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    Thankfulness As Our Purpose

    As the calendar winds down on another unprecedented year, we gladly enter this joyful season of giving and thanksgiving. Many of us feel a gentle nudge toward understanding God’s call to purposeful daily life. Have you ever asked God about His will for your life?

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    Just Jesus…

    When I was younger I thought a revival was a 3-night event where all the church folk would come together and sing longer than normal.  I later came to understand revival as awakening the church ultimately to win others to Christ. My husband and I are inner-city missionaries so I have been thinking about, praying about, and meeting about revival for a while now. But if I can be honest for a bit—I am tired.  Although we have been at this for three years now, at times it seems the lingo of “revival” is still as nebulous and undefined as it was when I was a little girl.  It almost…

  • Impact

    On the Anniversary of Dad’s Death

    “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment accompanied by a promise, namely, “that it may go well with you and that you will live a long time on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3). Today is the anniversary of Dad’s death. Dad was a complicated man, to say the least. Recently I was talking to a Christian brother and, essentially, said that when we die it might be said for any of us believers: “He was a Christian… and he was a mess in many ways.” We never outgrow our desperate need for Christ. Anyone who knew my dad knew he had struggles, but they also had no doubt…

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    The Devil Made Me Do It

    In 1985, Richard Ramirez, a Satanist, killed fourteen Californians. Ramirez claimed evil spirits made him mutilate the elderly, women, and children. His savagery even terrified his trial judge. What do we make of this monstrosity? Or of racially motivated violence, where even Christians misappropriate Scripture to deny the basic human dignity of those they deem inferior to them? The testimonies of Christ and the apostles give evidence that demons work by seducing us with pride, greed, and lust. But can we hold demonized humans responsible for the sins committed under demonic influence? Who bears ultimate responsibility for 9/11 or the Nazi genocide of Jews? Satan, or those who commited the…

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    Who Do You Say I Am?

      Most of us know the greatest stories ever told. Noah, his ark in the flood, and the promise of the rainbow. Moses parting the Red Sea as the Israelites escaped from Egypt. The baby Jesus lying in the manger with shepherds and wise men paying honor to the newborn King. The empty tomb on Sunday morning. Often in stories our focus is on the action or the players or the outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose––to turn our focus to the Author of life. To fix our minds on God. Renowned theologian A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing…

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    Fear or Faith at Work?

      What’s the most challenging aspect of living out your faith at work? Some of us work at home or with other Christians, so being salt and light, and talking about our faith, come naturally. But many of us work in places where talking about Jesus and faith are discouraged. And some workplaces are downright hostile to Christians, so speaking openly could mean the end of our employment. For all of us, shining the bright light of Jesus in a very dark place can feel scary––even dangerous. The average worker faces situations and decisions every day that test the boundaries of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?). Fear is real. We’re…

  • Holy Spirit Hot Spots
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    Holy Spirit Hot Spots

    I just finished teaching a study of the book of Acts to a group of women at my church. I am so grateful to God for inspiring Luke to write that book, using his giftedness to write it so carefully and full of wonderful details. We approached our study of Acts not as a book of history but as the work of Jesus Christ by His Spirit through His Church. That is still continuing through today. And, we likened the work of the Holy Spirit to the firepower of a volcano. His work in the lives of individual believers is like “hot spots,” those places on earth where lava erupts…

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    Dogs and Pigs

                Two years ago I took an Evangelism class—a seminary graduation requirement I had put off. Rehearsing for disaster, I envisioned a mandatory assignment that would leave me covered in eggs and tomatoes. Although my hair would have shone like the sun, I would have preferred a night of thumb-hammering over having to share the gospel with strangers at a grocery store.                 I remembered from Systematic Theology 101 that we cannot prove that the Bible is true. Awesome. At least this frees me to believe without the pressure to convince mockers why I believe. But my eczema still wouldn’t fare well under splattered…