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“Everybody talks about the weather but nobody seems to do anything about it.” That amusing line is generally attributed to Mark Twain, and what has given the sentiment legs for more than a century now is that we have all wished we could influence what was happening in the atmosphere, at least on certain occasions. Mothers of brides with outdoor receptions wish they could control heat and humidity. Farmers would love to be able to control the sunshine and rainfall... Read More
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The Roman orator Cicero (106–43 b.c.) is credited with saying, “Where there is life there is hope.” He made that astute observation decades before a young Jewish woman felt the Son of God kicking inside of her, giving mankind the hope of eternal life. Much later, another Jewish girl turned the phrase to sustain herself through the daily torment of the Holocaust. Her observation was equally profound: “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes... Read More
Watch your mouth
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The gem industry would like you to think that diamonds are forever. You know what else never dies? Stuff you put on the Internet. Somehow the tech nerds who invented computer servers developed such automatic and redundant backup programming and capacity that everything that ever entered the ’Net will live forever. Somewhere in a server farm in Lapland is an astonishing record of your words and life, the good and the bad. Watch your mouth! Think before you click! “Do... Read More
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I got a warning from the laundry police. “Put your dirty clothes in the hamper and not in a pile next to the hamper.” I’m sorry. It was a momentary lapse in judgment. I promise it will never happen again. Please don’t send me to husband jail. Actually, my wife and I are on the same page when it comes to the importance of a tidy house, and we share household duties well. We know our home is our launching... Read More
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Over the centuries people have fantasized about having power over animals to get them to help us. They domesticate and train horses and dogs one by one to be our companions and pull loads for us. But only God can utter a command to an entire genus or species and expect complete and immediate obedience. The flies in Egypt didn’t have to go to obedience school to be trained one at a time when God called for them. He spoke... Read More
Think before you drink
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The big breweries still advertise heavily on television, guaranteeing that if you buy and consume their products, you will have much more fun and romance in your life. But aware of alcohol’s destructive power and nervous about lawsuits, the companies make sure the ads end with this: “Drink responsibly.” Holy Communion is a big deal. It is the holiest thing that people can do this side of heaven. It is a direct encounter with the very body and blood of... Read More
Captive thoughts
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Just the other day my son said, “Sometimes I wish I could just say everything I am thinking!” I get that, don’t you? I mean, I would love to just let those thoughts fly! Ah, what sweet relief to say what is really on our minds! Of course, I am not talking about the nice, sweet, thoughtful things. I am thinking about saying the mean things. The thoughts that I let stew, simmer, and boil. The ones that make my... Read More
Put me in chains
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Why do subordinates of all kinds harbor resentment toward those over them? There were no ranks in Eden. There was God walking with two people made in the image of God, working together in perfect harmony. What happened? Well, God had a short list of tough consequences for breaking that world. “You’ll get your food the hard way, planting and tilling and harvesting, sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk” (Genesis 3:18,19 MSG). So we sing the working person... Read More
No limits to his power over matter
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“A man’s got to know his limitations”—wisdom from Harry Callahan (a.k.a. Clint Eastwood) in Magnum Force. Clint’s right—we are all limited: limited vision, limited brainpower, limited physical capacity, limited lifespan. The God we worship, however, has no such limitations. The entire physical universe was created by him and every day still must submit to his word and will. Absolutely every molecule in every place is under his supervision and direction. Look what he did in Egypt to Egypt. When the... Read More
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“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23,24). Do you have multiple personalities? You know, one for work and one for church. Whether you’re a welder, waitress, nurse, teacher, businessperson, or soldier, God thinks there is no difference between the worship you offer in... Read More