all that visitors see (or choose to see) is the church reaching out for their wallets. The real reason why Christian ministries gather offerings of money from worshipers and members is not because God is broke and needs our contributions. “I have... Read More
Don't stop praying
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To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.—Martin Luther   Only someone could say that who knew exhaustion, pain, guilt, and the relentless attacks of Satan. Praying is not something that we need to be nagged into doing. You don’t need to be nagged to breathe. It is not a performance requirement. Prayer is simply God’s oxygen for the lungs of our faith. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all... Read More
Treat him right
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Married behaviors are learned behaviors. Newlyweds assume that their partner’s needs are identical to theirs, and they are not. That’s why God gives different instructions. Women may think that their husbands crave love most of all. But it’s not the main thing. Here’s the secret: your man’s greatest need is respect. Love is nice, but respect is oxygen for a man’s soul. We may have bigger bodies and be physically stronger than our wives. Still, every woman has the ability... Read More
Treat her right
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“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That phrase rings so true that it sounds like it must be taken from the Bible . . . maybe 2 Hezekiah, or was it the Epistle to the Mesopotamians? Okay, maybe not. But, husbands, let’s be honest. There is no misery like that of being handcuffed to a miserable woman. Do you agree? Women may be a little physically weaker than their husbands, but their emotions and state of mind are powerful... Read More
Avoidance
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Thanks to Jesus’ famous parable in Luke chapter 10 about highway bandits and an amazing rescue, the word Samaritan today always connotes compassion and generosity. The term has become a compliment. Ironically in Jesus’ time, it was the opposite. To call someone a Samaritan was to insult him. The Jews viewed their “middle neighbors” as racial half-breeds and renegades to their religious tradition. They showed their disapproval and fear by avoidance: “Jews do not associate with Samaritans” (John 4:9). When... Read More
My life is a mess
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The meaning of life, the wasted years of life, the poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: grace.—Max Lucado   In Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, with whom do you identify? The prodigal? The judgmental brother? The forgiving father? At one time or another in your life you will probably have been all three. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy... Read More
I'm so lonely
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“Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name; nobody came. . . . All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” Have you ever felt as though that Beatles anthem to loneliness was written for your life? Loneliness has nothing to do with how many other people are passing through your life. In fact, some of the deepest pangs of loneliness come when you feel totally disconnected, unnoticed, and “uncared for” by the... Read More