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    The Mother of All Virtues

     “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point…A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky,” C.S. Lewis What will you undertake this coming year that will require courage? God’s people have always been called to bravery. Obeying God, especially when it’s to our own disadvantage, is the crux of the Christian life. Scripture tells multiple stories of those who demonstrated true bravery in the context of their times. In Joshua 1:1-9, God instructed Joshua to lead His people into the Promised…

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    Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

    He could have kept a distance, withholding his immanence from the shepherd tending a flock. But, there he was: appearing in a fire that burned, yet did not consume its bushy host. God himself had come. And the shepherd, unable to behold such glory, hid his face while God continued, “’I’ve seen the afflictions and heard the groaning of my people. I know their suffering andI have come down to deliver them out of Egyptian oppression and lead them into a broad land flowing with milk and honey.’” He could have delivered the once-enslaved Israelites from afar. But, there he was: appearing each evening as a flaming fire and each…

  • Perseverance. Choose to persevere through the challenges you face. Count on God's promise to give you hope—now and future. Let that hope sustain you through the rough-and-tumble of real life.
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    Perseverance in the Rough-and-Tumble of Life

    Look around you. Something is going on somewhere in your country, your town, your neighborhood or your family that’s got someone upset, nervous, or in panic mode—maybe even you. Cancer. Disaster. Job loss. Death. Enemy attack. For those of us who like to plan and control our environment so that our loved ones (and ourselves) can rest, relax, and be productive, these interruptions to life are very hard to bear. So, we try to escape to something that makes it go away for a while—a feel-good movie, book, or a retreat. But, then we get back to the rough-and-tumble of real life and find that whatever is stressing us is…

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    Standing Side By Side, Staying On The Path, Accompanying Others

    How much harder would it be to stay on the path if you were doing it all alone? How would a single mother of two sons recently divorced by her husband and left with no support stay on the path if others in the Body had not come to her aid in prayer and practical help. How would a CEO, ousted by the injustice of an abrupt coup, keep from sinking into abject despair were it not for his clinging to the power of God’s word to inform and comfort, and his group of friends in the Body of Christ rallying around him and his wife.  How would the grandparents…

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    A Lesson from the Olympics

    Mo Farah, 33, said he thought his Rio 2016 Olympics "dream was over." This member of the Great Britain team was defending champ (London, 2012) of the 10,000m event, and he had every reason to believe he could win it again—until he tripped on his training partner and fell on the track. But rather than give up, Farah did something remarkable. He jumped back to his feet. And he didn’t just prove he could get up and make it to the finish line. No—he took off and ran for 16 more laps and pressed on to won the gold! The apostle Paul uses a running metaphor for the Christian faith…

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    Pope Francis and the FedEx Cup

    Pope Francis was the news this past week.  I must say it has been a long time since the national media devoted so much uninterrupted time to hear and even affirm various messages from a person of faith.  In our skeptical age it was refreshing.  For a person of faith it was encouraging to see the cross lifted high and Jesus and the power of the gospel exalted. Observing the multitudes at various venues I am reminded of Ecc 3:11 how “God has set eternity in the hearts of every person.”  Blaise Pascal said it well that “there is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man.” This…

  • Emma Rose
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    The Beauty of Breathing

    Yesterday our recently rescued Westie Emma Rose spent most of the day panting, wheezing, and gagging. Today she dozes by my chair as I write this, nuzzled against my leg. Bad days and good days. Three weeks ago, the vet diagnosed her with pulmonary fibrosis after a 4 am trip to the animal emergency room where she ended up in a dog-sized oxygen chamber with an IV.  We left down-hearted about her terminal prognosis, and wondering if vet insurance is a good idea. Five months ago, when we saved Emma Rose from a puppy mill, we had no idea we would enjoy so few days with her or that she…

  • Impact

    Tough Hope

    The Communists said there is no God. The people of Biserica Baptista Speranta (Hope Baptist Church) thought differently no matter what the Communists said.   For months during the Communist era the people of Hope Baptist Church worked to renovate an unused building on a main street in downtown Arad, one of the major evangelical centers of Romania. They labored out of love for the Lord because the building they were in was old and small and the Repenters had outgrown it despite Communist opposition to their message. The label "Repenter" was given to Christians in mockery of their message. In an Orthodox culture where everyone is thought to be…

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    Waiting . . . Waiting . . . Waiting

    Waiting on God can be difficult in this era of microwaves and instant messaging. Sometimes it seems like I am in one long line, awaiting my turn for God’s attention. I realize this is not how God works, but it is the way I often feel. I watch others get what they ask for; I see God do great things in their lives; but I continue to wait for his hand to move in numerous situations. When God’s silence lingers, I want to say, “Are you even listening to me?” Such thoughts reveal my lack of faith. I am much like the nation of Israel as it marched through the…