I’m nobody
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“I’m a loser, and I’m not what I appear to be.” If the super-talented, superego John Lennon could sing that in 1964, where does that leave the rest of us ordinary mortals? I never cease being surprised to hear painfully self-deprecating remarks from people whom I admire for their talent, achievements, and charm. Satan must have a field day working on people’s self-hatred. That sinful weakness in us all must be the gift to him that keeps on giving. Here... Read More
Men and women
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I listened to a young, Iranian, Christian woman describe how difficult her life had been in Iran. As is the case in many despotic societies, she had little value. She didn’t have equal protection under the law. She didn’t have the educational or financial opportunities men had. Because all women are inferior to all men there, she was always in danger. She faced the risk that any evening she could get into a taxi with a male driver and even... Read More
Teach your kids about drugs
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Why would anybody inject recreational drugs for the first time? I can understand how an addict would feel the compulsion, but why would you start in the first place? Do people not fear the enslavement? impoverishment? destruction of relationships? physical emaciation? risk of overdose and death? Those miserable outcomes sadly may be the very reason some people find drugs so attractive. People who are miserable; hate their lives; feel really rebellious, angry, depressed, or alienated may actually find a thrill... Read More
The spotlight
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John the Baptist had the important job of clearing the way for Jesus. To drive home the importance of repentance, he regularly made use of something called Baptism (thus his name). People flocked to see this unusual yet authoritative prophet who defied mainstream teaching methods. But one day someone stole his popularity. Someone else set up shop down the river in a better location and began to employ his trademark Baptism techniques. That someone was Jesus. John’s disciples got quite... Read More
YOLO
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Know what a meme is? It’s a belief or philosophy that gains acceptance rapidly horizontally, peer to peer, usually through social media, rather than through formal education. One that everybody younger than 30 knows is “YOLO,” i.e., “You only live once.” It is a standard excuse for doing something lame or stupid, like having your fourth shot of Jack in an hour or taking a total stranger to your apartment, the rationalization being that life is short and you have... Read More
Just relax
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It’s funny when you consider the difference between relaxing and being lazy. A snapshot of one can easily be mistaken for the other. Only the context of what happened beforehand can determine the difference between the two. While the Bible speaks against laziness, it also cautions those who are over busy. People who never take time to relax are not only doing themselves a physical disservice, but they also might be reflecting a spiritual misalignment. If the devil could have... Read More
Is your worship really for me?
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When I gave my wife jumper cables as a Christmas gift one year, she didn’t look particularly touched. Truth be told, those cables were more for me—to give me peace of mind. She had no interest in learning how to use them. And when she “gave” me a new grill for Father’s Day one year, she would cheerfully admit that she wanted a new grill. If we are 100 percent honest with ourselves (and with God), our religious practices and... Read More
Suffering for others’ evil
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Children have an intense appreciation for fairness of treatment by their parents. They want an immaculately consistent system of rewards and punishments, and they strenuously protest when they believe that they are falsely accused. And they really, really hate blanket punishments when only one little sinner was at fault. Well, they probably better get used to it. One of the features of our broken world is that innocent people get dragged into the painful consequences of the evil deeds of... Read More
Why do you want to do this alone?
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Life is hard. The law of entropy says that everything is in a state of breaking down. You may assume that everything positive you try to do will encounter resistance; you may equally assume that trouble is going to come and find you. Here’s the question: Is it your plan to tackle everything all by yourself? Are you open to letting God into your game plan? Does that sound like a dumb question? Maybe, but even believers have to figure... Read More
Shoes off
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Think about two places where you are most likely to be barefoot. I bet I can predict where they are. Ready? The first place is probably your home. The second place is probably a beach. How did I know? The other thing I know is that most people prefer to be barefoot. When you don’t have shoes on it means you aren’t hard at work. You’re not in a rush to go anywhere. You’re in a comfortable environment. You’re relaxed.... Read More