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    This is My Father’s World

    Maltbie Babcock, a nineteenth century pastor, often said, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world” as he left for his morning walks. Babcock was an admirer of nature and penned the poem, “This is My Father’s World”, which was later put to music.[1] I enjoy singing this hymn, especially when I am out in my Father’s world. Recently, I was reminded of this hymn as I was learning about flowers as companion plants to vegetables and fruits. Several parallels to my life unfolded. Historically, planting flowers in vegetable gardens has been a common practice. For various reasons (including food, beauty, and medicinal access) vegetable/flower gardens were placed near kitchens.…

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    What to do when you’re tired of online church

    It’s Sunday morning, I’m washing the dishes and my mind is racing. There are literally thousands of church services to stream. I can sample a sermon from here, and listen in on worship from there all at the touch of a button. I should be thriving in an atmosphere flushed with Biblical teaching but my experience has been quite the opposite. I know that life-changing content is out there but the problem is, I don’t really want to see any of it. In fact, I think I may burst if I have to look at another live stream or hold yet another prayer meeting over zoom. I am just over…

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    Christianity’s Hamster Wheel of “Spiritual Advancement”

    The heading for this piece takes its cue from an article Casey Chalk wrote, which was posted on January 9, 2020, at The American Conservative website.[1] The main title is, “America’s Hamster Wheel Of ‘Career Advancement’”, followed by the subtitle: “We’re told that getting ahead at work and reorienting our lives around our jobs will make us happy. So why hasn’t it?” Regretfully, the same sort of attitude can be found in various forms of Christianity. It’s characterized by a hamster wheel of “spiritual advancement.” Supposedly, if Jesus’ followers do A, B, and C, as well as avoid X, Y, and Z, they can expect to make steady, measurable progress…

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    Small Beginnings

    “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” ‭Zechariah‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬   KIDOGO KIDOGO HUJAZA KIBABA. It’s an African proverb that a Kenyan friend recited to me often when I, as a newly arrived missionary, would become discouraged at my very slow pace in learning basic Kiswahili, or when I would get confused over the local currency or make embarrassing cross-cultural social blunders. He would say the proverb to remind me that great things start out small and mastery happens gradually over time.   KIDOGO KIDOGO HUJAZA KIBABA. Little by little fills the measure. I…

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    “How Often Do You Fast?” –A Question to Make Christians Uncomfortable

    Are you looking for a way to shut down a conversation at church? Ask your casual acquaintances how many times a month they fast and watch them squirm. As the Muslim month of fasting approaches, this topic will come up in conversations with Muslims. I have gotten out my copy of the excellent book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald S. Whitney, to reread the chapter on fasting. Christians fast and engage in other disciplines to pursue godliness (1 Timothy 4:7). But bring up the topic of fasting and a great many Christians will immediately start explaining why they don’t. Yesterday I met with my Muslim friends and…

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    New Year: New You or Old You? — Actions vs. Resolutions

    It’s January and as expected, class attendance exceeds the maximum room occupancy at the gym. These (will prove to be non-faithful) newbies are bubbling with excitement to start their “New Year’s Resolutions.” They start with high hopes that this will finally be their year to change. But after years of observing this New Year’s phenomenon, I know the gym will return to normal by the end of February (if not earlier). It’s easy to make resolutions. It’s sticking to them that’s the problem. When asked to speak about his book, Put Your Dream to the Test, John C. Maxwell, internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach, and best-selling author, gave me…

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    My Reluctant Journey or The Theology of a Porcupine

    Our guest blogger today is Mrs. P.J. Beets who is a doctoral student at Dallas Theological Seminary in the Doctor of Ministry in Spritual Formation program. I became a Christian as an adult.  As I began to grow as a believer in Christ, God graciously brought a lot of opportunities to study His Word and be with believers that practiced some of the same spiritual habits that Christ modeled while He was on earth. These habits are often referred to as spiritual disciplines or practices: Bible study, memorizing Scripture, prayer, fellowship, and service. They are some of the core practices that are essential to our life with God. However, I found…