Monthly Archives: June 2021

“I Have Sinned”: A Study in Repentance

I used to think of repentance as a thing to be avoided. I thought it was all about feeling so bad about what I had done that I would never do it again. Now I think of repentance as a gift and a blessing.

What changed my mind? The Bible.

St. Paul regards repentance as something that God “gives” – it is a gift and it is priceless! That gift impacts the whole person: emotions, mind, and body—or you could say, feelings, thoughts, and actions.
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When Faith Is Hardest (It’s Not When You Think)

People have told me that life is so painful and unfair, there cannot be a God. But no one has ever said to me: “Life is so easy and painless, there must be a God.” Life’s hardships, not its comforts, turn people from God; and life’s hardships turn people to him.

Even people who have turned to God, who attend worship services regularly, pray, and support the church financially, find it difficult to trust God when hard times come. The ironic thing is: they find it even harder to trust God when everything is going well. When things are going well, few people feel the need to trust. Continue reading

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Don’t Give Your Kids a God-on-the-Box

Don’t give your children a God-in-the-Box. When our kids were small, we had a Jack-in-the-Box. We would turn the crank, the melody would play on and on until, suddenly, the jester popped out of the box. Our kids wanted us … Continue reading

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The Lesson My Dad Taught Me

My dad was a tough guy. He served as a Marine in the 1940s. He married while he was still in the Corps and was divorced not long after. I know almost nothing of his first marriage and only learned … Continue reading

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Things I’m Glad My Dad Didn’t Teach Me

(For Father’s Day I am posting a piece first published in 2015 by Gatehouse Media.) After reading an article by Peter Scholl, a forty-something married man with kids, living in Australia, I find myself grateful for the things my dad … Continue reading

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Can You Hear Me Now? (1 Samuel 2-3)

Listening time: Approximately 25 minutes.

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Life on Earth: Comedy or Tragedy?

We owe the words “comedy” and “tragedy” to the ancient Greeks, whose stage plays in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. gave rise to the terms. A hundred years of films and about 80 years of commercial television have left us thinking that comedies are comic and tragedies are sad. The Greeks were more nuanced.

Tragedy may contain humorous moments and funny characters, but what makes a tragedy tragic is that it ends badly. The hero fails, the aspiration goes unfulfilled, night falls. Continue reading

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What Does the Author of Hebrews Mean by “Made Perfect”?

I was reading Scot McKnight’s book, Embracing Grace, and was surprised to see how he correlates the author of Hebrews use of the term “made perfect” (τελειωθεὶς) with the resurrection. In Hebrews 5:8-9, we read that the Son “learned obedience … Continue reading

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The Convergence

God is working in our lives and world, but we are liable to miss it because we are expecting something else: something obvious, something “religious,” something extraordinary. But in Samuel we learn that God works through the mundane events of life, its pleasures and its pains. Continue reading

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