Creation by committee
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God gave us his Word to create and sustain our faith. Much of its content we can actually understand. Some of it remains a profound mystery, beginning with the very identity of God himself. Already in the 200s A.D. Christians were using the term Trinity (tri-unity) to summarize this mystery. God’s self-revelation in the pages of Scripture reveals a powerful unity of being, purpose, and action, but also three distinct persons with distinct minds and distinct functions. The Bible calls them... Read More
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The Bible over and over uses farm imagery to teach believers how to think about their lives, how God designed things to work, how to make big decisions. This not only made sense to Scripture’s original readers, the majority of whom worked in agriculture-related jobs, but it still resonates today because there’s no cheating and there are no shortcuts in farming. If a farmer plants corn, corn there will be. He shouldn’t expect a wheat crop. If he’s too lazy... Read More
Pray for your pastor
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When you are new to the faith, it’s understandable that you might be a little hesitant in explaining it to someone else. Everything is still so surprising and unexpected that you don’t want to put your foot in something inappropriate, especially when what’s at stake is people’s everlasting destiny. It’s expected that laypeople would want to work on their evangelism skills. Does it surprise you to know that a famous pastor had some fears about being tongue-tied and afraid when... Read More
Being a tourist
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As a military family, one perk of transferring was being tourists in each new location. In Alaska we hiked mountains, fished, saw whales and bears, and visited glaciers. After moving to Washington D.C., we took family pictures in the Rose Garden, Mount Vernon, every monument (multiple times), and numerous battlefields. Moving to California meant we explored places like Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and all of southern California’s theme parks. Now that we’ve left military life and settled down, it’s easy... Read More
Kept safe
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Have you ever led a tour? been responsible for a large group of people traveling a long distance? chaperoned a class trip, band trip, or sports traveling team? At the end of the day, what is your primary purpose? You must return safely the same amount of first graders, hockey players, or adult day care residents with which you started. Start with 17. Return with 17. Not 14. Not 8. That can be a challenge. Little kids get lost at... Read More
God’s ninth and tenth laws
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Both the ninth and tenth laws speak against the evil of coveting, which has led some Christians to number them together as law ten. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land” (Deuteronomy 5:21). What really is coveting? It most certainly is not the same thing as wanting. There is nothing wrong with wanting a better life, wanting a raise, wanting to drive your own car instead of riding... Read More
God’s eighth law
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How old are children when they figure out how to evade responsibility by lying? Five? Four? Three? Jesus told the Pharisees once that when the devil lies, he is speaking his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. The sin we’re all born with gives us that same fluency in the native language of liars. Truth telling is learned behavior. It’s hard work, because lying can be such a quick and easy way to shed... Read More
God’s seventh law
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The right of personal property is one of the most foundational building blocks of any sane and rational society. If people are not allowed to buy and own things, like horses, land, farm equipment, and a home, they lose any incentive for working. Why work and save to buy stuff that anybody who wants to can take? What business could survive for a week without guarantees of property ownership? God carved into Moses’ tablets an elegantly simple property law: “You... Read More
God’s sixth law
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When God invented the human race, he simultaneously invented the two genders, the mad wonder of sexuality, and human reproduction. His very last creative act during creation week was to invent marriage, the invisible bond that creates “one flesh” till death us do part. He was so excited about that gift to his first man and woman that he performed their wedding immediately upon creation of Eve. God invented human sexuality for the delight of married couples and to bring... Read More
God's fifth law
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There’s a reason why detective and cop shows, books, and movies are so endlessly popular. The never-fail plot line is murder, as we all have a nervous fascination with other people dying violently. Perhaps it’s related to our own fear of death. You know, human life is fragile. It doesn’t take all that much to take a life. God knew that. He intentionally made human beings smaller and more physically vulnerable than many species in the animal kingdom. For protection... Read More