Monthly Archives: May 2021

Share Your Favorite Books (Just for fun Sunday)

When I am in an airport, sitting in the blue vinyl chairs (why are they always blue?), and one person out of the 200 surrounding me is reading a book, I am immediately curious about that person – and their … Continue reading

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How to Stay Christian After Graduation

In a study of peer influence, psychologists displayed three charts, each with three lines of different lengths, to groups of ten teens. The teens were asked to raise their hands when the teacher pointed to the longest line on each chart. The teens in each group, minus one, had been secretly instructed to raise their hands when the teacher pointed to the second longest line. 75 percent of the time, the lone teen, wanting to blend in, joined the others in casting a wrong vote. Blending in can be deadly to the spiritual life. Continue reading

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Envisioning a Changed Life

Jesus presents this life as free from the terrible burden of anger. And anger is a terrible burden to bear. It is like carrying a heavy wire basket full of knives, with points sticking out on top, bottom, and all four sides. You try to hold it away from your body, but whenever you get tired and let down your guard, you get poked. You try to shift the weight, but it happens again and again. And it’s not just you: the people close to you keep getting hurt. Continue reading

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Cover Up: What Is Your All-Time Favorite Cover

In your opinion, what is the best cover of all time? Here’s a short list just to get the juices flowing: Jimi Hendrix doing Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower; Aretha Franklin covering Otis Redding’s RESPECT; Cocker covering the Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends; the Beatles themselves remaking the Marvelettes’ Please, Mr. Postman; or possibly Janis Joplin’s cover of Kris Kristopherson’s, Me and Bobby McGee. Continue reading

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Going and Coming: Christian Faith in America

From his perspective, religion is like a physical trait. People are born with it. Yes, a person can undergo a kind of spiritual surgery to change her faith, rather like a person can undergo surgery to change her nose. But, apart from such radical intervention, a person’s faith is the faith her parents gave her.

The Bible offers a different and more nuanced perspective. It is the news and entertainment medias and, frankly, uninformed academics, that present oversimplifications. The Bible offers a rich, multi-layered, intelligent exposition of faith. Continue reading

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What it Takes to Change: Hope for a Better Future

If you’re going to change in a way that leads to even better changes and does not lead back into the bondage of old habits, these three elements must be in place.

First, you have to see the benefit that change will bring. You have to think it, feel it, want it, dream it, daydream it; you have to live with a vision of what your life will be. Without that hope, change won’t last. Continue reading

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Can People Really Change?

I know alcoholics who have stayed sober for decades, but they stayed sober by changing and continuing to change – by growing. But staying sober is not the only thing that requires change; staying Christian does too. It requires progressive changes, one leading to another, across the span of a lifetime. Continue reading

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Bury Your Idols

Idolatry is the root cause of all of the symptoms of sin.  The envy, the deceit, the lust, the anger, the gossip—they all have their source in “the one great sin that all others come from”—idolatry (Idleman).  That is why the very first of the Ten Commandments is “you shall not have any other gods before me.”  As Martin Luther says, “We never break the other commandments without breaking the first one.” Continue reading

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Feeling Misunderstood? You’re Not Alone

According to a Pew Research Center survey from 2020, nearly 6 out of 10 Americans feel misunderstood. This figure holds across racial and ethnic lines, with 58 percent of black, 55 percent of Hispanic, and 61 percent of white Americans … Continue reading

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Handling Anger: Tapping into the potential of the spiritual life.

Most of us haven’t learned to use a tenth of the potential embedded in our Office 365 software or our phones. There is so much more that could be done with them than we are doing. But that’s nothing compared to the mind-boggling potential God has placed in the new self. Continue reading

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