Shoes off
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Think about two places where you are most likely to be barefoot. I bet I can predict where they are. Ready? The first place is probably your home. The second place is probably a beach. How did I know? The other thing I know is that most people prefer to be barefoot. When you don’t have shoes on it means you aren’t hard at work. You’re not in a rush to go anywhere. You’re in a comfortable environment. You’re relaxed.... Read More
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Do any of your relatives spend money “like there’s no tomorrow”? Everybody knows how tempting that is. It is so easy, so really easy, to borrow a lot of money, rack up big balances on the charge card, and live high in the here and now. Tomorrow seems a long way away. Perhaps a day of reckoning will never come. What a disaster it would be if you got so absorbed in the struggle for survival that you forgot to... Read More
Ahem—did you consult me?
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The most fundamental principle of prayer is the one we forget the quickest—that God is holding gifts and blessings in his heavenly arms, ready to drop them on our lives, and he’s just waiting to be asked. Some argue, “If he knows everything, then he knows what you need and should just give it right away.” The reality is that God likes the experience to be interactive. He wants us to feel part of the solution. And so he waits:... Read More
In an age of openness
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Not since Adam and Eve’s first date has there been this much openness in society. People reveal almost anything on social media. One celebrity posted a selfie while she was in the shower. This is a shocker to those of us who were told “never let ’em see you sweat.” Millennials are masters of social media. Your native transparency has a huge upside for spreading Christianity. The gospel is not an encrypted message. Jesus had this in mind when he... Read More
He knows everything about you
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Libertarians in our country regularly sound agitated alarms about government surveillance, secret wiretaps, data mining, and spy drones. We love our privacy in this country. Technology companies don’t ever want to let government agents into the data in their smartphones. Do you know that God knows absolutely everything about you? Does that creep you out, or does that reassure you? His eyes see it all, his ears hear it all, and his infinite RAM capacity is greater than all the... Read More
It’s time
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Our world offers you many choices, many temptations, many causes, many philosophies. What do you want? What’s important to you? What do you care about? Where do you see the biggest payoff? What are you chasing? Whom do you trust? Whose approval do you crave? How do you know what success looks like? Here is the prophet Hosea’s challenge: “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to... Read More
Beat the system
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For just about any system out there, you can find a book that claims to help you beat it. The system could be taxes, card games, or the stock market. To beat it means you found a way to make things work in your favor. Can you beat the devil at his system? He uses sin to destroy relationships and cut us off from God. You might think that as long as you avoid immediate consequences of sin, you can... Read More
A heart for God
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I’ll admit it—I’m a sucker for church architecture. I’m drawn to big and ornate houses of worship like a moth to a flame. When I see them as I’m driving, my head swivels. When I see them while walking, I try to get in. I love to look at pictures of them. I love to work on ours to make it even more beautiful than it is now. God loves his houses of worship. He loves it when people gather... Read More
A better way
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You can tell from his writing that the apostle Paul was fluent in the ideals of great civilizations. Being from Tarsus, he knew of the Greek ideal of freedom. Being a Jew, he could speak of the Hebrew ideal of peace. Being a Roman citizen, he benefited from their ideal of justice.  There is controversy and conflict because no one lives up to the ideals. So the critics corner becomes a crowded place. You can elbow your way in there... Read More
I'm tired and thirsty
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There’s a reason why blues music is so enduring. Look around at the office, in your classroom, on the streets where you are driving—you are looking at tired people. The daily struggle to survive is exhausting. Disappointments and setbacks sap your strength and make you weaker for the next one. People are weary. They’re thirsty too, thirsty to be reinvigorated, thirsty for the Water of Life. Thirsty to feel that things are working for them in their lives again, thirsty... Read More