God

Clean in Spite of Dirt

In an old Dennis the Menace cartoon, Dennis is holding a handful of beautiful flowers and he asks Mr. Wilson, “How can something so pretty and clean come out of the dirt?” When you think about it, that question applies to every Christian. I have a word of encouragement for you taken from these magnificent words from John, the beloved apostle: “. . . the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NLV). Cleansed Notice that John did not say that Jesus’ blood “will cleanse us from all sin” or “shall cleanse us from […]

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Grace and Identity

A few years back I was driving one of my sons home from his basketball game and he was crying. He’s a great basketball player but had a less than stellar performance and he was, as a result, crushed. After doing my best to comfort him by listening to him and reminding him that his game was not nearly as bad as he thought it was, and that even the best basketball players in the world have an off game here and there, I asked him why he was so upset. He told me plainly, “Dad, I played terrible.” I […]

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Goldilocks Planets Myth: BUSTED

For well over 2,000 years, since before the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the Romans, mankind has been trying to find ways to deny the divine creation of the world and to worship the creation rather than the Creator. One manifestation of this presupposition is the research done by scientists seeking to show that the Earth and the intelligent life therein are not unique in the universe and are, therefore, a product of natural forces and random chance. On December 5, 2011, Science Daily reported that a team of researchers, including Carnegie’s Alan Boss, had discovered what could be […]

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Noise Addiction: Unplug

Anxiety, stress, depression and anger are major problems today. They are at the root of many physical illnesses and relational conflicts. One major cause of these mood disorders in our culture is “noise addiction.” We are a plugged-in generation that requires constant background noise in our daily life. For many it is too hard to be alone with just the sounds of silence. Be still and know Most people are not willing to live without their modern technology. However, it is worthwhile to unplug from the noise of technology and run silent for a while. This can be a very […]

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Speaking the Truth in Love

“You’re not cute,” she said as she pointed a well-manicured index finger at my chest. Wide eyed, my peers glanced at me, looked at our mentor, eyed the box of tissues and waited. I drew in a deep breath and smiled. “You’re not necessarily headed to the stages where you think you are headed,” she continued. “But, you have a stage. You’re not one of those ‘cutsie’ girl speaker types. You’re powerful. Unique. Dramatic. Inspiring. She demonstrated each word as she spoke them and made her point, “You have your audience.” As my heart filled to overflowing, the resultant tears […]

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Days of Awe: Understanding Jewish High Holy Days

Later this month many Jews will recognize the ten-day period referred to as the “Days of Awe” or “Ten Days of Repentance” starting with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and commencing with total fasting on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. In the Jewish tradition, the High Holy Days are an opportunity to consider what needs to be transformed in our lives and actively realign our priorities. It is also a good time for Christians to join our fellow Jews and reflect on our lives, the parts that we often do not want to confront and look to God […]

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Taking Israel Out of the Bible

New Christians struggling to study their Bible are often taught to read the scriptures as though they were written personally to them, even reciting the scriptures using one’s own name in place of the verse’s subject. While it is important to apply scripture to one’s own life, it is equally important to not ignore the original context of the scripture and the original recipient of that particular promise. For example, a special verse that brings comfort to a person who may be experiencing difficulty is Isaiah 49:16 “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” This […]

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Strength In Weakness

How do you view your weaknesses? Do you boast in them? Weaknesses and hardships are not typically something people boast about, but they can be. You wouldn’t naturally think that your weakness is an asset, that your trial is a gift or that your problem can actually make you more effective in life, but it’s true. The Apostle Paul once had a “thorn in the flesh,” some weakness that was harassing him, but he learned how to boast in it and be content with it, and you can too. The problem of weakness One of the problems of weakness is […]

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A Lion For The Lazy

Do you know what the world’s greatest labor-saving device is? Tomorrow! That’s right; tomorrow. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, right? But this is not for you! The sluggard says, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!” (Proverbs 22:13 NLT) Notice that it is not the fearful who cry, “There is a lion out there,” but rather the lazy. Why? Because they’re lazy! The sluggard creates all sorts of reasons in his mind for his inactivity and living a life of ease in Zion. Rebellion always finds its reasons, and […]

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