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In the first week of July you just might hear these Lee Greenwood lyrics somewhere: “I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.” People who live in the United States are proud of their revolution, proud of their freedoms, and proud of their rights as listed in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. It is worth noting that there is no corresponding “Bill of Responsibilities” to go with the Bill of Rights. A powerful... Read More
He is in your future
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My brother knows more about cars than I ever will. But even he sometimes met his match. He bought a 1950 Ford once that was in pretty rough shape. After working on it for many months, he just felt overwhelmed and gave up on it. The car sat in the driveway for a long time, its dull brown primer making it look like a candidate for the junkyard. Do you ever feel as though your once-bright hopes will never come... Read More
It'll be all right
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How are you feeling right now? How are your insides doing? Are you calm and peaceful, or are your feelings all churned up? All of us live with a lot of stress. The people you walk past on the street—yeah, the ones who look so normal—are dealing with debts, gambling addictions, family breakups, job layoffs, health crises, STDs, and huge auto repair bills. But the worst kind of stress is to live with a permanent fear that God is angry... Read More
You’re not on your own
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A repeated human tragedy that always hurts my heart is to hear about a child who was abandoned by both parents. The kid later says, “I’ve been on my own since I was _______ (fill in the blank here with some terribly young age). Satan seeks to destroy you spiritually, and so he lies to you. He wants you to fear that you’ve been abandoned by your God, that you’re on your own in life, that God only watches from... Read More
God controls death
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When you’re making a list of the things that make the world look out of control, surely death will be near the top. What is more terrifying than seeing someone you love in a coffin or watching your own life slip away? Are you afraid of death? In Luke 7:11-17, the Bible tells the story of how Jesus interrupted a funeral procession leaving the little town of Nain. First he told the sobbing mother, “Don’t cry.” Then he did something... Read More
God controls nature
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Sometimes the world we live in seems like a beautiful, peaceful place. But our environment can be nasty too—sometimes it seems as though nature itself is trying to destroy the people who live in it. Wildfires, hailstorms, typhoons, avalanches, hurricanes, tidal waves, and earthquakes can destroy property and people. St. Paul explains why nature sometimes seems so broken. It’s because it is. “The creation was subjected to frustration . . . in hope that the creation itself will be liberated... Read More
Our living Redeemer
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There are times in our lives when we feel strong, smart, invincible, immortal, and totally in control. And then there are those times when we know we are broken, miserable, weak, lost, and trapped. The apostle Paul didn’t mind those times. God had told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).  That’s why Paul could conclude, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that... Read More
Immanuel: God with us
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Does it ever bother you that you are invited to worship a God that you can’t see? If there really is a divine Maker of this world, why doesn’t he hang around to let us get to know him? God’s seeming absence from this planet has led some to fear that we are all alone here and that there is nobody and nothing greater than man. Ah, but that’s not so. The Bible says that “in Christ all the fullness... Read More
God is omniscient
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Normally we don’t like it when people think of themselves as smarter than we are. We call them know-it-alls, and that name is not meant as a compliment. Well, guess what? God is omniscient; he really does know it all. His mind is vast enough to track all the thoughts and actions of all the people on earth. His memory has enough RAM to remember all human history, small and great.  Psalm 139:1,2 says, “O LORD, you have searched me... Read More
I feel so guilty
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Blaming other people for your problems seems to work for a while. But eventually the truth crashes in—your pain is self-inflicted. It’s your fault. You cheated on her. You made the terrible investments. You took the drugs. You stole the money. You fired the weapon.  One of the most paralyzing of all human experiences is guilt. Guilt makes you think you’re destined to be like that. Guilt smothers hope. Guilt just keeps digging the hole deeper. Guilt keeps you from... Read More