The Nagging of Dread

My relationship with camping, hiking and similar forms of enjoying nature did not begin well. My Boy Scoutmaster loaded up our packs with gear and drove us out into the middle of the country 4-5 miles away from our intended campsite. “Walk straight down this road, boys, and you’ll see us waiting on you.” I made it a ways before the weight of pack brought me to tears. One of the other scouts had to take some of my weight, and he didn’t exactly do it out of kindness. We played “king of the hill” later that night and I […]

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Paul’s Top 12 Truths for the Church from 1 Timothy

Things weren’t going well for Timothy in Ephesus. Sure, Paul was a tough act to follow. But the internal pressures of pastoral ministry coupled with the external pressures of an oppressive pagan culture were a crippling burden. Aware of this reality, Paul penned what we now call 1 Timothy, a letter that serves as both a balm for the weary pastor’s soul and a rallying cry for a church that’s lost its way. In this letter, Paul gives Timothy and the church 12 powerful truths about them and their mission. Mission is our posture. I have written so that you […]

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I Hate Running.

I hate running. Not because I don’t dig the shorts. Not because I don’t want the leg strength and amazing benefits from the cardio. I just hate running. I feel terrible when I run. And yet it seems that running is all the rage where I live. Every day I see someone driving … presumably to or from the gym … with a sticker on their rear window letting me know the maximum number of miles they’ve run in some race. 13.1 26.2 And the truly obnoxious 140.6 I so loathe this pretentious display of personal achievement that I put […]

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Patience in Suffering

“If you think you’re that good at tennis, then walk over to the park and try and beat the backboard.” These were the words of my mother who was exasperated with both the vast amount of free time I had one summer and the utter lack of humility I had about my tennis game. I marched off in search of a victory, but returned all too shocked at my inability to keep much of a rally against the “green monster” plywood backboard. It’s a wall I would return to countless times over, and while I never won, I did walk […]

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Hush Yo’ Mouth

“Hush Yo Mouth.” To hear by 3 year-old niece say this with a deadpan stare and a mild speech impediment is one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. And not just because of her perfect delivery: I also laugh because I know she picked up this phrase from her dad, my brother. I know I’m not supposed to laugh. For many of us, the expression “shut up” in all its forms is regarded as impolite and unacceptable. But the Bible records an instance when God tells us to shut up, and He has the right to do it! Romans […]

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Why We Lie about …

Lying can be quite convenient when we want to get something we love more than the trust we break to get it. Parenting is by far and away the grandest arena for seeing this in action. We’ve busted our kids on it many times over the past year, and discipline has varied (as has the effect of the discipline on the behavior). I recall the time my boys were asked to eat 6 baby carrots (along with the rest of their lunch) if they wanted any dessert (generally speaking, dessert is for non-whiners who either clean their plates or bravely […]

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Two Evils the Love of Money Brings

First Timothy 6:10 is perhaps one of the most well-known and misunderstood Bible verses. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” I’m often tempted to blame money for my troubles with it, and at first glance, the Bible seems to affirm me. But a closer reading shows that I am the problem: the love of money … not money itself … is a root of all kinds of evil. And it’s not the one and only root […]

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How to Get Yoked Up

Last year, our fourth child was born via C-section. So while my wife recovered and connected with our newborn son, I stayed home and cared for our other three children with the help of my mother-in-law. This was the fourth time she’d come in this capacity, for which we have always been grateful. Nevertheless, her presence was out of the norm, and there were awkward moments as a result. Perhaps the most memorable was the early morning of her third day. As was my custom, I got up around 5 AM to exercise in the living room. I deeply treasure […]

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Don’t Forget to Remember

My wife has been homeschooling our two oldest children for several years, and lately they’ve started their mornings reading three different history books. The two oldest boys stay in bed and listen, while the toddler and baby play on the floor. Our oldest son loves history, but my second-born prefers fiction. So it came as no surprise to us when he asked, “What’s the point of studying history?” One witty statement I’d heard long ago immediately came to mind: “Those who learn nothing from history are destined to repeat its mistakes.” This wasn’t incentive enough for a 9 year-old lover of fantasy […]

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Rich and Unashamed of It

For a few hours, I was pretty rich one day this week. It was that period of time in which I sold one house and bought another. For a moment there, I had more money in my checking account than I’ve ever had. And as a result, I kept a very close eye on my checking account. I checked hourly to see when the wire would go through, and to be honest … when the cash showed up … I rejoiced. I just stared at my phone’s screen and smiled at the longest number of digits I’d ever seen in that […]

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