Four Behaviors of Joyless Christians

A few years ago, my wife and I went to see the movie “Mom’s Night Out.” This Sony/Tristar movie was produced/directed by a believer who was homeschooled, and he made it as a tribute to his mother. It’s truly a funny, well-made movie (I say this as one who usually expects to be disappointed by films made by Christians). I wasn’t the only one pleasantly surprised. The CNN religion blog began an article on the movie this way: “”Moms’ Night Out” starring Patricia Heaton and Sean Astin is opening on more than 1,000 screens, and it aims to do something […]

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Four Things to Tell Yourself when You Worry

It occurred to me recently that in six years my oldest child will likely be old enough to live on his own. Or at least with less of my help than he currently has. Whatever. I bring this up because immediately following this revelation was an avalanche of worry. How will I provide a car? How can I afford the insurance for the car? Will my savings be enough to meaningfully blunt college expenses? And on and on and on. Honestly, it weighs on me even as I write about it. Which is why I must tell myself four very […]

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God Does Not Love You Because …

“Daddy … I love you just the way you are.” Seriously, y’all … she melts my heart! Is there anything I wouldn’t do for my 3 year-old daughter?! I’m utterly powerless to resist this little one expressing unconditional love! And it truly is unconditional, for I’ve given her plenty of reason to love me conditionally. I’ve put her to bed hungry. I’ve unjustly punished her. I’ve raised my voice in utter frustration at something completely unrelated to her. She’s got the reasons to only sometimes love me, but she doesn’t. She loves me just the way I am. It is […]

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Paul’s Solution for a Church Divided

Perhaps you’ve heard it said, “Wherever 2 or more are gathered in His Name, there will be conflict.” It’s funny mostly because it’s true. Unity has eluded Jesus’ church since its founding. Even the Apostle Paul, the founder of many of the early churches, found himself at odds with the very congregations he started. The number and type of divisions are seemingly infinite, and so are the number of books and articles written to help restore unity. Many of these resort to “best practices” … the 7 ways to do this or the 5 ways to insure that. Most are […]

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If Paul Were Your Pastor

Caricatures are hard to shake. Once people have an image of someone indelibly printed in their minds, not even the facts can dislodge it. If I showed you a picture of Jenna Fischer, you’d probably call her “Pam Beasley” because of your familiarity with one of the greatest sitcoms ever, “The Office” Will Smith will always be “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (though “Enemy of the State” was pretty convincing) Harrison Ford will always be Han Solo or Indiana Jones (a rare double typecast) Christopher Reeve will always be Superman Jennifer Anniston will always be Rachel on “Friends” Emma Watson […]

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The Bible is not a Social Media News Feed

INFOBESITY. Macmillan dictionary defines it as “the condition of continually consuming large amounts of information, especially when this has a negative effect on a person’s well-being and ability to concentrate.” In layman’s terms, it’s when you can’t help but pull up a news or gossip site while working on the computer, likely over and over again any given hour. “News” articles that have no bearing on the quality of your life somehow become important and entertaining—stories like Wendy’s huge chicken nugget crisis or Rodrigo Alves’ 58th cosmetic surgery. What is wrong with me? Why are stories like this getting and […]

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I’m Not Short—I’m Fun-Sized

If you had any experience in church as a child, you likely sang a catchy little song about Zacchaeus. Zaccheus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he. But the short-statured semite had a bigly idea: He wanted to see Jesus. 4 So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way. One of my (petite) mother’s favorite songs when I was a child was “Short People Got No Reason to Live” by Randy Newman. “They got little hands and little eyes, and they walk around […]

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Winter is Over

The winter is over. March 20th marked the official day of spring. The remains of snow have melted in our backyards. Ice is merely a memory on the highways. The biting nip of frigid temperatures has relaxed into a warm, humid bliss. We don’t have to wear our jackets anymore. We don’t have to wear a scarf or put on gloves. I have to wash my hair because it’s too hot for a beanie. My pale legs can invite the sun. I much prefer autumn’s leaves, harsh weather, and the playfulness of snowfall. I love bundling up. I like hiding […]

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The Best Parenting Decision We’ve Recently Made

How much “screen time” do you give your kids? That is, how many hours a week of television do you allow? Do they have a tablet or smartphone, or at least regular access to one? Our 3- and 1-year-old will watch a kid show every now and then, officially they have no screen time other than in the car when Mom or Dad need some solitude. By my 11- and 12-year-old boys … this is increasingly a struggle. Each have friends who have their own phones, tablets or portable gaming devices. They, too, have their own tablets thanks to the […]

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This Kind of Naked Truth is Almost Too Much to Bear.

Show up at my house between 6:30 and 7:00 PM, and you show up during bath time for my 3 year-old daughter and 1 year-old son. Well, most nights. This is almost always a shared experience. That is, they bathe together. Warm water, extra bubbles, bath-friendly toys, and an engaged parent to police horseplay usually make for a great experience. There is no talk (yet) of their anatomical differences, and there is no desire to hide their bodies after they dry off on the bath mat. Arguably, the best part of bath time is the opportunity to run naked room […]

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