You’ve Elected Trump, Now Start Fostering & Adopting

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump.  We live in a “red” state where the Republican candidate could’ve spared 650,000 third-party votes without affecting the outcome.  We could’ve helped loosen the media’s stranglehold on the two-party system.   And we could’ve helped to field more promising candidates in 2020.  In reality, a vote for Trump in Tennessee was 2/3 wasted instead of 100% useful for electing a good president. But, that’s not my point. Whatever becomes of a […]

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Take Up Your Cross, and Stay There

“In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him and saying, ‘He saved others;  he cannot save Himself.  He is the King of Israel;  let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.  HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM;  for He said, “I am the Son of God.”‘” (Mt 27.41–43) Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. […]

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And God said, “Let there be Dark”

At  9am on a bright Friday morning, Roman soldiers crucified Jesus like they’d done a thousand other derelicts (Mk 15.25).  They drove spikes through his wrists or maybe they toenailed his hands.  They likely drove spikes through his heels on either side of the cross. They shot dice for his clothes.  Souvenirs of a Man hung there like a carnival sideshow.  Another day at the office. The execution went normally until noon when something mysterious happened (Mk 15.33).  Darkness […]

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Nineteen Years a Queen

Tradition suggests bronze or chili pepper roses for our 19th wedding anniversary.  We certainly don’t need another bronze sculpture. You’re not one for chili peppers or flowers so chili pepper roses seemed especially uninspiring.  And you’d rather get your fine jewelry from Target’s clearance rack. So, what’s a husband to do?  This husband can offer what he does least worst: words.  Lots of words.  They may not be as hot or spicy, but I pray they are as tasty. My […]

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Jesus is Not Color Blind

  White cops, Dead black men. Black snipers, Dead white cops.   White, black, brown, or olive, Cain by any other name is still Cain (Gen 4.1-8).  A spear.  Brother-killer.  The antithesis of God’s son (1 Jn 3.11-12).  The spirit of antichrist that is already in the world (1 Jn 4.3). Most white cops don’t shoot black men.  Most black men don’t snipe cops. Nevertheless, we exchanged God’s world of love for a world and narrative […]

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“We have celebrities but not saints”

Eugene Peterson wrote in 1983, before the Internet and smartphones: “The puzzle is why so many people live so badly.  Not so wickedly, but so inanely.  Not so cruelly, but so stupidly.  There is little to admire and less to imitate in the people who are prominent in our culture.  We have celebrities but not saints. Famous entertainers amuse a nation of bored insomniacs.  In famous criminals act out the aggressions of timid conformists.  Petulant […]

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Ain’t No Bible on Rocky Top

Tennessee legislators recently sought to make history.  They voted to declare the Bible the official state book of Tennessee that if signed would’ve been the first such law ever in America.  Tennessee has a state tree (tulip poplar), state bird (mockingbird), state butterfly (zebra swallowtail), and state fish (largemouth bass, of course).  Why not a state book? Along with the obvious constitutional concerns, Governor Haslam vetoed the bill citing it “trivializes the Bible.”  State representatives were […]

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Call Me Jamaal Sigvaldi Falco

In 2013, PFC Bradley Manning was convicted as a national traitor for leaking classified military information.  He faces 35 years in prison.  Or does “he”? It seems Private Manning has declared himself to be Chelsea Manning, his long-time inner and true identity.  After his arrest he released this statement: “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me.  I am Chelsea Manning.  I am a female.  […]

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A Tale of Two Betrayers

Matthew weaves a subtle thread through his crucifixion account.  While all the Gospel writers detail Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, only Matthew records what happened to Judas afterward (Mt 27.3-5; cf. Acts 1.18f.).  He does so in such a way to compare and contrast Judas with Peter: two deniers of Jesus.  And in contrasting these two betrayers, Matthew magnifies the sovereignty and grace of Jesus to secure his own even despite their failings. Satan tried every tactic to take […]

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To Know God is to Wrestle with God

“O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath. Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed.  And my soul is greatly dismayed; but You, O Lord—how long?  Return, O Lord, rescue my soul; save me because of Your lovingkindness.  For there is no mention of you in death; in Sheol who will give You thanks?  I […]

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