Fathers, be good
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The song “Daughters” by famous musical artist John Mayer has a chorus that begins, “Fathers, be good to your daughters; daughters will love like you do.” He goes on to say that those daughters, influenced by their parents, become mothers and, therefore, continue the chain of influence on the next generation. Without a doubt, fathers make an impact on their sons and daughters, especially in their early years. My mom always said that fathers are so influential that most girls... Read More
Status change
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When a pro football player comes under contract with an NFL team, that team and its coaches and owners expect the player not only to wear the uniform but to absorb the culture of the organization. The player needs to master the playbook, perform in games, but also conduct himself properly with the press, represent the team well, and be active in the community. Through your faith in Christ, you have changed teams. Instead of the rags of Satan’s legions... Read More
Fly it proudly
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My mother’s birthday was June 14th. There were always flags and lots of bunting displayed on that day. There were even some small-town parades. My mom was a trustworthy woman, but she told her children it was all for her birthday. I think I was ten before I figured out there wasn’t a national observance of the day my mother was born. It was Flag Day. If the United States has a sacred artifact, it’s our flag. It’s right up... Read More
Early judgment day
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Is God’s patience unlimited? In a sense it is. His mercy triumphs over judgment. Our Savior’s blood washes even the dirtiest sinner clean. His open and welcoming arms have given hope even to such notorious rebels as King Manasseh and Saul the persecutor But when the repenting stops, when people stubbornly and persistently reject his grace and mercy, when they show by words and deeds that they want no part of a relationship with the God of Israel, the Lord... Read More
Thanks, dads!
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Father’s Day is coming, but it seems like Dad will get the short end of the stick. Mother’s Day is filled with ads reminding you to get flowers and buy presents! But dads get a silly card and a tie. (Though steak or burgers on the grill counts for something.) Dads don’t get nearly as much credit for parenting. But we all suffer the repercussions when men don’t do the job God has given them. Children from fatherless homes are... Read More
Never unemployed
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Matthew left his job without a two-week notice—because he wanted to follow Jesus. If you need to leave your job in order to follow Jesus, then you have my blessing, but Jesus makes it clear that you can follow him and keep your job. As a matter of fact, you can follow Jesus at your job, at the gym, in the classroom, where you hang out and go out, and everywhere in between. You see, for Christians, following Jesus is... Read More
Hang on
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“Things are not always what they seem.” My mother told me that when I was a little boy, and I have found her words wise advice. They provide great spiritual insight too. It may look as though Satan pretty much has won the battle for the hearts and minds of the people of the world. It may look as though greed and violence are the only way to get ahead. It may look as though you are doomed to a... Read More
Shine brightly!
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“Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, [the Jews] still would not believe in him. . . . Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God” (John 12:37,42,43). Ouch. That sounds like someone familiar. It sounds like me—and possibly... Read More
Surprise! Oaths guarantee nothing
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Why do you suppose that “adult” talk is so full of swearing? Simple. It’s because people lie so much. They frantically embellish their statements and claims to try to get people to believe them this time. Using an oath (e.g., “swear to God”) suggests that the swearer is willing to submit to divine penalty for perjury, and thus the statement must be believable. Adding oathy intensifiers (e.g., “OMG”) supposedly adds drama and emotion to the statement. Jesus asks you to... Read More
Better than they deserve
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“It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” That little bit of folk wisdom comes from the great philosopher Frank Burns, surgeon with the 4077th M.A.S.H. unit. It’s not too hard to sweeten up for people who treat you well. It’s way harder to treat people better than they deserve. And yet that’s exactly what Christ asks us to do (for it’s exactly how he lived his life, and exactly the concept behind his gospel mission to bring forgiveness to... Read More