Don’t Write People Off Because they Don’t Get It

What is one key event that has shaped who you are today? Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if that had never happened? What would be different? There are surely many. Some surprisingly simple and seemingly insignificant when they happened, some seismic in their nature. I was a music major my freshman year in college, aspiring to be a worship pastor/leader. I was doing OK all things considered, but still … something wasn’t settling right. I was asked to read a passage of Scripture and share a devotion at a student worship gathering one evening, […]

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Hacksaw Ridge and the Fight Against Prevalent Sin

This past weekend, I stayed up a little later than normal and watched Hacksaw Ridge. The movie is about the true story of Desmond T. Doss, the conscientious objector who, at the Battle of Okinawa, won the Medal of Honor for his incredible bravery and regard for his fellow soldiers. In the movie, we see his upbringing and how this shaped his views, especially his religious view and anti-killing stance. We also see Doss’s trials and tribulations after enlisting in the US Army and trying to become a medic. Finally, we see Mel Gibson’s vision of the horrendous battles that took […]

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This is the Core Characteristic of a Truly Prophetic Ministry

I enjoy a good showdown. Be it a theological debate about the existence of God, or a football game between two rivals, I love everything about the scenario: the anticipation, the conflict, the struggle, etc. The Bible is full of such showdowns. Elijah and the prophets of Baal immediately come to mind, as well as the temptations Jesus faced at the beginning of His ministry. Yet there is one lesser-known showdown in Jeremiah 28 in which the prophet Jeremiah squares off against another so-called “prophet” named Hananiah. Jeremiah brought a dire warning to the people: unless God’s people repented, Jerusalem […]

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The Expression of Humility in Rich and Poor Christians

James, for all of its straightforward, practical advice, has its share of conundrums, and verses 9-11 model this well. 9 The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation, 10 but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation because he will pass away like a flower of the field. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities. The first trouble with this passage is its relationship with the verses […]

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In Search of Wisdom — A Tale of Two Restaurants

It’s not the wisest thing I spend money on, but I’ve always enjoyed eating out. Options were scarce in rural Mississippi. Western Sizzlin’ was a fantastic treat (not there), and the fried pickles at The Desert Inn (still there) were truly to die for. Then again, so was the double cheese at Wendy’s. It was the love of great food and a stellar dining experience that led me to wait tables while earning my masters. I cut my table waiting teeth at a moderately priced seafood restaurant in Birmingham, AL named Landry’s (I think it’s still there). I had a […]

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Where is the “Therefore” (or Why Woody Allen Doesn’t Make Any Sense)?

Tim Keller: The modern man or woman says, “We can know nothing about whether there’s a God, what the meaning of life is, whether human nature is sinful or not, the nature of moral absolutes, life after death. We can’t know these things,” and then says, “But racism is wrong, violence is wrong, but sexually you can do whatever you feel is right for you.” In other words, morality is not based on a therefore. Morality is not based on any convictions about the nature of things. Therefore, all modern moral prescriptions are baseless. For example, if you say racism […]

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Wednesdays With … James: Don’t Forget to Ask this One Thing of God

My three-year-old daughter was completely taken aback as she slowly approached the hauntingly beautiful and somewhat unsettling creature perched on a low branch just off the hiking trail. Even she couldn’t speak as she stopped to watch it slowly swivel its skull from left to right, scanning out over the lake presumably in search of prey. Her experience with this bird of prey reminded me of this classic children’s nursery rhyme. A wise old owl lived in an oak The more he saw the less he spoke The less he spoke the more he heard. Why can’t we all be […]

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Wednesdays With … James: Developing a Faith of Integrity

The site 99percentinvisible.org once reported that Citicorp Center in Manhattan was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world when built in 1977. You can pick it out of the New York City skyline by its 45-degree angled top, but it’s the base of the building that really makes the tower so unique. The bottom nine stories are stilts. The design originated with the need to accommodate The design originated with the need to accommodate St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, which occupied one corner of the building site at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue in mid-town Manhattan.The stilts suspend the building […]

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