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    Sometimes There Aren’t Words

    Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when we sit with others in their grief.               when others try to comfort us in ours. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when life comes crashing down around us.               when darkness and despair close in. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when anxiety and doubt and shame condemn us.               when regrets of the past rear their heads and gnash their teeth. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when betrayals bite and false denials scream.               when the unrelenting hand of fear squeezes with clenched fingers. Sometimes there just aren’t words…               when the world goes crazy.               when people don't seem…

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    Searched

    Every time I step into the airport security line, I feel a little sick to my stomach. There’s something so unnerving about the possibility of having my bags searched. I know these practices keep our skies safer, but they still intimidate me. Fortunately I’ve only been escorted from the line once.  After a spending a week in Minnesota with a girlfriend—enjoying a reprieve from the Texas summer heat—I packed my suitcase and prepared to re-enter the hundred-degree temperatures of my home state. Before we left I picked up a wild rice pancake mix for my parents made from the famous Minnesota staple. As my bags passed through the x-ray machine…

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    A Lesson from the Vacuum: What it Taught Me About God

    His eyes flashed with anxiety. What is the whirring sound coming from the living room? They asked. My eight-month-old looked to me for reassurance. “It’s okay,” I said. “Daddy is vacuuming.” Immediately, the words sank deep into my soul. The lesson I was trying to teach my son is one I needed to hear myself. Daddy holds the vacuum. At two-and-a-half feet tall, a towering four-foot purple vacuum with the word Shark written on the front seems to threaten your very existence. It might just suck you up along with the dust bunnies on the rug. Isn’t that how we feel about life sometimes? The storm whirls around us, large…

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    They don’t call it work for nothing!

    War and turmoil, conflict, anger and moral decay confront us on every side.  The words of Francis Shaffer echo in my heart, “How then shall we live?” As we groan at the darkness, how can we make a difference for eternity? Where shall we turn today? What "works?" It helps me to recall that Jesus walked our planet in the flesh at the height of Roman rule. The Greco-Roman world was rife with idolatry, immorality, and all manner of depravity.  His own people, Israel, were hard-hearted and resistant to His message. How then did He live and how did He instruct His followers to “make a difference?” My mind returns…

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    The Love Boat

    Each of us deals with days of darkness, sorrow, and pain. They are as much a part of life as times of laughter and sunshine. During such moments I sometimes struggle to believe that God loves me and hears my cries of pain. When you can’t clearly see God’s purposes, you too, may find it difficult to believe in his love.  Earlier this week a hymn and a story united into a visual picture that helps me trust that God hasn’t abandoned me when my sight is obscured by darkness. The image reminded me of the many instances when the psalmist cries out to God as his refuge, his rock,…