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    This Is the Way

    On a recent road trip our GPS app suddenly changed our route, suggesting we get off of the interstate. We found ourselves on a state highway with lots of traffic, stopping and starting at the many lights for an extended time. Following its instructions we eventually wound our way through small side streets back to the interstate. I’m sure you know how we felt. Our original route was fast and easy while the new route was slow and stressful. My companion was sure that we would have been better off ignoring this app and swore to never use it again. But I trusted it and believed there was something worse…

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    Seeing As God Sees

    As I’ve grieved over this time of civil unrest, God has reminded me of my constant prayer years ago. I’m not a naturally merciful person and I don’t have the gift of mercy, but God graciously burdened me to see people as he does instead of through the lens of my culture and human nature. As God is loving and merciful to all, I wanted to be also. I really hadn’t thought of this prayer for many years, but as I look back now in this time in history, I see that God has been answering it.  The polarization in the United States calls us to see everyone as either…

  • Nika Spaulding
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    Reading Well

    I’m thrilled to welcome one of my favorite millennials as today’s guest blogger. Nika Spaulding is a proud graduate of both the University of Oklahoma and Dallas Theological Seminary, and she currently serves as Resident Theologian at St. Jude Oak Cliff, a church plant in the Dallas area. As I type this article from the comfort of my kitchen table, I can see a pile of books on my couch, three full bookshelves in my living room, two books on the crowded table, and one behind me on the island. Right before sitting down to type, I passed two more bookshelves in my bedroom and hit pause on my audiobook…

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    A Time to Lament

    I look around and see rancor, ignorance, division, tribalism, nationalism, dishonesty, and sin in the midst of many crises—racial injustice and a pandemic that has sidelined the sick and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and economic loss leaving millions unemployed. Hurricane season is on top of us, and apparently the forecast suggests a busy year. And last year’s issues haven’t gone away—#metoo, #churchtoo, the future for Dreamers (DACA) and the treatment of asylum seekers at the southern border.  I believe that God wants our attention. You may be like me—troubled by groups of hurting people, appalled by the lack of moral leadership in government and even the church,…

  • Engage

    The Cost of Ignoring Injustice

    There is a cost when Christians ignore injustice—we suggest to the world that God doesn’t care about those who experience it. When we’re apathetic about the murder of a young African-American man by a pair of white vigilantes, we fail to image God who is just and calls his people to advocate for justice: Seek good and not evil so you can live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies just might be with you, as you claim he is. Hate what is wrong, love what is right. Promote justice at the city gate. (Amos 5:14–15a) Take away from me your noisy songs; I don’t want to hear the music…

  • Engage

    Are We Losing Our Souls?

    I’m been very disturbed the last few years by the types of posts I’ve seen on social media coming from Christians. Full of lies and hatred, they divide Christians from one another and paint those who disagree as monsters. Jesus famously said, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and because of the gospel will save it. For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:34-36). In context Peter has just…

  • Engage

    Choosing Bible Study Curriculum

    Popular teacher . . . Best selling . . . Easy homework . . . Recommended. I’ve chosen Bible study curriculum for all these reasons, but none of them is foolproof, and they often won’t meet the needs of your group or fulfill your purpose for Bible study. The popular teacher won’t necessarily reflect good theology or teach women how to think biblically for themselves. Her greatest asset may be her humor or her stories, which are great, but they may not help the women learn the Bible, which is essential to personal discipleship. Best-selling doesn’t always involve depth or even truth. Easy homework by definition fails to wrestle much…

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    Troublemaker or Truth-teller?

    I tend to see the big picture when presented with ideas. I can usually anticipate potential problems and possible reactions. I envision what it would take to develop an organization to put an idea in place. I consider the feelings and concerns of various groups involved. So when someone presents me with a done deal decision, my reaction is to bring up possible ramifications or problems. It’s part of my processing the news, but it does serve to push back when the issues have been ignored.   What I see as thinking wisely, however, others see as troublemaking. Several years back I was shocked to hear that I had been…

  • In the Lingering Light
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    In The Lingering Light–A Book Encouraging Caregivers

    I interviewed my friend Cynthia Fantasia about her new book In the Lingering Light: Courage and Hope for the Alzheimer's Caregiver. For you caregivers, Cynthia's honestly and vulnerablity about her personal journey is truly a gift. I've already given books to two friends, knowing that it will encourage them and provide wisdom as they care for their husbands. For me, the book was a great help in understanding more of what it means to be a caregiver to those with memory loss. I believe it's a must read for ministers, as well as famly and friends of caregivers.  One of the things that I loved about In the Lingering Light…

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    Give Lots of Hugs

    I just returned home from the funeral of a friend who passed away within days of going into the hospital for surgery. Although it was a serious surgery, nothing like this was expected. Sadly, this isn’t our only funeral this week. On June 30th a private plane carrying two couples and a family of four crashed, and my husband knew two of the men on it. He attended one couple’s funeral today and will go to that of the family of four on Saturday.  So please give your friends and family a hug when you see them—and make it a point to be with them soon if possible. God doesn’t…