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How Am I Supposed to Pray When I Don’t Feel Grateful?

Feelings of ingratitude are bound to trap us at some point during this holiday season. An unpleasant memory, another snow storm, the stress of holiday shopping, the pressure of preparing the perfect holiday meal, tensions between family members, bickering between siblings, an undercooked or overcooked turkey, pies eaten by a mischievous puppy, or any other … Continue reading How Am I Supposed to Pray When I Don’t Feel Grateful?

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To the One Thinking of Quitting Church

Dear Friend, I wish that we could have this conversation over a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I firmly believe that all the best counseling sessions involve caffeine. But, alas, the written word will have to do. So, you’re thinking about quitting church. On one hand, I understand that. I assume that you have been … Continue reading To the One Thinking of Quitting Church

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Watching Out for Unmarked Paths

“Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”1 As Screwtape, the veteran tempter, counsels his young apprentice and nephew Wormwood, Christians are most easily led astray when they don’t notice it happening—when they walk blissfully along a smooth path with no warning … Continue reading Watching Out for Unmarked Paths

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Favorite Books of 2022 at the Halfway Point

I love to read, and I love to share what I’ve read with others. So it makes sense to periodically post an update of the best things I’ve read lately.  Below you'll find four Christian living-type books and one novel. I’m not on the cutting edge of brand-new releases, and I know that. You likely … Continue reading Favorite Books of 2022 at the Halfway Point

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The True and Faithful Witness

Nothing makes a jury’s job easier than eyewitness testimony that corroborates circumstantial evidence. An overwhelming majority of the time, an eye witness will sway the jury to their side of a given case. However, while many eyewitness testimonies rightfully identify the guilty party, other times the “star witness” turns out to be mistaken. The human … Continue reading The True and Faithful Witness

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Worse Than Trading Away Babe Ruth…

Have you ever heard of the musical No, No, Nanette? Probably not. How about Babe Ruth? Even non-baseball fans recognize that name. Surely any team would do whatever they could to keep arguably the greatest player in the history of baseball on their team, even if it meant trading away everyone else. Apparently, the Boston … Continue reading Worse Than Trading Away Babe Ruth…

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Self-Controlled to the Glory of God

Read through Paul’s letter to Titus, and you’ll notice that one word pops up several times (1:8, 2:2, 2:5, 2:6). The English word varies with translations: discreet (KJV, NKJV), sensible (NASB), or self-controlled (ESV, CSB, NIV). Usually when a word in Scripture has several English renderings, the word in the original language has a breadth … Continue reading Self-Controlled to the Glory of God

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Be a Soul Strengthener

You probably remember the craze from the mid-90s. Chicken Soup for the Soul books were suddenly everywhere, showing up on shelves in bookstores, grocery stores, gas stations, and libraries. These collections of feel-good stories quickly gained popularity and began to target specific audiences with titles like Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul, Chicken Soup for … Continue reading Be a Soul Strengthener

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You Might Be a Stingy Forgiver If…

The name Ebenezer Scrooge has become synonymous with the concept of stinginess. The protagonist in the Dickens novella A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge, though a wealthy man, refuses to share his wealth or to enjoy it. He scoffs at the notion of donating to charity and rations his coal so that his employee Bob Cratchit … Continue reading You Might Be a Stingy Forgiver If…

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Court Is Adjourned

Though I enjoy legal fiction in all its forms—books, movies, television—I have only set foot in an actual courtroom on one occasion: jury duty. Not surprisingly, the courtroom bore little resemblance to the Hollywood depictions. I sat in the gallery, observing the voir dire proceedings with waning interest, wondering if pregnancy would be an acceptable … Continue reading Court Is Adjourned

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Our Trouble with Tribalism

Tribalism1—(n): 1) a tribal consciousness or loyalty, especially: exaltation of the tribe above other groups. 2) strong in-group loyalty This word, which rocketed to popularity in the 1960s, is currently experiencing another renaissance. Likely the factionalizing of our society has caused this resurgence. We form groups with people who think, act, and believe like we … Continue reading Our Trouble with Tribalism

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The Good Life in 2022 (Part 2)

A quick Twitter search of #blessed will yield literally hundreds, if not thousands, of results. Scrolling through these will give you an idea of how popular culture thinks of being blessed. In the brief time I looked at these Tweets, I found shout-outs for homemade beef barley soup, Christian country music, a life that is … Continue reading The Good Life in 2022 (Part 2)

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Favorite Books of 2021 (Part II)

Every six months I like to share my top reads in both Christian-living/theology and fiction. Hopefully one of these will strike your fancy. If you’ve got any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them. I’m always on the prowl for my next great read! Flourish by Lydia Brownback—Brownback tackles a universal problem in her … Continue reading Favorite Books of 2021 (Part II)

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What Does Your Life Teach?

Mentoring has become a popular subject, both within and outside of the church. We love characters like Yoda, Obi-wan Kenobi, Albus Dumbledore, Gandalf, and Mr. Miyagi who shape their protegés into heroes. In real life, young up-and-comers rightly look for a seasoned veteran to teach them the tricks of their trade and traps to avoid … Continue reading What Does Your Life Teach?

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Prayer Requests for a Heart on Life Support

Prodigal. The dictionary knows that word as an adjective, meaning “lavish” or “wastefully extravagant”; however, the church has appropriated it as a noun, a person who has left the faith of their youth. The more modern terminology knows this person as one who has “de-converted” or “deconstructed” their faith. If you’re anything like me, many … Continue reading Prayer Requests for a Heart on Life Support

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God’s Great Love—Not Just for Spiritual Giants

Alex Trebek hosted Jeopardy! for 37 years. His successor did it for one week. After Trebek passed away nearly a year ago, the Jeopardy! world waited eagerly for the show to reveal their choice for a new host. That announcement finally came on August 11, 2021. To many people’s surprise, a relative unknown (at least … Continue reading God’s Great Love—Not Just for Spiritual Giants

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Endurance Is a Team Sport

Running, biking, swimming, skiing—the sports that require the most physical endurance are individual. Though they may include a team element, the actual competitions require one person to undergo a grueling test of their own personal stamina. When it’s race time, the athlete must find the grit within himself to persevere. He may be able to … Continue reading Endurance Is a Team Sport