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The “If Only” Game We Play with God: A Lesson for Dealing with Divine Disappointment

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Anger is the aircraft carrier in the fleet of our emotions. Not only because of its massive size, but also its ability to do harm because from it proceeds a multitude of other feelings—grief, sadness, hatred, loss, horror, and doubt. Anger in itself is not necessarily wrong. It is an emotion God has given us, but as with anything...

Is Donald Trump a Christian?

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The Bible never said that we should keep our faith "personal" and to yourself. Donald Trump is doing just that, I wish he would stop. Trump claims to be a Christian and part of the Presbyterian Church. He has said that he is "very proud" of his faith. He also stated, "Believe me, if I run and I win, I...

Does Your Worship Mean Anything to God? [sermon]

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Although people were created to enjoy intimacy with God, we continually chose to value other goals, pursuits, and possessions as more beautiful and worthwhile than knowing God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we must battle a persistent root of self-centeredness is always drawing us toward self-aggrandizement over worship of God. We must worship God as He deserves...

Keeping Less So We Can Have More of Life

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One of my new favorite pastimes is to get rid of things. Over the last few decades of life, I have managed to collect boxes of keepsakes, paraphernalia and "I might use that someday..." stuff. I have literally filled my basement with who-knows-what. If we had a flood, I would not be able to tell the insurance adjuster what...

The Secret to Knowing Who You Are

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We live in a day-and-age where making our personal identity known is of great importance to us. Consider social media; we post all sorts of things as if it validates our mere existence, but all the while we struggle in the quietness of our hearts to identify who we are. At some point, all of us ask the age-old question,...

The Secret to Trusting God When You Can’t Feel Him

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So Close . . . And Yet So Far I sat down on the thin cushion of the airline seat, stuck between two oversized, malodorous men. I had requested an aisle seat, but like everything else in my life at that time, something went wrong. It was a rough season of traveling the country speaking at camps, churches, and youth events,...

The Most Important Question I Ask Before a Meeting

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The very nature of my position of leadership in the church demands that I spend a lot of time in meetings. "Meetings are toxic," wrote Fried and Hansson in their book, "Rework," and for the most part I tend to agree. However, meetings are a necessary evil in many of our organizations, so we must use them wisely or...

Alone in the Balcony: Looking for the Love of God

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A few years ago I was speaking in a small town high school. In the middle of my talk a girl from the balcony shouted something out to me. I was not sure what she said, so right there on stage I asked her to repeat herself, but she ducked down and there was no reply. After I finished my talk,...

Where Do You Find True Security?

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What Message do You Preach to Yourself? Every single day, we preach a message to ourselves. Think about it. You have a little voice in your head that tells you a gospel every single day. Now, it may not be The Gospel. It might not be the truth about Jesus Christ, but it's some kind of truth-telling you who you...

Lessons from the Birth of Our Baby Boy

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Waiting for a baby is like waiting for the Lord Jesus to return. You never know the day or hour when he may come and if you are not ready it will catch you off guard. Sure enough, on Monday morning, August 2nd, Molly woke me with a familiar urgency in her voice. It was 12:35 AM and she told...

Peace at Last: The Homecoming You’ve Waited For

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Everyone goes through life with a gnawing sense of unease, an unspoken dread we’ve lived with for so long we hardly know it’s there anymore. It taints everything we do with a strange sense of displacement and dissatisfaction. Even when things are going our way, at the end of the day, alone with our thoughts, the whispering anxiety remains....

If You Have No Sin, Go Ahead and Point Out Everyone Else’s

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I bet you’ve heard this phrase before: “The pot calling the kettle black.” This idiom was coined when pots and kettles hung over wood-burning stoves. The longer they hung over the fire, the blacker they became. So a pot and a kettle used over the same stove would be equally as black. For a pot to call a kettle black would be to...