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Mother’s Day is coming up soon. Ads constantly remind us that the women in our lives would love flowers, chocolate, breakfast in bed, and jewelry. The abundance of pink cards praises the women who nurture, protect, and raise the next generation. Still, I can’t stop thinking that while individually we value mothers, we undervalue the children—some are willing to dispose of them before they are even born. But Psalm 139:13,14 tells us that mothers and children are inextricably linked: “You... Read More
It’s meant to be permanent
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When two partners form a business venture, they are in it only so long as they realize a profit and get along with each other. If either one loses interest in the partnership, he or she may leave or buy the other out. There is no expectation that the partnership must last until death of the principals. It’s not hard to understand why people would enter marriage with the same attitude—who wants to make that kind of scary permanent commitment?... Read More
God’s “perhaps”
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The blue ribbon in my front yard says that I appreciate police officers. The picture on my mantle of a police officer says even more. My son is a police officer. I know. It’s dangerous. But he is willing to take that risk for a greater reward: peace and safety in a wicked world. Perhaps at a personal cost to him. But I sure hope not. I feel like the vineyard owner who “sent a servant to the tenants so... Read More
The rooster crows
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“Peter declared, ‘Even if all fall away, I will not.’ ‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.’ But Peter insisted emphatically, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the others said the same” (Mark 14:29-31). We all want to be Peter, don’t we? In our hearts we want to believe with such fierce conviction that we would emphatically argue with... Read More
Pray for your leaders
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Whenever there’s a presidential campaign, based on the candidates’ promises, it seems as if we are all hoping for an earthly savior, one who keeps us safe and makes our lives comfortable. Candidates want us to pretend we have amnesia, forgetting that scandals are often uncovered, exposing some at the top of the political food chain who have misused their power or acted out of selfish motives. Why are we surprised? Thanks to sinful selfishness, every nation on earth has... Read More
I'm a work in progress
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The Bible’s message has a lot of paradoxes and seeming contradictions. There. I’ve said it. It kind of helps to be able to hold two seemingly conflicting ideas in your head at the same time without going crazy. How can Christ be fully human and fully divine at the same time? How can God be three and one at the same time? Hmm . . . One of those paradoxes that once may have confused you is the contrast between... Read More
Faith is never alone
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Faith alone saves. But for believers in Jesus, faith is never alone. “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:15-17). Holding firm to the Bible’s teachings can become a wicked trap if... Read More
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People like to assume that God’s ways work pretty much the same as our ways on earth. People furthermore like to assume that his governance is a lot like ours. Since our country has freedom of belief and freedom of speech, isn’t it reasonable to suppose that these two principles are operative in God’s courtroom as well? Actually, no. Listen to Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone... Read More
Sharpen the axe
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“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”—Abraham Lincoln President Lincoln had it right. The time you spend preparing for your work makes the work so much easier. Jesus gave us work to do too. Be salt and light in the world. Feed the hungry. Care for widows and orphans. Go and make disciples. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Love your enemies. Serve one another. Know that you... Read More
The earth is God's
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Some say that the first Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, 1970, marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. A movement eager to say, “The earth is god!” As creatures of the earth who trust our Creator, however, we believe differently. God miraculously created the earth out of nothing. He can do that because he is God and the earth is not. The earth serves him. The earth is not our mother, but dependent on her Creator like we... Read More