Faith

Grieving well

Today’s blog has to do with a subject that many of us avoid. It’s the subject of grieving, or maybe better said, “grieving well.” We tend to think of grieving as a major season in our lives. Like the loss of a loved one or a career change. It would certainly include a divorce or…

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Waiting for the other shoe to drop

I talked with a wonderful friend today. She’s had her fair share of life challenges. Those challenges include breast cancer, abandonment, and some financial struggles. But, she shared today that these past six months have been the best of her life. Then she confessed, “I’m just waiting for ‘the other shoe to drop.’” I understand…

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History is Written by Victors

“History is Written by Victors.” The quote gets attributed to Winston Churchill, but nobody knows ‘for sure’ who the original author was. It implies that history is not grounded in facts. Instead,  it’s the winners’ interpretation of the facts that prevail. That statement is alarming, but is it true? Clever statements get turned into present-day…

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Dumpster diving

I’m sitting in a restaurant looking out the window to a large construction project. There are several enormous dumpsters on the site. It reminds me of an old friend who built an entire storage unit from materials he found “dumpster diving.” For those who are not familiar with the term, let me define it. It’s…

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Trust

Trust is one of those words we often throw into a conversation when we’re uncertain about the future. It’s a great word. It can mean belief, hope, conviction, expectation, dependence, to depend on, to count on, or to be sure about. you get the idea of the depth of this amazing word. In the New…

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He holds it all together

It seems like every week I have a “new” favorite song. I’ll share it with you in a sec. But let me begin this blogpost stating the obvious: “It often dawns on me just how significant music is…for all of us.” I read some notable words from Albert Einstein. “If I were not a physicist,…

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Without hope nothing works

Without hope, nothing works, at least in the “long term.” Dale Carnegie once said,”Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” One of the primary, central themes of the Bible is hope. The need for hope…

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Bait and switch

Bait and Switch. You heard the phrase, but what does it mean? Webster defines the phrase as “the ploy of offering a person something desirable to gain favor (such as political support) then thwarting expectations with something less desirable.” When you’re told one thing, but are delivered something else, you feel “used” or worse –…

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Small is the new big

“Orange is the new black”. It’s the title of the 7 season TV series that began in 2013. Interesting title. Let me clarify. The ‘orange’ in the title refers to the color of correctional uniforms the female inmates wear. The ‘is the new black’ is a fashion reference, meaning the new hot thing. “60 is the…

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I’m especially fond of you!

“I’m especially fond of you.” That’s a quote from the 2007 novel “The Shack” by William P. Young. The main character is Mackenzie Phillips and four years prior to the setting of the book, one of his children is abducted and killed while on a family camping trip. It turned him bitter at life and…

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Reflection time

I just returned from attending the funeral of a friend. He was a courageous Christian friend who, because of his faith in Christ, I will see again one day in heaven. He pastored in an inner-city church. I listened to some incredible stories, many of them I heard personally from my friend. He never passed…

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Christmas in nine words

What’s your favorite Christmas verse in the Bible? Isaiah 7:14? “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Matthew 1:21? “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and…

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Your life as a headline

Much of the history you read is in summary form. “Washington crosses the Potomac.” “Japan surrenders ending World War II.” “Elon Musk set to buy Twitter.” But history books don’t have the bandwidth to tell every back story or every detail that led to the headline. I get the same sense when reading what the…

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Purpose in the pain

Sometimes life is just plain hard. People we love get sick. Governments do idiotic things. The news we hear is often negative. Careers don’t always work out. Kids don’t constantly express their love for their parents. Has it ever crossed your mind, “why?” Here’s a thought. Crisis and difficulty in your life have a purpose.…

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Magic 8-Ball

When I was growing up, my best friend had a Magic 8-Ball. It was a round plastic sphere that looked like an 8-Ball from a pool table. My friends and I used it for seeking adolescent advice. It was invented in 1946 by Albert C. Carter and Abe Bookman. You’d ask a question, then turn…

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Bold proclamation

I’ve been fortunate to travel to India five times. Each time I come back to the United States, I return with fresh insights. They often come as a result of looking at the world through a different “lens”. Mission trips have a way of doing that. Most recently, my observations didn’t come from my eyes,…

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Generation to generation

Christine Caine shared this story at Catalyst West Coast. In the  2000 Olympics in Australia & 2004 Olympics in Athens & 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the 4×400 meter Women’s Relays, the American team should have won each time.  They had the best individual runners and had the best record of any other team.  They lost…

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The “ripple effect”

You never know who you’re going to sit next to at a baseball game. It goes something like this.  You get a ticket, you sit down, and then someone invades your personal space and sits next to you. As you begin to enjoy the game, this guy next to you, usually with a painted face and…

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Being Superman

When I was a kid, I did what you did. You pretended to be somebody you’re not. For me, it was Superman. I would get a towel from the closet and some safety pins and I’d pin it to my shirt and run through the house, sometimes down the street with my cape flying. OK.…

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Naive faith

I heard an amazing testimony of faith the other day. This extraordinary leader came to believe in Jesus when he was at his absolute lowest point in life. Addicted and broken, he entered into a real relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Things changed…some quickly…some not so much. He grew in his faith…

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Praying for Ukraine

It’s hard to believe what we’re seeing right now. The country of Ukraine is being invaded and the citizens are in peril. Our mission agency, Missions Door, has several missionaries in the country, but you may not know that all of our missionaries are indigenous. In other words, Ukraine is their home and therefore they’re…

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God has a plan?

God has a plan. If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. In fact, I’ve said it myself many times. I believe it. God does have a plan…for everything. The Bible is clear, God is personal and He is in control. Proverbs 19:21 says Many are the plans in the mind of…

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What do you know?

How much do you know? I mean, how much knowledge do you have? You may be well educated or you might have gone no further than grade school. You may have received your education from the streets. You may be even smarter than Albert Einstein. But here’s an interesting perspective. It’s not how much you…

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Anticipation

Anticipation. That is the title to a 70’s song by Carly Simon. Just a few lines of the lyrics say, “We can never know about the days to come, But we think about them anyway.” It’s a secular perspective on life. Every person who walks on this planet could identify with those lyrics. But as…

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Free!

Free! In some ways, the word “free” has got a bad rap. “Free” often accompanies some slick advertising campaign. “Just sign up and you’ll get this free book, magazine, or product.” The problem is that the free thing never lives up to the hype. It’s a free book that you’d never read. It’s a magazine…

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Innocence

I was out walking with my family today. They brought their 4-month-old Golden Retriever with them. Fun day. One of the things making it so enjoyable was watching this puppy chase a butterfly. It was hilarious. He’d go everywhere the butterfly went and would twist and contort trying to reach it. It never did happen.…

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How Not To Die

I have a book on my desk that I’ve borrowed from my son and daughter-in-law. It’s called “How Not To Die.” Interesting title right? Actually, it’s a book about food. Food that’s good for you and some food…not so much. I got to thinking…” that might not be a bad title for the Bible.” John…

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Blind Arrogance

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is what I’ll call blind arrogance.  What I mean by that is simple. It’s false confidence. We believe that we know the future and in some ways, think we can control it. For all intents and purposes, the pandemic has brought most of us back to reality.…

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Speak up and stand up

Perhaps you’ve seen is the poetic form of a confessional by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). There are different versions, but this is the most common one: First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and…

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The mystery of grace

Grace may be the hardest concept, thought, idea, teaching, or doctrine found in the pages of the Scriptures. It’s found from beginning to end. Those much smarter than I have written volumes on the definition, examples, and life applications wrapped around “grace.” Here’s a quote from Anne Lamott found in Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts of…

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