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    Your Help Wanted

    Anxiety impacts an estimated 264 million people worldwide. For those living in “the land of the free and home of the brave,” things aren’t much better. Millions of adults (31.1%) are strangled by anxiety on a regular basis. Anxiety disorders impact over 40 million Americans (19.1%), earning the title of most common mental health concern in the United States. I’m  passionate about this issue, not only because of a personal struggle with social anxiety, but also because there is a major void of awareness, compassion, and service from the Church to those struggling with anxiety disorders. To that end, I’m working on a resource that provides a robust theological framework…

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    Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

    He could have kept a distance, withholding his immanence from the shepherd tending a flock. But, there he was: appearing in a fire that burned, yet did not consume its bushy host. God himself had come. And the shepherd, unable to behold such glory, hid his face while God continued, “’I’ve seen the afflictions and heard the groaning of my people. I know their suffering andI have come down to deliver them out of Egyptian oppression and lead them into a broad land flowing with milk and honey.’” He could have delivered the once-enslaved Israelites from afar. But, there he was: appearing each evening as a flaming fire and each…

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    A Rendering of Psalm 44

    To the Director. A confession from the remnant. Oh, God, we know your works of old: how you fashioned earth from nothing, framed a piece of it called Canaan, filled it with slaves-turned-refugees, and forged a nation to fulfill a promise. All of this was done by your providence and power, not the mind or might of Israel. You gave her a place and purpose, for you delighted in her. Your works continue, as we know firsthand. Our lives you reclaimed. Our souls you saved. Tongues you tamed. Minds you trained. In you we boast continually, keenly aware that our victories come by your providence and power, not our minds…

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    The Significance of Little

    I smoked my first cigarette in high school and continued for seven years. I so thoroughly enjoyed smoking that I overlooked the ridiculousness of my hiding my habit by popping breath mints, spraying perfume, and ducking into alleys for a smoke. It took seven years for me to see the hypocrisy of my hiding and the degree of my enslavement. I cried out to God and within two weeks I had quit–cold turkey. No patch. No pills. It was a miracle–a swift deliverance that sparked my fledgling faith in God.   Many people have shared similar stories of God working in their lives, usually at a point of their first…

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    People-Pleasing: To Sin or Not to Sin

    “I’m such a people-pleaser,” she muttered, swatting another tear from her cheek like it was some pesky insect. Throughout our conversation she’d quoted from the plethora of materials that rail against “the sin of people-pleasing.” With a tone of indignation thinly-veiling her self-loathing, she now cited Paul: “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal 1.10). I listened as this precious woman questioned her loyalty to Christ, convinced that a true follower would never desire something so base as pleasing people. I empathized, then unplugged my grenade...Tick…Tick…Tick…and hurled my question into the air: “People pleasing. It’s a sin?” Tick…Tick…BOOM! Consider the child…

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    Hope: A Risky Venture

    Have you seen a cutting horse at work? The masterful way she sorts out a single cow and then maneuvers, step-by-step, to keep it away from the herd? With surpassing wit she leads a spectacular dance of wills. Actually, I know a cattleman who once trained and then showed his cutting horses at rodeos. He won several belt buckles and soon became wrapped up in something dangerous: hope. His thoughts drifted beyond the tedious baling of hay and mending of barbed-wire fences. His thoughts became dreams, gradually morphing into a business plan. He wrote a check in the amount of his life savings to purchase a broodmare–a female horse bred…

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    Jael

    Nondescript. The daughter of no one, married to a drifter whose family name was her only defense in a world gone mad.   The weeks disguised themselves as days, reckoned only by periodic returns of the drifter—always drenched in stale wine and rage, declaiming marital rites. With a yank and thrust he dashed her humanity, dispensing of it like the delicate yarn that restrained her raven hair. She watched it descend to the floor— silent, soft, slow. He dressed, turning back before departing to demand that she pack; they’d decamp within the month.   She stepped outside into an unexpected downpour, each drop a welcomed washing of his dankness from…

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    My Prayer

    "Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace."* Gather us wandering, O Lord, and govern us gathered, that united we may image Christ and waiting we may worship him. Grieve us wronging, warring, wasting, O Lord, that waivering we may receive forgiveness and walk in your love. Greet us weeping and worrying, O Lord, that while saddened we may hope and gladdened we may share joy. Grapple with us wallowing, O Lord, and grip us boasting, that searching we may reach for Christ and satisfied we may celebrate provision. Gratify your will. Glorify your name.…

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    Easter: A Holiday of Hiding?

    Soon people across the globe will participate in Easter egg hunts. South Africa heralds the world’s largest, hiding over 100,000 eggs and tiny treasures. Soon, people of Jewish heritage will participate in the Seder as part of their Passover celebration. Adults will hide a piece of matzah called the afikoman  and kiddos will hunt it down for some splendid prize. Soon people across the world will attend resurrection services, many trying to understand the fascination with hiding. Do you feel Jesus is hiding? Life’s gotten rough. Infertility persists. Bankruptcy hit. Addiction ravages. Abuse resumes. Unemployment continues. And it feels like Jesus is playing heavenly-hide-n-seek to test your sincerity and spiritual…

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    Come, union

    How does your church celebrate Communion? Brass-plated trays passed across the row once a quarter? 2-in-1 cups containing wafer and juice together, drive-thru style? It's time habit and sheer logistics stop trumping intimacy at the Lord's Table. It's time we engage our Savior in this sacrament with our souls and bodies. The incarnation is a mystery – God choosing to enter earth, embracing finiteness and physicality. It's a mystery the way human and divine intertwine in the person of Christ, not only as he walked this earth, but also as he sits enthroned in heaven. It's a mystery that continues as he ministers to and through us. It's a mystery…