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Strong Enough to Make Me Strong

Strong Enough to Make Me Strong

“All of our praise rises to the One who is strong enough to make you strong” Romans 16:25 A fear of heights has tormented me most of my life. It’s a torment because deep inside I dream of being a daredevil. Unfortunately, I have an allergic reaction to activities I deem unsafe. Until this feeling goes away, adventures like hang gliding, parachuting and base jumping, will remain confined to my imagination. A zip-line on a high ropes challenge course helped me conquer…

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Thorns Infest the Earth?

Thorns Infest the Earth?

“for (God) has been mindful of the humble state of his servant…” Luke 1:48 One summer, as we sat listening to a campfire worship, my son tapped my arm and asked, “What’s that song we sing in church that goes, ‘Thorns infest the earth?” Peter was in third grade and, like most children his age was a master of random questions. It caught me completely off guard. So I asked follow-up questions to see if I could narrow the field of possibilities….

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A House Can Feel Lonely

A House Can Feel Lonely

“See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 2 Sam. 7:2 Earlier this year, my sister-in-law sold her large house in a quiet family neighborhood and moved to an apartment in downtown Minneapolis. The first time I went to visit, she met me in the lobby. It was very bright, modern and hip. Moved by the contrast from her old place, I started to sing the theme song to…

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Would Your Kindergarten Teacher Approve?

Would Your Kindergarten Teacher Approve?

“See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.” 1 Thess. 5:15 “Think what a better world it would be if we all —the whole world—had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap.” These were the imaginings of Robert Fulghum, the author of the book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” While I…

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Come Home With Shouts of Joy

Come Home With Shouts of Joy

The Thomas Fire has torched over 230,000 acres of land in Southern California, as of Monday. The fire increased by 56,000 acres on Sunday alone and traveled seven miles. There are over six thousand firefighters from eleven western states fighting the blaze. It is the fifth largest fire in California history and is only one of several fires burning on the outskirts of Los Angeles. It may not happen for awhile, but eventually, the fire will be contained. When that…

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Help the Oppressed Be Free

Help the Oppressed Be Free

Several years ago, a van I was driving was hit by another vehicle. It was the strangest accident. I saw the car approaching and watched the drivers face as we collided. Even though she was watching the road, she never saw me. It was like her mind was somewhere else. The driver was a single mother who left work to care for a sick child. In her rush to get back to work, she made a mistake. Her face was filled…

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Patience Will Be My Salvation

Patience Will Be My Salvation

“…and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.” 2 Peter 3:15a Last night, Peggy and I picked up her father to go watch a basketball game. We were driving during rush hour and knew it would take longer than usual, but we did not foresee the conditions of the road. On Monday, it was fifty degrees and rainy. That evening, temperatures dropped into the teens. The rain turned to ice and then to snow. Ice and snow are not…

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The Anxiety of Standing in Line

The Anxiety of Standing in Line

“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people…” Psalm 85:8 Do you remember where you were when the Harry Potter books were first released for sale? It is a question we reserve for the most significant cultural events of our time. Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated? Or, Reagan was shot? Where were you for the Challenger disaster or the 9/11 terrorist attack? Compared to these, the release of Harry…

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Golfing in a Storm

Golfing in a Storm

“Comfort, O Comfort my people says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 Shortly after graduating from seminary, my next door neighbor and I decided to go out golfing. It was our last opportunity to go together before we left seminary for good. Our wives were working, and we were watching the children. So we told them of our plans and arranged for babysitters. As we prepared to leave some threatening clouds appeared on the horizon. It looked like they moving out of…

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Jesus in Schuylkill County

Jesus in Schuylkill County

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Mark 13:31 Sometime in the late 1990’s, Jesus appeared in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Unlike other appearances, this one was not an image on a building, in the clouds or on a baked cookie. This presentation was a living, breathing human being claiming to be Jesus. His random sightings captured the curiosity of a whole region. Highway troopers were the first to encounter him. They received reports of a…

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