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    Leader, Do You Have a Book in You?

    Back when I was in high school living two miles outside of Washington, D.C., my parents took me to visit The Library of Congress. As I stood eyeing walls of books, millions of them from floor to ceiling, it occurred to me that a whole lot of people publish. And that number has continued to skyrocket. Today the Library of Congress contains more than 74 million manuscripts—about one for every five Americans. So why in the world would you want to add to that stack by writing a book of your own?   Write because you have better data.  Maybe you’ve taken a look at all the books on the market…

  • Declare God's Faithfulness

    Declare God’s Faithfulness

    Listen to this blog as a similar podcast: There is a line in one of my favorite praise songs that says, “Though darkness fills the night, It cannot hide the light; Whom shall I fear?” Darkness is one of those things that can cause fear. Think of a time when you were in a really dark place. With not even a glimmer of light. Was it in a cave? Or on a dark street? How do you feel in total darkness? Afraid. Lonely. You look for light from any source, don’t you? You see that light, and you follow it to get out of the darkness. That’s what God does…

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    For Your Summer Reading Edutainment: The Sisters of Sinai

     Want a summer read that’s part adventure story, part biography, part introduction to biblical manuscripts, part historical drama, and part faith journey? If yes, check out Janet Soskice’s The Sisters of Sinai. The main characters are identical twins Agnes and Margaret Smith of Scotland. Their travels lead, among other places, to St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. There Agnes discovered one of the oldest manuscripts of the Gospels ever found. The sisters’ staunch Presbyterian father, widowed shortly after their births in 1843, raised his girls as one might raise boys in the Victorian era—educated, physically active, and engaged in the life of the mind. And he kept a promise that…

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    Art Saves Lives

    I just finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. The student who brought me the book also sent me a link to a transcript in which the author told about his 97-year-old cousin, Helen, a Polish Holocaust survivor: “She started telling me this story of how, in the ghetto, they were not allowed books. If you had a book … the Nazis could put a gun to your head and pull the trigger—books were forbidden. And she used to teach under the pretense of having a sewing class . . . a class of about twenty little girls, and they would come in for…

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    Maybe the right words to share your faith story in a conversation come naturally to you. Praise God for that verbal gift! I am willing to declare that for most of us (including me), those words just don’t come easily. We don’t know where to start. We don’t know how much to say. We say too much. Frankly, I have not been in a church yet that stressed the importance of being able to share one’s faith story by actually EQUPPING EVERYONE to do it — including frequent opportunities to practice it! Why is that? How many hours do we spend practicing other things? But not this. Not “the word…

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    Nain: The Perfect Setting

    Like the mansion “Downton Abbey,” the setting itself played such a role in Shunem’s story that it functioned almost as an independent character. Shunem’s people took pride in its heritage: About 800 years before Christ, Elisha had brought a woman’s dead child back to life here. Elsewhere some years before that, Elisha’s mentor, Elijah, had restored to life a widow’s only son. And afterward, the biblical text records, “Elijah gave him to his mother" (1 Kings 17:23). So Elisha’s miracle at Shunem was not the first time a prophet had raised a woman's child, but it was certainly the last. Just on the other side of Shunem’s hill, assuming we…

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    Life with a New Liver

    Meet Lisa. She’s a dear friend, coach’s wife, lover of Africa, and most recently, a liver transplant survivor. Her story will challenge you to live each day more fully. “We’ll be there in 7 minutes.” Those are the last words I remember from my care flight. Although I can’t recall much from the week of February 2, 2014, I realize God performed a miracle in my life. On Sunday afternoon, I went in for a routine gallbladder removal—or so I thought—but God had different plans. After the surgery, my general surgeon was concerned about my liver. An MRI revealed that I had developed a rare liver condition called Budd Chiari.…

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    Contributing Writers

    Contributing Writers We learn so much by reading a biography. A few years ago, the biography of Andre Agassi came out. I loved reading his story. His story told me a lot about who he was and now is and who he was not. His biography helped me understand his identity, his beginnings and his struggles. It told me about his hopes, dreams and expectations. His biography gave me a picture into the person of Andre Agassi. In Isaiah 42 we are given a biography of a Servant, of Jesus. We read about his identity being rooted in the delight of God, his call, empowerment, dependence and righteousness. We read…

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    Are We Writing A Great Story with Our Lives?-Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) offers help

    When the credits roll, will people shrug and think my story was kind of boring? Will they think your story was great, one that inspired their own? How might we intentionally write a great story into our lives? If you write a story about your life and it winds up selling over a million copies, you just might have two guys show up at your front door wanting to make a movie out it. Such was the case with Donald Miller.