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Yes, I played cowboys and Indians as a child; yes, I always wanted to play the first because, reasonably enough, a gun is preferred to a bow. Yes, I shot the Indian many times, who was played by my best friend Raúl. And yes, he always went unscathed during my search and destroy missions, which meant the battle continued for many months until we matured into flipping baseball cards. Yes, I am guilty. But if the truth be told, a cowboy was not my first preference. What I really wanted to be was a pony express rider, but there was […]

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The Heart of Worship

The truest model of worship is love Himself — Jesus. It’s evident that Jesus loves through the eyes of His Father, yet the only way He knows the heart of His Father is by being in the secret place, deepening His knowledge of God.   Love As we read in the Scriptures, we see that our first act of worship is love. The way that Jesus walks stems from that understanding of love. Christ Himself says it in Matthew 22:37-38, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your […]

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The Way We Were

Finally, it’s time to board the airplane. After waiting in the airport for about 2 hours, we were ready to board the flight so we could get a few hours of sleep. About 30 minutes into the flight the captain came on the intercom and said that we would be cruising about 34,000 feet, and there were good and clear skies ahead of us in our journey to Fort Lauderdale. My wife and I had just finished our second week of back-to-back trips to take two of our young adult children back to school. As I settled into my seat, […]

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The Gift of Work and Rest

Because we celebrate Labor Day this month, I wanted to write a word of encouragement regarding God’s gift of work to mankind. Work is not, as many mistakenly believe, a result of the curse. Before Adam and Eve sinned and rebelled against God, they were given the great gift of work. As image-bearers of God, they were called to co-labor with the Lord to expand the cause of His Kingdom, for His glory, and for the flourishing of all mankind. Sadly, as a result of their sin, work was cursed with thorns and thistles and became much harder to perform […]

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Trials and Tribulations

As someone who today enjoys the limelight, it is interesting how anonymity was my greatest ally during my formative years. Sitting in the middle of the classroom and utilizing the student in front of me as a shield allowed some protection from total disaster…the teacher calling on me!! The mere thought of being singled out and asked to speak was more than I could bear. It made no difference if the correct answer was available; fear took over. The Trial Begins That all came to an abrupt end when I became a federal agent. There were so many exciting aspects […]

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We All Live in Four Different Worlds

“So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him” (Daniel 6:4 NKJV). We will begin finding our way through a culture that has lost its way when we begin to realize that each of us lives simultaneously in four very distinct spheres of life and therefore influence.   Private You live in a private world. There is a part of your existence that no one else ever enters. Not even those closest […]

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Down, But Not Out

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). Did you know that Christian believers get down and depressed? Some people mistakenly believe that Christians should not experience any kind of deep sadness after conversion, as if we have been made immune to depression, despair and despondency. If a Christian does lapse into depression, this thinking goes, he or she is in sin. This is an entirely faulty understanding […]

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Build Your Church, Build It from the Ground Up

What do you listen for when you hear a gospel song? Some of the greatest hymns were inspired by personal experiences. Most song writers and singers tell their story through their songs. Just listen to the lyrics in your favorite song, and you’ll hear a message. One of the most powerful songs that I have heard recently and have listened to several times, is titled Build Your Church, by Maverick City & Elevation Worship. How to build a church How does God build His church from the ground up? One of the cornerstones He uses to build His church is […]

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Why We Worship

About five years ago I found myself deeply challenged by some questions that a friend raised about the way we did church. “Why do we have to have a sermon? And why does there have to be music? Why are we doing church like this and is there a better way to do it?” I had been leading worship for almost ten years at that point and found this question both disturbing and exciting. Why were we doing congregational worship the way we were doing it? Do we even need music in our gatherings? Are we just giving people a […]

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Stress: Five Fascinating Facts

(Scroll down to leave a comment on stress.) “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the 12 tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings” (James 1:1 NKJV). Stress! Perhaps no other word is used as much to describe the culprit, the scapegoat, the excuse of modern man. Many of the problems in our homes and with our health seem to relate to this stress factor. But stress has been around through the ages.  Note, for instance, that James addressed his epistle “to the 12 tribes which are scattered abroad,” to those early Christians who had fled […]

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