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Scarlett O’Hara and Sacrifice

I’ve recently been reading Gone with the Wind, the great American novel set against the backdrop of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Though I’ve read it a couple times before, this time through has been a little different. The hardships of war have seemed a little closer to home, given the crisis affecting our world … Continue reading Scarlett O’Hara and Sacrifice

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The Unholy Trinity of Idolatry

Read almost any Christian living book from a Reformed perspective, and you’re almost sure to run across this line attributed to John Calvin: “Our hearts are a factory of idols.” This quotation is helpful because it tells us uncomfortable truth though an image of something familiar. Though Calvin knew nothing of conveyor belts and assembly … Continue reading The Unholy Trinity of Idolatry

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God’s Presence in an Age of Social Distance

If you're anything like me, you had never heard the term “social distancing” before this spring. Now it’s a phrase that is permanently part of our parlance. I read  speculation that it will be named the word (phrase?) of the year, and I suspect that’s true. Even when the economy begins to open up again, … Continue reading God’s Presence in an Age of Social Distance

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A Massive Epidemic (that has nothing to do with COVID-19)

The American Church is suffering from an epidemic (no, not that one). I’ve been infected, and I would be willing to bet that you have too. I don’t know where exactly I picked up the bug, but it’s a strong one. It works its way into every part of my spiritual life, and the scariest … Continue reading A Massive Epidemic (that has nothing to do with COVID-19)

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What Happens When We Cry Out to God

Frightening. Unprecedented. Tumultuous. Uncertain. You don’t need to read any farther to know exactly what I’m talking about. In the past week we’ve watched our world go crazy, not unlike it did one Tuesday in September nearly two decades ago. However, unlike the aftermath of September 11, 2001, when churches were bursting at the seams, … Continue reading What Happens When We Cry Out to God

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Where’s Your Treasure? Three Questions to Ask Yourself

Captain Jack Sparrow is not only a surprisingly clever pirate; he’s also a surprising judge of character. He tells young William Turner that he’s on his way to being a pirate because he, among other things, is “completely obsessed with treasure.” Will balks at this, only to have Jack wisely respond, “Not all treasure is … Continue reading Where’s Your Treasure? Three Questions to Ask Yourself

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The Hour Every Week When I Fear People the Most

"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:1) Jesus is in the middle of His most famous sermon. He has just finished spinning His listeners’ heads by telling them that if they have gotten sinfully angry at … Continue reading The Hour Every Week When I Fear People the Most

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Draw Near: Avoiding the Path of the Prodigal

The Problem Recently I've found myself thinking about the wayward. Like me, you know far too many people with this story. They claim the name of Christ as kids and teens only to graduate from high school and check their so-called faith at the door. They enter the “real world” and show their true stripes. … Continue reading Draw Near: Avoiding the Path of the Prodigal

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Praying for Elected Leaders Is More Important Than You Think

It’s hard to imagine living in a more politically charged climate than this one. The advent of social media and a 24-hour news cycle allows us not only to know what’s going on at any minute of the day but also to offer our opinions about it—opinions that can instantly be read and shared all … Continue reading Praying for Elected Leaders Is More Important Than You Think

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Growing in Grace One Word at a Time

“But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). Spiritual growth isn’t an option. It’s a command. The Christian life knows nothing of cruise control or auto-pilot. While God is at work in us, we are also supposed to be at work in sanctification (the fancy theological term … Continue reading Growing in Grace One Word at a Time

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Am I Thankful? Four Questions for Self-Examination

We call them Christmas-and-Easter Christians—the people who attend church only on the “religious” holidays and then assume that they’ve done their duty and go about their business until the next obligatory attendance day arrives. If you’re reading this, you probably recognize that this method of church attendance is a far cry from the biblical mandate … Continue reading Am I Thankful? Four Questions for Self-Examination

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The Israelite Guide to Fake Repentance

Cry Crocodile Tears Tears are non-negotiable when it comes to non-repentance.  Make sure everyone knows that you’re sad and upset by your sin. This will demonstrate just how sorry you are that you got caught. Then many people will believe that you have genuinely seen the error of your ways and that you’re on the … Continue reading The Israelite Guide to Fake Repentance

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A Biography of Humility

Like many people, I enjoy reading memoirs and biographies. It’s entertaining to learn what went on behind the scenes of a favorite movie or TV show, to delve into a criminal’s mind, or to investigate what made great men and women of history tick. Whether singers, actors, politicians, serial killers, war heroes, or survivors, subjects … Continue reading A Biography of Humility