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Beyond the Land of Alarms

In a couple of months, our little girl, Hadley, will be born. Graham is almost two now, and running has become his primary form of communication.  Baby proofing the house was a funny joke.  And personal time and space was, I think, a course I took back in college—a...

Why NT Wright’s Kingdom New Testament reads well.

The Kingdom New Testament is N.T. Wright’s translation of the New Testament of the Bible. I’m not reviewing the Bible (that–let it be said–I like).  And I’m also not reviewing the quality of Wright’s translation from Greek to English (it appears he...

The truth about No

I’ve had to say no to a lot recently.  This is always hard for me because I’m a people-pleaser.  And I love to start new projects. But I’ve learned that saying no is really just a matter of priorities.  If I say yes to everything, I’m really...

What this Christian learned from Nick Jr.

Photo Credit: Dylan Fagan from here via CC. Nick Jr is a TV channel aimed at kids aged 2-6. Years back, marketers learned the value of selling to kids.  Cereal became a Saturday morning cartoon.  And then by Saturday afternoon at the grocery, kids are tossing their...

These are my tricky words

I’ve learned that people judge others on the smallest things.  I do.  Typos mean you’re careless, and bad grammar means you might as well be wearing a tall pointy hat while you rake those dukes across some scandalized keyboard.  At least, that’s what people are...

4 Ways I’ve learned to reduce stress.

Photo Credit: Gerald from here via CC. Stress, as I’m using it here, is the kind of anxiety that comes from things outside of my control. Regardless of what’s causing me stress–job, school, the bills, or all of it at once–I’ve found this works....

My juice, it spilleth

Photo Credit: Andreas Kollegger from here with CC. There’s a phrase that often shows up in prayers in the Bible.  It is “my cup runs over.” The idea here is that God’s blessings are in abundance, more than I can truly appreciate. This morning, as I was praying,...

Sometimes what Christians call love is not love.

Photo Credit: El Greco from here via CC. Love is not truth, love is truth packaged. When Satan tempted Jesus, he did it using the Bible.  It’s not that he was inventing false things, he was just taking already-true things out of context.  And once they were out...

Why I think God’s a Gardener

Photo Credit: LoggaWiggler from here with CC. It seems to me, God’s a bit of a gardener. Left to myself, I don’t want God.  He’s going to make me look at all the things about myself I hate.  Then he’s going to have me give up a bunch of stuff I love....

“I’m Disciplined” (Read: I’m Procrastinating)

I’m never so disciplined in something as when I have a bigger, more important thing I’m putting off. It’s uncanny how often this happens. Weed the front garden. Can’t—got words to write. And write I do. I think what’s so tricky is that there’s good that...

Do polygamists wear more than one wedding band?

Photo Credit: firemystery from here with CC. I don’t mean in a mocking way.  I mean really.  I have one wife and one wedding band.  It seems to me that a polygamist, who (by definition) has wives, would also have wedding bands. But I don’t know. I think...

Who can rescue this?

Last week when everyone’s heads were turned toward Paris, there was another terrorist attack in a town called Baga in Nigeria.  This time it was aimed against Christians.  And this time a group of motorbike riding terrorists killed “hundreds…too many to count,” says a...

Time heals all wounds…except when it doesn’t

There is a tired cliche that’s meant to be encouragement.  When something bad happens, usually at least one person will tell you that with time, it will pass, and you’ll feel better. But what about bitterness that festers?  Doesn’t that get worse...

On being young and being old

Joan Rivers represented–while perhaps a bit extreme–an obsession of our culture.  We are a people who love beauty. Beauty, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.  When Satan tempts us, he does it disguised as an angel of light.  He comes acting like...

What being a parent has taught me about success

Press on. I thought about ending it there.  But maybe just a tad more.  In a unique kind of way, parenthood has forced me into this lesson, because once my son was here, the alternative (giving up) was unacceptable. Since pre-college I’ve been fascinated with...

Charlie Hebdo

Yesterday three Parisians jumped out of a car, ran into the office of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, and opened fire.  When their bullets were satisfied, they ran back to their car which was still parked in the street. On their way out, they shot their assault...

You know what’s perfectly annoying?

Pictures of models in Gap and Target and just about every store that sells clothing. It’s not annoying because I’m hopelessly lost when it comes to actually making myself look like them.  And it’s not annoying because I think there’s anything...

Good news from Bad journalism

A few weeks ago Newsweek released their semiannual edition where they smear the Bible and Christianity and God and pretty much everything else that can fit into that category.   It happens twice a year: Easter and Christmas. In the article, the author, Kurt...

Creation

“For we cannot speak of the beginning; where the beginning begins our thinking stops, it comes to an end.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer Creation is one of those things that defines us as humans.  As artists, we create works of art.  As entrepreneurs, we...

New Year Happiness

If happiness is synonymous with a things like a job well done and contentment and satisfaction, then quite appropriately it’s a thing we should search for.  But really, even these things are a bit too vague if we’re going to get at the essence of...

We are immortal until out work on Earth is done.

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“Many who think themselves free have never yet even seen the shell that impressions them—know nothing of the liberty the Lord of life wants to give them.”

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Who made God?

When I knock down a row of dominoes, I’m demonstrating a classic cause-and-effect sequence.  The last domino falls because the one immediately before it knocks it over.  And that one fell  because of the one before it.  And so it goes all the way back to the...

Giving

The Christian life, at its most basic, is living out what the Spirit of God has already done within (Philippians 2:12-13). Passages like 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 list the spiritual gifts.  These are all descriptions of this ‘living...

“A time early in the morning when I don’t ask for anything but listen to see if God has anything for me.”

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2 New series

UPDATE, Feb 2015: I’ve decided not to do the two below series.  Not in a direct fashion anyway.  I’ll still be addressing difficult questions (because those are the things on my mind), and I’ll still be writing about what I think are the main things...

“I am smart”

As I ate breakfast this morning, I worked the pictogram on the back of the cereal box (I still do these things).  And it told me: “I am smart.“ But then, I thought… what if I’m not? I don’t mean me.  I mean all the kids across the country this morning working the...

What’s love?

In my estimation, the hardest words for the Christian to swallow are those found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says that when we show love like he showed love, then it will be apparent to the world that we are his followers. The 1 Corinthians...

If I’m lying…

Recently the issue of when (if ever) it’s okay to lie came up. At the very least, it’s a difficult question.  Here are my thoughts. As a springboard, the question is often asked: ‘was it morally permissible for German Christians to lie to the Nazis about harboring...

Followers

Only hours before the beatings that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion began, Jesus was sitting down eating a meal with his followers.  All twelve were there, including Judas. It is here that he instituted the Lord’s supper.  Within minutes of this Jesus names his...

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Would you do me a favor? Would you mind share this article on social media? It sounds like a little thing, but that's the primary way I'm able to connect with new people. Thanks in advance! Joe