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Feeling brave . . .

In his weekly newsletter last week, author James Clear included this paragraph: Cus D’amato, the legendary boxing trainer of Mike Tyson and other top fighters, on courage: “I tell my kids, what is the difference between a hero and a coward? What is the difference between being [cowardly] and being brave? No difference. Only what […]

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Battle-tested

Psalm 55 could have been written yesterday.  It’s a passionate cry for help amid community and personal conflict. Here faith is at its most basic expression: “God, listen to my prayer.”  Faith starts with the conviction and hope that God is real, good, caring, near, and capable. The writer feels threatened: “For they bring down […]

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Build a better boat

I admit it: I prefer country music to most other genres.  I’ll also admit that some of it is pretty, well, bad. Lots of loving and leaving songs, and it seems every significant country artist at some point feels the need to write a song about a tractor.  (Nothing against farmers or tractors. I’m impressed […]

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The whole pie

I don’t eat a lot of pie—usually just three to four times a year. When I do, apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee is perfect.  One of the special “pie times” for me is Thanksgiving. I have a special friend who is my “pie buddy.” We have known each other […]

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Broken hallelujahs

My best Mman died. The best man at my wedding was my spiritual older brother. Ten years my senior, he knew me from the time I was five years old. He intersected with our family when he met my older brother in middle school. They grew a friendship that stood the test of time and […]

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Downcast and longing for God: Psalm 42

Recently, I participated in a webinar led by Ed Stetzer, Director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. His presentation was captivating and thought-provoking. He pointed out that there are all kinds of pandemics that have happened to us.  Instead of just talking about the pandemic of Covid-19 that pastors and churches have dealt with since […]

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Clear oneness

Most gospel ministers know that Jesus and the Bible speak often about unity. The Bible uses the word oneness from its earliest pages to describe what God can and will do in a godly marriage (Genesis 2). The psalmist tells us in poetic verse that pleasant joy and beauty is when sacred siblings in God’s family live […]

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Making gratitude a portal to unity

November is a unique month in the United States. As Americans we elect a president and other leaders and then pause for a national day of thanksgiving that was created by a president in a time of extreme crisis. Today is Election Day. Although we usually know the results of voting the same night the […]

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State of our Union: Taking a stand on our knees

Voter registration is ending this week. Early voting for the November election in the United States begins in a few days. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. On that day we will elect our next president and a whole host of other governmental leaders nationally, regionally and locally. The intense “state of our union” indicates […]

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Civility

“Civility” is one of those words you intuitively understand as an adult and hopefully practice as the natural outworking of your faith in Christ in relating to others. Its synonyms are graciousness, respect, courtesy. Its opposite is rudeness. It means “formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.”  The Apostle Paul described what I’m talking […]