All The People

Jesus’ birth was anticipated by prophets, announced by angels and accompanied by astronomical anomalies. You would think an event that important would first be delivered to the most important people.

People like Caesar Augustus, the most powerful man on the planet and in control of much of the world from his palace in Rome.

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Pray Like a Girl

The last thing I hear every night before I drift into sleep is my wife’s prayers. It’s a good way to end a day. Last night, she prayed this: “God, if we do not see tomorrow, you have given us more in fifty years than many people will see in an entire lifetime.

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Joseph’s Bones

Sometime around his 45th birthday, my nearest brother called me, and there was some urgency in his voice. “Guess what I found,” he said. I honestly couldn’t tell if he was excited or anxious, but since he wanted me to play a guessing game, I quickly calculated that he had stumbled upon something good.

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Post-Election Perspective

This past May, Lisa and I checked an item off our bucket list – visiting the Reagan National Library in Simi Valley, CA. (Okay, so yeah, we’re big Gipper fans. I mean, come on – love him or hate him, he was one of the most influential leaders of the Twentieth Century.)

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Chill, God. I Got This

Maybe I’m not giving it enough credit, but the barrier standing between Joshua and – the Jordan River – doesn’t seem all that imposing. The oceanic obstacle that Moses faced forty years earlier – the Red Sea – now there’s a world-class, sea-sized obstruction if there ever was one. The Red Sea was an impossibility.

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Twenty-one Questions

If you substituted “Clinton” for “Trump,” and “Trump” for “Clinton,” in every news story and social media post, so that everything that has been said and written about the one suddenly applied to other, would you still vote the same way?

If your side gets to determine what is moral/immoral, right/wrong, will you still be terrified of people who impose their views on others?

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Just Do It

My editor in chief, best friend and faithful wife blesses us again with a guest post. Like many of our peers, she is finding her way across the difficult terrain of caring for aging parents. If you know Lisa, you know she does not mince words, pull punches or play games. And if she had a tattoo (which she does not), it would likely be one word — honest.

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God Voted Early

Well, this is just awful. The election I mean. It has a decidedly Romans 1 feel. As in, “God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not be done.” This is a terrifying truth, but God has always given us the freedom of our own choices.

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The Girl By The Window

A few years ago, I spent a week in Russia working with YouthReach International mentors. Hands down one of the richest experiences of my life. If you are looking for a group to pray for or contribute to, you will not find a better candidate than Youth Reach. They look after orphans which, according to James (1:27), is what pure and undefiled religion is all about.

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Why Am I So Busy?

If you had to pick a coffee to describe how last week was, which one most closely matches your last seven days?

Decaf– I had a few responsibilities and I got all of them done with plenty of margin to spare. Great week.

Half Decaf/Half Caf – My schedule was pretty full for a couple of days, but for the most part, it was a reasonably calm week.

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Naked and Afraid

Toward the end of his gospel, in the penultimate scene where Jesus is arrested in the garden, Mark includes an oddly out-of-place incident, one that seems more appropriate to an Adam Sandler or Melissa MaCarthy movie. Jesus and his disciples have retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane. His earnest prayers to be delivered from the cross have been answered with silence.

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Hope Sings

On April 14, 1912 at 11:40 p.m., the largest, most luxurious ocean liner to ever sail slipped beneath the surface of the northern Atlantic. Survivors of the Titanic remembered the ice-cold water, the gasps of the dying, the darkness. And music. They say the band played Nearer My God to Thee to the very end.

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Bothering God

In Exodus 32, God is more than a little miffed. He is door-slamming, wall-punching, foot-stomping furious. His eyes are red and bulging. The veins in His forehead are a blood-pressure point away from bursting. And though there are no textual hints about the tone He uses when He speaks, I bet His voice is deep, tense and terrifying.

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(Not So) Small Comforts on Sexual Purity

Years ago, I asked a friend, in his 70’s at the time, “At what age did you finally outgrow the temptation to lust?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll let you know when it happens.”

He hasn’t gotten back to me on that one yet. I’ve lived long enough now to know that he won’t.

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Some People Want To Fill the World With Silly Love Blogs

You shall love the Lord your God. That is the greatest command. Jesus said so. The silver medal mandate, he added, is to love others. Get those two right and everything else falls into place. He said love is what drives obedience, marks a disciple and identifies us as children of God.

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Unsightly People

Moments before he rose from his seat and made his way to the stage, the rafters in that ancient auditorium had been shaken by our singing. Three-hundred of us had been making a joyful noise unto the Lord on a Friday night. I’d like to tell you we were there because of our deeply held faith.

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Betting on Longshots

Some years ago, a church member asked me to visit a friend of hers – a used car salesman – who had been diagnosed with cancer. It was a bad cancer, too. She warned me that “Bill” was not easy to talk to and had a bad attitude toward church and religion.

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Can These Bones Live?

Isaiah 57:17 is almost too good to believe. God says, “I live in a high and holy place, but also with those who are contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite.” Revival. The promise that what is old can be made young.

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Wait A Minute

I am pleased once again to share this space with my sweet wife. In recent weeks, we’ve been waiting for the Father to answer some prayers. This post is the fruit of some of her conversations with God. I was blessed by it. You will be, too.

~~~

For longer than the eighteen years I lived at home, my dad did shift work at a steel plant.

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Stop Trying To Make Friends

Here’s a thing I bet everybody wants; friendship. Deep, real and lasting friendships. Well, almost everybody. There’s always that one person who just wants to be left alone, to sit quietly night after night in a little room that smells like over-ripe bananas and sadness. He or she probably has a cat because cats don’t want friends either.

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