From Ghoul to Yule (We’re Just Not Halloween People)

In the 21st century the holiday season begins when summer ends. Stores capitalize on the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s Eve sales boon.  The summer landscape transforms into a graveyard that quickchanges into the North Pole.  Spider webs give way to icicles.  Zombies concede the lawn to reindeer.  Strobe lights dim into candles.  Tombstones become nativities.  Ghostly shrills quiet into carols.  Candy corn is replaced by walnuts and cheap suckers by candy canes.  The slide from ghoul […]

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The Masculine Gospel: All Girls Allowed

“Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God” (Gal 4.7). The gospel of Jesus Christ is decidedly masculine but it is neither discriminatory nor chauvinist.  In fact, the glory of the gospel is wrapped up in its masculinity rightly understood.  Given the context of Scripture and the people among which the gospel spread, we want a masculine gospel. God […]

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Talking Jesus in a Texting World

Jesus walked.  He walked a lot. Always headed somewhere for someone, but never in a hurry.  Always busy but never rushing.  He wandered and meandered (like a pilgrim), prayed and taught (like a Master).  Son of Man, Son of God.  Roving and loving. The Way stopped along the way because no one was ever in the way.  He doubled back and backtracked but was never sidetracked.  He passed by and […]

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Eternal Lessons After Seven Days in Indonesia

In November 2016 I tagged along with a Catalyst Missions team to Kupang, Indonesia (across the Timor Sea from Australia). Indonesia is as beautiful as it is Muslim.  In fact, at 200 million adherents it’s the largest Muslim populated country on earth. It was my first ever international trip, much less international missions trip.  I was like a newborn discovering for the first time details that soon become familiar.  It wasn’t just an […]

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New Year Resolution: Better “Out Loud Time”

It’s that time of year again.  Resolutions.  The New Year welcomes full gyms and empty bank accounts. For many Christians it also brings more attention to Bible-reading/devotional plans and “quiet time” discipline. I certainly hope to be more diligent in that respect. The “quiet time” has become stock language for Christians. By it we mean that dedicated time/space where we are alone with God in Scripture and prayer. Drawing from […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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From Anatevka With Love (When Tradition Trumps Jesus)

“A fiddler on the roof.  Sounds crazy, no?  But in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck.  It isn’t easy.  You may ask, why do we stay up there if it’s so dangerous?  We stay because Anatevka is our home . . . And how do we […]

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The Faith That Saves (Part 2)

(Re)read Part 1. Imagine walking on railroad tracks with a friend. You see a faint light growing larger and conclude a train barrels toward you.  You and your friend begin to argue about what sort of train it is.  You’re sure it’s a coal train from Pittsburgh.  Your friend insists its a passenger train from Chicago.  You argue your experiences with trains makes you a better trainspotter.  He argues he has read everything about […]

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The Faith That Saves (Part 1)

Calvinists and nonCalvinists have fought about the origin of saving faith for centuries.  Calvinists insist God grants saving faith to the elect at the moment of conversion.  NonCalvinists insist God has granted everyone the ability to believe the gospel and must be rightly persuaded.  No one has any ability or everyone has some ability.  Important distinctions, to be sure. But have we missed the forest for the trees?  While we skirmish on the periphery the enemy […]

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