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    Running Towards Giants

    All my life I have heard the story of David and Goliath preached with an emphasis on personal application. "Defeating Your Giants" or "Five Stones of Faith That Lead to Victory"  -These typical homilies are focused on encouraging believers to slay impossible giants in their own lives. However, I believe it is time to take a fresh look at this age-old passage.    I had the privilege to hear Bob Sjogren, president of UnveilinGLORY ministries, speak and he suggested something quite strange. While Goliath is usually presented as a stumbling block best avoided, Bob suggests that we run towards our giants in the name of God’s glory. Personal giants are…

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    Pods, Aliens, and the Incarnation

    There is a moment in the 1985 sci-fi movie Cocoon that has haunted me for 25 years now. Senior citizens discover that the water in the pool they’ve been swimming in has a marvelously rejuvenating effect on them. Aliens have stashed the cocoon pods of their cohorts in the bottom of the pool of a rented house, awaiting return to the mother ship. These aliens are light-filled, radiant creatures who cover themselves in human skin to pass as one of us. The moment in the film that has stayed with me all this time is when the lead alien, played by Brian Dennehy, checks his human disguise in the mirror.…

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    Why Our Work Matters to God

                  “The Christian shoemaker does his duty, not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” — Martin Luther Work. It greets us at the dawn of each new day. Whether you serve in a church or para-church organization, business community, or at home, much of our life is consumed with work. It causes us to rise early and stay late. It compels us to do more, get better, grow stronger.   Occasionally, we sense the glory of work as God intended it. We feel as Eric Liddell did during his Olympic training when…

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    The Birth of Christmas: The son of god and The Son of God

    The year was 4 BC, and much of Galilee was in turmoil.   Caesar Augustus, the son of god, had ordered a census for tax purposes, and some in Israel had to go to their home communities to comply. So it was that an unknown couple, Joseph and Mary, from an obscure town called Nazareth of Galilee had to go to a small village named Bethlehem nearly 100 miles away. To complicate things even more, Mary was pregnant and about to deliver her firstborn son, Jesus.   Caesar Augustus, Gaius Julius Octavius, was one of the greatest leaders in history. A brilliant administrator, a talented team builder, aware of his…

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    Learning about God Through Nature

    When the Old Testament talks of God’s glory, it often refers to a visible manifestation of God. For example, the stories of the tabernacle in Exodus or Ezekiel’s vision of the temple, both expressing God’s intent to dwell among men. But it’s also related to God’s self-disclosure through the world around us: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays his handiwork. Day after day it speaks out; night after night it reveals his greatness. There is no actual speech or word, nor is its voice literally heard. Yet its voice echoes throughout the earth” (Ps. 19:1–4a). Sometimes talking about God with smaller children gets tricky because we…

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    Glorious Grace

    Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father (John 1:14). Today we gather around tables and sit around Christmas trees to celebrate God’s interjection into our ordinary world. This day is unlike any other on the calendar because 2,000 years ago, the Son did the unbelievable—he put on our flesh. And as the Message reads, “. . . moved into [our] neighborhood."   Who is this God who came to dwell with us? John summarizes his glorious existence in two simple words—grace and truth. These two five-letter…

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    Rest Amidst Stress

    I took another drink of coffee and braced myself. After a week off on vacation, I knew the day would bring a flurry of emails, reports, errands, and chores. Have you ever noticed how much harder Monday feels after being away? In my mind, I started making my lists. But then my eyes settled onto these familiar words: "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Ps. 46:10). I've read those words—even memorized them—countless times before. But now I needed to know what they meant. Was God really calling me to sit while life swirled? I…

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    Discover Prayer (Part II): Seek Only Our Heavenly Father’s Glory!

    When I was a child my family had a dog who was given the name Angus by my father due to this Labrador being in appearance like a Black Angus cow. He was an outdoor dog that loved to play with me and my two brothers and sister. We could count on him meeting us when we walked home from school via a path through a cotton field. Sometimes he would even meet my older brother and me in the gym at school to the consternation of our coach! He wanted to be with us even if just to sit quietly together in the cool evening breeze enjoying a sunset…