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    Why do You Love Me?

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished…

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    Salt & Grace

    I just passed the 23rd anniversary of my new life and one truth becomes more and more obvious to me as the years pass… My pride is a master shapeshifter. As I’ve grown from a baby Christian, God has weeded out blatant arrogance. But in its place softer and deadlier variations sprout—finding fault, desire to be liked, defensiveness. And those are only a few. My pride conceals itself behind a more tenable mask to avoid prying its claws from my character. All that to say, I still have major issues within this process of sanctification. So when my friend texted to check in on a specific sticky situation, my hurt…

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    New Year – Same Self

    We’re into January full force and everywhere we look we see people contemplating change, setting lofty expectations, making resolutions, and sharing their ‘one word’ that will define the new year. I’m not making a dig. Personally—for myself—I know that lofty year-long expectations and ambitious resolutions don’t work. Mainly because I’m a screw up. Redeemed—thankfully—by God’s grace, but still a screw up in this process called sanctification. In Philippians 2:12-13, Paul wrote, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work…

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    Hiding God’s Word in my Heart

    The New Year is peeking around the corner so I’ve decided to do something new—writing out God’s word. After reading that Erica Wiggenhorn writes a Psalm by hand each day (check out her post here), I remembered God’s command in Deuteronomy 17:18. “When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests.” Hiding God's Word in my Hearts Writing God’s law by hand was a requirement to be king of Israel. There must be something in it. Something that pushes the words past the eyes and down to the heart. I…

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    Raising Godly Children

    “Look! There’s a Mustang.” My 9-year-old son pointed a few cars ahead of us on I-75 as we headed from Ohio to Michigan. His body was tensed. He bounced in his seat in excitement. I hated to tell him he was wrong. But the car in question was a Charger. A few minutes later, he perked up in his seat and stuck his finger in front of my face, pointing across the divided highway at the Camaro heading south. “Look! That one’s a Mustang!” Wrong again. This time his shoulders slumped a bit. We sat in silence for a few miles longer before he turned back to me and voiced…

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    Words

    Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.—Luke 6:45 I can still remember it like yesterday. Not so much the joke I made, but how my mom speared me with ‘the look’. Her eyes flashed. “Jesus said, ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’” My initial response was typical. A childish and rebellious eye-roll followed by deny and defend. But her words took root in my heart. They’ve never moved out. Later I learned Jesus also said, “let your yes be yes and your no be no; anything beyond these is evil.” James would write, “the tongue is a fire…and sets on fire the course…