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    No More Masks

                  As the days grow shorter and golden leaves fall from trees, we pack up Halloween decorations in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although a few costumes may linger in photos on the fridge, everything else is set aside for another year. However, there’s one thing that few of us ever put away: the everyday masks we live behind. We all have masks of one sort or another. Reasons vary. For some, our masks protect us from going too deep or being too real. For others, masks allow us to live more boldly as the alter ego we espouse. Still others crave physical and…

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    “I Was Hungry And You Fed Me”

    In the past two months, I have buried my father and walked my daughter through open-heart surgery. The “windsock in her heart,” as her surgeon described it, that had blood flowing the wrong way, was apparently congenital, but we didn’t discover it till July. She made it great through surgery two weeks ago today. So now, in my great relief, I have some time to reflect on the whirlwind that has been my life for the past two months. My overwhelming sense is that I’ve been covered in the love of God. One manifestation of that great love is His perfect timing. Indeed, the Almighty works with precise timing that…

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    ISIS: Where is a path to victory? Or even safety?

    When bloody horror erupts on our TVs and phones we mourn with those who mourn. We pray for the gospel to “speed ahead and be honored” and for God to comfort all those who have suffered loss because of ISIS’s rampage through Paris.   We are also hard-wired from the factory to grasp for the “Why?”. In the West’s war with ISIS this much is certain: Like the Republicans and Democrats, we don’t even agree on what the issues are.   The secular West thinks ISIS is morally bankrupt because they subvert freedom. They murder and rape as an act of worship to Allah. They think the West is spiritually…

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    Valentine’s Day–What’s the Mark of True Love?

    How real is love? Valentine’s Day is a good time to assess how much we love both our significant others and our God. The definitive mark of true love is willing sacrifice.    Every relationship has some element of sacrifice, but what’s the attitude behind it? Is it out of coercion, a sense of “ought,” or joy?   The depth of God’s love for us is marked by the willingness of Jesus, God himself, to come to earth, become man, live among us, and die a cruel death on the cross carrying the ugliness of our sins and those of the world. “For this is the way God loved the…