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    Jesus in the New Year

    Since the moment my kids began to understand the concept of love, we’ve been playing the “I love you” game. “I love you.” “I love you more.” “I love you most.” Sixteen years and four kids—they’ve each searched for a way to best me but I always end with, “I love you most. You’ll understand when you grow up.” That worked for sixteen years until Wyatt. Last time I said, “I love you more,” he responded with, “I love you how much God loves you.” No arguing with that. Right? Not even infinity plus one can top God’s love. I don’t think he planned on the theological argument that followed,…

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    Look to Jesus

    Our baby is learning how to drive, which is crazy because it feels like yesterday that she was in diapers. Every time I explain a road rule, I remember what it felt like to learn myself—because that feels like yesterday too. Some things stand out in my memory, like my mom riding shot-gun, pointing my attention into the distance and telling me to stop focusing on the car in front of me. As I repeated that lesson and heard my mom’s voice come out of my mouth, I couldn’t help but think of Peter’s focusing problem. Immediately He [Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of…

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    Growing Faith & Killing Fear (guest post)

    My dear friend and fellow suspense writer, Jerusha Agen asked me to guest post on her Fear Warrior Blog. "Fear is natural to our human nature. From the moment we are born, we enter a world damaged by sin. A world that runs on fear." Read Now Fear Warrior Blog Click Here

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    How can Love & Hate Co-Exist

    I have the best grandmother in the entire world. If I were ever tempted to doubt God’s love for me, all I would need to do is look at the blessing he gave me in her. She’s loving and dependable and tells it how she sees it. Most of all, she’s wise. When I was a teenager, she once told me something that was impossible for me to understand at the time. She said, “Love is staying married to someone even when you hate them. The good times come and go and sometimes you’ll hate that man so much you’ll wish he’d go too, but love is sticking together even…

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    Dear Discouraged

    The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18 Dear Discouraged, I heard your discouragement and in our moment of shared brokenness we had nothing to offer each other. Instead, we discovered something—discouragement grows in isolation. But God has something for else for us. Psalm 34:17-18 says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them.” This phrase is plural, not singular. “Cry out” is translated from tsa`aq. It means to shriek; to proclaim (an assembly). It can also be translated as a Hebrew idiom that…

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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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    Advent of the Redeemer – Part 4

    For Unto us is Born this Day in the City of David But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity. Micah 5:2 The Christmas frenzy has come and gone and our Advent reflection has drawn to a close. This past Sunday across the world, Christians of all denominations remembered Mary and Joseph’s journey to the tiny city of Bethlehem. It was in that village, within walking distance of the City of Peace, that our Prince of Peace was…

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    Advent of the Redeemer – Part 3

    “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Maybe these words evoke images of Easter week more than Christmas, Good Friday more than the Advent season. We are now in our third week of looking at the Advent through the eyes of the Old Testament saints. In some denominations this past Sunday would have been celebrated as Gaudette Sunday, a celebration of joy. What does Christ’s soul-wrenching cry from the cross have to do with a Sunday that focuses on joy? Hebrews 12:2 says, “…for the joy set before Him [Jesus] endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of…

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    Advent of the Redeemer – Part 2

    During the four weeks of Advent, I want to explore four pictures of Jesus in the Old Testament. As I shared last week, my pastor (Nathan Franckhauser) teaches that, “Old Testament believers looked to a Messiah, the Seed of Abraham, who was coming. We look to a Messiah who died on a cross and was risen three days later and will return.” Having looked at Jesus as Creator and how He modeled redemption through creation, now I want to look at the Akedah. Arguably the most important scene in the Old Testament. The binding of Isaac. The moment where love drove Abraham to sacrifice his only son. My oldest son…