Time For Payback?
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Do you believe in payback?  People in books and plays and movies sure do.  Revenge drives many stories of great and not so great literature, from the time of the Greeks and Romans, through Shakespeare, to the Revenge of the Jedi. In our own families, we hear talk like, “I’ll teach her a lesson,” or, “I’ll show him.  I’m gonna make sure he doesn’t forget this day.”  Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t treat us like that?  God does not... Read More
St. Patrick's Day Reflections
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I love St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s all great fun.  In the long grinding month of March, St. Patrick’s Day and the festivities are one of the few bright spots in this hard transition to spring, especially up north. Unfortunately, the concept of St. Patrick’s Day has been exhaustively secularized in America.  Hardly anybody realizes the spiritual story behind the partying. Patrick, a British young man, was kidnapped and forced to work as a shepherd, as a slave in Ireland.  And... Read More
The Secret of "The Secret"
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What could be more intriguing than to be let in on the true powers of the universe? What could be a better investment than shelling out $30 for a book or DVD that will help you realize your full potential (i.e. make a lot of money)? Yoda helped Luke Skywalker learn the secrets of the Force and become a Jedi master. Rhonda Byrne and her friends, amped up by Amazon.com and Oprah, are even more certain that they can help... Read More
Gone But Not Forgotten
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Anna Nicole Smith is gone, but not forgotten. I just saw an interesting statistic today.  During the last week of February, 22% of news air time was devoted to Anna Nicole Smith.  You’re not surprised, are you?  The son’s death, the paternity battle, her drug use, burial rights . . . did I miss anything? A few things occur to me.  Ms. Smith led a destructive life, and there is a child in the world now who won’t know her... Read More
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Congratulations, Mr. Gore, on your Oscar.  And my sympathies, for the pounding you’re taking for the seeming hypocrisy of advocating reduction of greenhouse gases while you live in a 10,000 sq. ft. home that consumes a formidable amount of energy for one family. It’s important that we Christians not get into a media feeding frenzy.  The mob mentality was featured most shamefully on Good Friday, when our Lord Jesus was crucified because of the screams and shouts of people who,... Read More
God vs. Hollywood
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Hollywood is getting ready for the Oscars.  Did you know that?  I’ve been seeing it everywhere.  It’s so tempting to tune in to the fantasy lives of the rich and famous.  Of course, the fantasy doesn’t last long.  That’s what I’m reminded of when I see pictures of the bald girl leaving rehab. Fortunately, God’s love is different from Hollywood love.  In Hollywood, love is a mysterious emotional force that must be obeyed.  When the force fades, you no longer... Read More
We Are Blessed
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To be blessed means that we are content and serene. It means we feel confident that our God is still managing the world’s business. He says we can be confident that he will manage everything for our ultimate good. He says we should be confident that our life’s story is guaranteed to have a happy ending. To be blessed means that we are aware that God intervenes in our lives to make good things happen for us. We are under... Read More
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Does God hate sinners? I said that in a message some time ago and got some push-back from some readers and viewers online. God does say that, and perhaps a word or two of explanation could help with this concept that some find difficult. It is always a temptation to take difficult concepts in the Bible and rationalize them and make them fit our human reason. Sometimes the Bible asks us to accept two seemingly contradictory concepts and hold them... Read More
Afterwards....
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“Afterwards” is always so disappointing, isn’t it? Things we look forward to so intensely can bring such joy but the “aftertime” can leave you with the backlash of depression, and emptiness that just seems impossible a week earlier when everything seemed to be going so well. The month after Christmas can be a difficult time for people. Especially those who live far away from loved ones and may have had a chance to see people they really care about, enjoying... Read More
Content to Serve
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I’ve been serving in an inner city ministry for more than a quarter of a century. For the first years that I was there, several people said they wondered, because my background was so middle class, how could I be comfortable there.  People would ask, “Is this hard for you? Aren’t you afraid?  Are you just putting in your time to be a good sport, and then you’ll move on to a comfy place when you can?” I’ve had 14... Read More