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    Heartprints

    When Obedience Isn’t A Product of Faith

    I'm a parent of two beautiful young ladies. My oldest is studying to be a family counselor. My youngest is an RN, working in administration, overseeing the functions of an entire department of a hospital. I am very proud of them and their achievements. I love who they are as sweet caring people and I admire the way they have worked hard to get ahead in life. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Desiring to raise our girls in a Christian home, we taught them that God’s Word says for children to obey their parents. We had consequences when they didn’t. Obedience seemed easier for our oldest. Our younger…

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    Heartprints

    You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

    We have all heard the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” but most of us don’t really live like we believe it. There are so many areas of our life where we try to live life without any consequence. That is after all the implication. If you eat the cake now, the end consequence is that you won’t have it later. Could there be an area of greater need to believe this truth than the area of our imaginations? I think not. Imagination is a wonderful gift from God. It is the place where most of us live. Ted Dekker, in his book, The Slumber of…

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    Fear of Consequences Motivates Obedience (2 Chronicles 29-31)

    God’s people were His children. And, like any good parent, God demonstrated His love for his children over and over again—teaching them, providing for them,  protecting them, and giving them guidance. Yet, the children rebelled again and again. Finally, the ones living in the Northern Kingdom called Israel were attacked by Assyria and taken away into captivity. The repercussions of that horrific event reverberated throughout the southern kingdom of Judah. And, the fear of that happening to them motivated them to finally obey their father God—under the leadership of their godly king, Hezekiah.   Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king. His father Ahaz was very wicked. When…

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    When Life Hands You Bananas. . .

    My friend Jonathan Baker handed a banana and a knife to every student in his Bible classes at Puebla Christian School in Puebla, Mexico. He told them to cut up their bananas any way they wanted. Junior high boys pretty much decimated theirs while other students cut their bananas into large pieces. Then Jonathan passed out cellophane tape and told them to put the bananas back together again. It was, of course, a mess. The students who had made neat cuts with their knives were able to reassemble their bananas, but even with tape it was clear they were in parts. The mashed bananas, needless to say, were hopeless. Even…

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    A Mystery and A Warning

    It is a fascinating theological conundrum. The bible teaches both God’s overarching sovereignty and the free will and responsibility of persons.  Both are revealed, yet they appear contradictory.  How is a person other than a puppet if God’s sovereignty overrules our choices? How can a person be held responsible if there is no choice to make? Is God diminished by man's free choices? Recently in teaching Judges 14-16 covering the life of Samson, I discovered for the first time how his story illustrates this theological mystery.  Both the God’s sovereign purposes as well as Samson’s free choice are revealed in the narrative.   The writer clearly states that though Samson…

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    Think You Can Get Away With It?

    Several years ago I began to notice how many people buy into a disturbing fantasy. First, I watched a dear friend jump into a sinful and dangerous relationship. She tried to numb her guilt through drugs, alcohol and self-injury, in escalating amounts of each. She ended up losing her job and her freedom—first in a hospital, then a psych ward, and then months in a rehab facility that consumed every penny of her considerable savings. Later she confessed to me, “I thought I could get away with it.” This summer I served over a month on a jury for a drug conspiracy trial. (I blogged about that here.) After we…