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    Respect vs Acceptance

    This week I read a Facebook status that hit me hard. Ravi Zacharias said, “It is self-defeating to trample underfoot everything others hold dear before giving them the message of Christ. My mother used to say, ‘There is no point cutting off a person’s nose and then giving them a rose to smell.’” He followed it up with this post, “Listening is a vital part of responding. The more and the better we hear others, the more and the better others will hear us.” I’m probably not alone when I say I often see this ideal within Christian circles that hearing out philosophies/theories/concepts that we don’t agree with—or just being…

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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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    Living in God’s Presence Part 2

    I have a confession—and I do appreciate the ridiculous paradox of what I’m about to say—but I didn’t have high expectations for my blog post Living in God’s Presence. Up to the point that I hit send on the email to my pastor, and later when I pressed publish on my website, I wondered—in contrast to the message of the entire post—if maybe I was confusing obsessive tendencies for Godly zeal. Then I started reading feedback and realized something—this questioning… this uncertainty… hit home with other Christians. This quiet doubt that was snaking its way into my head and heart was also at work worming its way into the heads…

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    Growth through Hardship

    Our gift from God. Have you ever faced an unanswered prayer? Challenging relationships? Difficult circumstances? Trick question. Of course the answer is yes if you’ve lived long in this world. I’ve been thinking a lot about learning lessons in life. Spiritual lessons. Slowly, I’m realizing that no matter how desperate I am for answered prayer—as I interpret “answered”—getting what I want may not be the best thing for my growth. Why? Because when I get what I want, I don’t grow. Despite the present-day gospel presentation, Jesus never promised an easy life post-personal redemption. In fact what he promised was the exact opposite. In John 16:33, Jesus told us, “In…