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    How Not to Hate the Wait

    Our pace of daily life quickens. For instance, do you remember when email emerged as a life-changing breakthrough––speeding up and expanding communication beyond what we ever imagined? Some of us older cats do. But today, many view email as an archaic nuisance, like snail mail. Why not just text or chat? In our world of one-click shopping and on-demand streaming, much of life no longer unfolds over time. We expect immediate results. We want what we want when we want it. Instantaneous life is a must. We hate waiting. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for anything. Or do we? Yes, often God asks us to wait. But His concept…

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    Fresh Perspectives on Women in the Bible: Esther By Natalie Edwards

    The sound of water flowing fills the palace. Trickling fountains. Incense burning. The smell of lavender lingers in the air. Shades of fine silk in purple, red and blue are laid out for the choosing. It’s a spa of the most luxurious sort and hundreds of women are preparing for their encounter with the king. Yet only one will be chosen queen of Persia and marry King Ahasuerus. Among the crowd of women to come before the king is Esther, our Bible character in this week’s Fresh Perspective on Women in The Bible. Does God value bold courage as a desired feminine quality too? Let's find out.     Raised…

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    The Managerial Style of Moses: Part I

      You’ve heard it said, “Leaders are born, not made.” While a person may possess a certain charisma, extroversion, and tenacity from birth, having these qualities does not pre-qualify him or her as an effective leader. Moses, for example, was a former criminal, fugitive, and poor public speaker (Ex. 2:12, 15; 4:10). Per today’s standards, Moses was unfit for leadership. I doubt we would have trusted him with managing the entire nation of Israel. But God chose Moses regardless. God had a plan—a plan that required Moses to grow into his leadership responsibilities, learning along the way while relying on the Lord. Perhaps you can identify with Moses’ predicament. You’re…

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    Only Strong and Courageous

    I cried when I hugged my daughter goodbye on the parking lot across the street from the dorm where she now lives.   I didn’t care.    I knew that moment would unleash the emotions I had bottled up all summer long.    So I released it right there.    Up to this point, I had watched my student take charge of her college checklist. I helped her unpack and I watched her settle into her new “home.”   Honestly, it all felt so wrong but I knew in my heart God wanted this. So when I hugged her one last time, God said, “Let her go.” And I did…

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    Are You Hanging On?

    In Experiencing God Henry Blackaby teaches that it is impossible to go with God and remain where we are at the same time. Our 10-month-old granddaughter is close to walking, but she hasn’t yet been brave enough to let go and step out into the open floor. Hanging on to various pieces of furniture is wonderful for babies as they learn to balance and move with their feet, but if they stayed there, they would never walk. When we begin leading in some capacity, we usually depend on others for guidance, training, and support. I am grateful for those who taught me how to lead small groups and how to study the…

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    Top Five Ways Unbroken will Enrich Your life–the movie and (even more) the book

    For all Lauren Hillenbrand’s in-depth research and narrative craft and Angelina Jolie’s movie-making chops, only God could create the story of Unbroken on the canvas of Louie Zamparini’s life.      Our little family did our part to make it #2 at the box office this past weekend (second only to the final Hobbit movie), but I first heard of the book four years ago when my friend Rosie, who reads stacks of books and rewards only the best, grabbed me by the shoulders; looked me in the eyes and said, “You have got to read Unbroken.”   This was now the fourth friend endorsement (and definitely the most physical)…

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    Fear-free Courage?

    Recently, my second oldest son David decided to tandem skydive and invited me to come along. We had been discussing this for a few years, and now the right opportunity had presented itself! It was a unique experience starting with the copious amount of paperwork you sign releasing the skydiving company from all liability. The message was that this can be a perilous experience where things can go wrong, and you need to go into this endeavor with that understanding. To be forewarned is to be forearmed… fair enough. Next, we suited up, put on a  harness, received training on our responsibilities during the jump, boarded the small single-engine plane, and…

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    Silenced Anger

    The family culture I grew up in allowed anger. We were allowed to feel frustration and anger and even express it in both healthy and unhealthy ways. Our anger was more often than not a self-righteous anger rather than a righteous but nonetheless, the emotion was allowed. Some might look into our home and think we needed to be more self-controlled and less passionate. Some might think we hated each other because of how vocal or expressive we were. We were actually just the opposite – we loved each other and still do. We are even incredibly vocal and expressive to this day. Whether our anger was then acted on,…

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    The Power of an Expert Speaking as a Fellow Traveler: Phillip Johnson

    When my husband Jack was in seminary he was taught to speak as the expert from a posture of strength. If you talk about weakness, struggle or failure, speak in hindsight from the place of victory won. It’s not always safe to talk about your weaknesses. You don’t want to give your detractors or enemies ammunition. (Especially in churches.)   In today's culture that mindset is changing. But, If you are an expert, why would you want to try to speak as a fellow-traveler? What might be the benefits of exposing your weaknesses, speaking of your struggles, or even failures? In the academy? In churches? Phillip Johnson, the father of…