Dig Deep

Progressing Downward

Last month, I talked about Reader’s Digest Christianity, and how it reduced the Christian faith to pithy, easily-achievable goals that ensure our personal improvement. Today, I have a different (though depressingly similar) target: “LiveStrong” Christianity. LiveStrong bracelets are today even more popular than the infamous WWJD bracelets were 10 years ago, despite the public fall from grace of their namesake, Lance Armstrong. In the minds of many people inside the church, Livestrong is the essence and goal of Christianity. You hear this obsession in our lingo: We talk about someone having “strong faith,” about someone being a “strong Christian,” a […]

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Is This the Year?

Is 2014 the year that you are finally going to write that book, buy that house, become that professional or start that business you have been dreaming of? Do you have a dream? Perhaps a more important question is: Has God given you a calling for your life? “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God” (Ephesians 4:1). You’ve heard pastors describe being “called into the ministry.” But calling does not necessarily mean becoming a pastor or missionary. It may mean opening a […]

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Superhero Depression

He had just defeated the enemy in the most spectacular way possible: a double-dog deity dare to prove which god was really true. The prophet Elijah succeeded in exposing Baal as a fraud and Jehovah as omnipotent. He killed 450 prophets of Baal and demonstrated his spiritual authority and power to the king and his people. What happened next? He ran for the hills, afraid of a girl. Of course, this was no ordinary girl. This was Queen Jezebel, the wicked Sidonian princess turned Queen of Israel, overseer of magic arts and the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth. Still, after […]

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Reader’s Digest Christianity

For a while, my parents were getting Reader’s Digest every month while I was growing up. Because they were stored next to the toilet, they were widely read. In each and every issue there was an interview with some celebrity, usually an actor or an athlete. Reader’s Digest‘s favorite kind of celebrity was the “self-made” variety; someone who had come from nothing, preferably a broken home in which the single mother had to work multiple jobs to afford the windows that protected the family from the ceaseless gunfire outside. The interviewers inevitably ended their pieces by asking the celebrity something […]

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Seven Habits of Effective Prayer

Prayer is extremely important. But you probably already knew that. Most people don’t need to be convinced that prayer is one of the most important practices in a believer’s life. But what seems to elude a lot of people is the “how” of prayer. How do you maintain a healthy prayer life? How do you pray with any sense of satisfaction or effectiveness? Prayer is important, but prayer is hard. It can look like prayer comes easy for some people, but it doesn’t. Not right away anyway. An effective prayer life is developed over time through a series of habits […]

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You are the Woman at the Well

By: Dr. Warren Gage “Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well?” (John 4:12) The sun was climbing high to midday, bright and hot, as she stepped outside with her empty water jar. There would be no one else at the well at this hour. Most women went to the well to draw water later in the day, enjoying the cool of the evening and the company of their friends. But there was one woman in Sychar who chose to endure the heat of the day and go to the well alone, for in so small […]

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The Peace of God

Is experiencing peace really possible in the real world? How do you have peace when you continually hear about the terrible things in the news, never mind the various emotional pressures of everyday life? It’s just so easy to get frustrated and agitated about a situation, worried about a problem, or anxious about the future. Is the peace you read about in the Bible or see in certain people actually possible? That’s the question. Because it’s not enough to just rest in peace when you die; you want to practically experience peace while you live. So how do you pursue […]

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The Greatest Treasure

I am a sucker for a great treasure story. Apparently I’m not alone. Treasure hunting films like The Goonies, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and National Treasure keep on being produced. Yet the popularity of these movies is not simply due to good acting. It seems people love to identify with the hidden treasure plot. It doesn’t matter that you know the main character will find the lost treasure in the end; you’re gripped by the tale of that one great treasure that’s been lost for centuries and the possibility of finding it. Why is that? Why do people […]

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A Helper Suitable

Dr. Warren Gage Good News The Bible begins with a wedding, and ends with a wedding. Genesis opens with a garden wedding near a river alongside of which grows the Tree of Life. Revelation closes with a garden wedding near a river alongside of which grows the Tree of Life. God’s creation of a bride for Adam also reflects the gift of a bride for Jesus Christ, whom the New Testament calls the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). In the garden, Adam was put into a deep sleep. The man, though still sinless, was wounded in his side. God took […]

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Doers of the Word

One of the most frustrating things in the Christian life is wanting to change but feeling like you can’t. Have you ever wondered why you’re not growing as much as you’d like to? You believe the gospel and rejoice in God’s grace, yet you look at the practical descriptions of a Christian in the Bible and they often seem so out of reach. What gives? What’s the solution? The quick fix Christians often turn to is simply acquiring more knowledge. After all, Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth” (John 17:17). The truth will set you […]

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