Fill them in
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I’ve met some pastors who are frustrated that younger adults know so little about the Bible. Their unhappiness shows. They sound angry with people because they don’t know better. The world has changed. It’s a done deal. The church is struggling to catch up. My parents’ generation made their kids go to church whether they liked it or not. And whether we liked it or not, we sat there and absorbed a lot of what the Holy Spirit was dishing... Read More
We don’t know what to do
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Some problems are smallish and don’t task your brain too much—the water pump on your car breaks down . . . you have a leaky pipe in your basement . . . you find some rotten wood under a window sash in the dining room. And then there’s massive invasion by Moabites and Ammonites from your southern border. King Jehoshaphat of Judah heard alarming news of a vast army coming for Jerusalem apparently unprovoked, and he feared it would overwhelm... Read More
Jealous love
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Which are your personal top five adjectives to describe God and his relationship with you? You might list patient, forgiving, generous, all-powerful, wise, kind, or eternal. One you probably wouldn’t list is jealous. Jealousy is bad, isn’t it? It means consumed with envy, unhappy, bitter, resentful of what someone else has, discontented, and devious. Does that sound like the God you know? Does it surprise you to hear these words coming from God’s mouth? “This is what the LORD Almighty says:... Read More
The scent of the Savior
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Mary Kay Ash, the founder of the immense cosmetic network, was legendary for training her salespeople always to present the company in the very best light—she wanted the Mary Kay brand to shine from them. Her reps were to look like proper ladies—in the beginning they were to wear white gloves, and there was never any alcohol served at any corporate events. From humble beginnings in Texas in 1963, Mary Kay is now a global cosmetics empire. Can people in... Read More
The terror of terrorism
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There have always been acts of sensational violence and terrorism in America, but the sad events of 9/11 changed our national psyche forever. Instantaneous worldwide digital media make all of us aware all the time of all the ways violent predators stalk their prey. How can that not leave you with a deep sense of fear and insecurity? Violent crime and near-constant warfare were part of people’s lives in biblical times as well. Terrorists don’t need guns, bullets, and suicide... Read More
Such an angel
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When I was in college, I donated a week of spring break to help out a church with some canvassing. Not only was it an opportunity to serve, but it was also a free plane ticket to a warm, sunny place. While there I visited hundreds of houses and invited dozens of people to the local church. I am told that one of those people thought I was an angel. (People who know me know better than to make such... Read More
Choose to care
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I know why Christians often have trouble sharing their faith. I know because I sometimes have trouble sharing my faith. For one, who wants to risk rejection? We all have to eat a lot of rejection and disappointment each day—why ask for more? For another, I stress over not having the right words to say at the right time. For another, the task of fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth seems so... Read More
You have changed
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Have you noticed that a place you knew well as a child looks much different when you revisit it as an adult? Rooms are smaller. Walls are shorter. You notice things that you didn’t notice as a child. In reality, this place from your childhood didn’t change one bit. You did. In a similar way, the more your faith grows, the more your perspective on life changes. There’s no better example than what happened in the lives of Jesus’ disciples... Read More
Perspective 101
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One of the trade-offs made in order to emphasize science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in schools has been teaching less history and good literature. To get more of one thing in a crowded curriculum, students will learn less of another. STEM-related subjects help young people get good jobs in their world. History and literature help them keep perspective on it. History is the play-by-play on human events, and literature is the color commentary. One reason for hysterical reactions to... Read More
Choose to be kind
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How many weddings have you attended? It’s likely that a third of them incorporated some of the verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 in some way—you know, the famous “Love Chapter” of the Bible. It is the perfect wedding Scripture because it provides a beautiful and clear picture of what a happy home looks like. “Love is kind,” says St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13:4). It sure is. The real question: are you kind? Kindness is learned behavior; it doesn’t come... Read More