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take the next step

Have you felt the crushing weight of despair? Perhaps a performance review was negative, a cancer screening was positive, or your spouse wanted a divorce. Suddenly, your life seemed pretty much over. Joseph of Arimathea had one of those days. Having been a secret follower of Jesus, he apparently was... read more »

drawn

After I finished speaking at a church one Sunday on how the cross shows that God can redeem our broken dreams and suffering, a guy came up to me wanting to talk. “I haven’t been to church in 26 years,” he said. “I’ve just been through a divorce and a business failure—I have lots of... read more »

controlled or controlling?

At the start of this year, a friend of mine made a statement that set the tone for the rest of my year. Nicola remains convinced that “control” is at the root of many of our internal struggles—with self-control being the most challenging to master. We get angry or lose heart when we can’t... read more »

the Spirit’s power

The effects of an ice storm led to the loss of electricity to my house one morning. Late that night, as we returned home from showering in a nearby athletic facility, we pulled into our street and saw our lights were back on. Yea! We hadn’t realized how dependent we were on electric power until we... read more »

small steps

Reconciliation. It’s God’s heart for people to be restored in relationship with one another across differences in culture, race, and class. This is vital, but sometimes it feels so big that we don’t know where to start. The answer is to start small. In Acts 6:1-7, we find an issue that was... read more »

one source

During October, the trees come alive with color in my region. One year, a particular tree caught my attention. Like Joseph, it wore a “coat” of many colors. Its top leaves were plum-colored. A little lower, the purple morphed into crimson foliage. The red gave way to robin’s-chest orange, and... read more »

heaven scent

Bugs love it and humans hate it. It’s the pungent odor of the Rafflesia flower, a plant that can weigh more than 15 pounds and measure more than 3 feet across! This botanical beast smells like decaying flesh or rotting meat, an odor that carrion beetles and flies adore. Although this bloom... read more »

bad religion

In his landmark books Soul Searching and Souls in Transition, sociologist Christian Smith surveyed American young adults and found that most held to what he called “Therapeutic Moralistic Deism.” They’re deists because they believe God doesn’t interfere in our lives unless we need His help... read more »

may i say something?

Elihu was upset. As he listened to the conversation between a suffering man and three of his friends, he became more and more angry (Job 32:2-3). “Job, you are being punished for your sins!” “No, I’m innocent. God is treating me unjustly.” “Job, repent. God will not reject a blameless... read more »

for everyone

The very first time one of the apostles stood up and publicly addressed a crowd about the good news of Jesus, he wanted to make it crystal-clear that what he was proclaiming was for everyone. The New Testament book of Acts tells us that this happened on the day of Pentecost—an annual Jewish feast.... read more »
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