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If you’ve been following his career, you know you’ll find Jesus in the strangest places. He’s a bit of a mystery, and he admitted it. “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me” (John 16:16) He’s been known to hover over a void, creating light and everything else. He is the Word of God, full of grace and truth. He was in a burning bush, a fiery furnace,... Read More
What happened to our relationship?
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It is a miserable failing in many homes that the husband and wife take each other for granted. They figure that now that they’re married, they don’t have to try so hard any longer to be nice. They don’t listen as well; they grow indifferent to the other person’s needs; they talk less; they say “I love you” less. Before they know it, their love for each other has cooled off. We should not over trust in God’s grace. The... Read More
I feel all alone
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It’s a common but understandable mistake to draw conclusions about our relationship with God from our relationships with people around us. When family life is happy and peaceful, it’s easy to say, “Thank you, God.” When we’re enmeshed in a lot of conflict, we imagine him angry with us. When people we thought were friends start ignoring us, we think he’s dumping us too. On top of everything, our guilty consciences make us ashamed to pray, assuming that he’s too... Read More
The precious gift of unity
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We are all a bunch of independent-minded individuals, aren’t we? In our family discussions, there may be five of us in the room but there are six strong opinions. In our congregations, Satan doesn’t have to work too hard to open up deep cracks in the plans and spirit of the ministry. Sometimes the longer you’ve known people, the worse it gets. Martin Luther was said to have groaned once, “God save me from my enemies . . . and... Read More
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“I know what you’re going through.” You may hear that from friends wishing to seem sympathetic. What you want to snap back at them is, “You have no idea what I’m going through,” but instead you just say, “Yeah.” Our God tracks absolutely everything going on in our lives. He and the angels rejoice at our triumphs, and they groan at our struggles, intervening at strategic times to keep us on the path that leads to heaven, binding up our... Read More
I feel so stupid
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Everybody does dumb things. Even the people who seem to have perfect lives are just better at hiding their mistakes or getting them blamed on someone else. Our minds, hearts, spirits, and strength were broken in the fall into sin, and we must not put the burden of perfectionism on ourselves. We did not enter life pure and perfect, as did Adam and Eve. We were broken from the get-go. But we can learn. We can grow in knowledge (facts),... Read More
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I know a man who served as a missionary in Brazil. As he walked along the streets, he saw the food and candles that were left out as an offering to spirits, which is part of the Umbanda religion. This religion combines African traditions, Catholicism, spiritism, and indigenous beliefs. Having watched the religion in action, the missionary commented, “The devil takes off his mask in Brazil.” For the most part, in the U.S. the devil wears a mask. He disguises... Read More
Why?
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The second week of September will forever bring a painful annual memory to every American. In our everyday language, 911 means both the number to call in an emergency and the date on which 2,996 people were killed by hijacked aircraft that were driven into three large buildings and crashed into a field. By now we pretty much know the what. We still have a hard time with the why. Why would 15 Saudis plus an Egyptian, a Lebanese, and... Read More
I can't forgive myself
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Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Those three painful words are an anthem of regret that we sing to ourselves when we’ve failed, choked, blanked, blundered, or bungled something important. You know, it’s good to accept responsibility for our own mistakes. Seriously! Blamers are no fun to be around because everything is always somebody else’s fault. It is refreshing when others, and we ourselves, own up and claim what we did. Except when the self-blaming doesn’t stop. If you get into a time... Read More
Running on empty
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The gadget engineers are pushing wearable technology. Computers in eyeglasses and watches can keep us connected and our hands free. We can accessorize with wristbands to monitor our health. We can wear cameras on our foreheads so everyone can see the world from our perspectives. It’s the Internet of everything. I think we should wear little dashboards with trouble lights so we know when to check our fluids. Sometimes we don’t notice when everything is running low until we grind... Read More