To Be Made Well

Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Bethzatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.  One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said …

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Imitating Jesus

“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) Who do we imitate in life? We imitate our parents, siblings, or friends. We imitate certain television stars, movie characters, or athletes. We imitate the attitudes or behaviors we respect or admire in others. Before I went to school I wanted to imitate …

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Blessed to Be a Blessing

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.   (Gen. 12:2) At nearly every meeting, bible study, or conversation, John would find a way to say, “Blessed to be a blessing.”  Whenever I thought of John, I thought …

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Staying Strong and Faithful

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.   (2 Tim. 1:5) When Paul reminds Timothy of the faith of his grandmother and mother he’s encouraging him to stay strong.  It appears Timothy was tempted …

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Made in God’s Image

So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  (Gen. 1:27) I was in the county jail, visiting a reentry program called “Been There Done That.”  The name of the group was apt.  They had all been sex workers, who had been just …

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Seeing Your Way Forward

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’  (Rev. 19:16) One day when I was 10 my mother picked me up from school and told me that Ted (her husband and my step-father) would no longer be living with us.   I asked where he …

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Our Identity As Saints

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.  To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful to Christ Jesus…  (Eph. 1:1-2) In the early church, the term saint wasn’t reserved for the super-heroes of the faith; it was given to all baptized believers. I wonder if the Body of Christ …

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Our Foundation In Faith

“They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs and from them, according to the flesh comes the Messiah…”  (Rom. 9:3-5) A few summers ago my wife and I visited the Holy Land.  On our first …

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The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd…” (Jn. 10:11) Someone once gave me an icon of Jesus the Good Shepherd. It wasn’t a beautiful or attractive icon; in fact, it was rather primitive and rough, even sort of ugly. I put the icon on my bookshelf not because I would’ve chosen it for myself, but because it …

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In the Manger with Jesus

And she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them at the inn.  (Lk. 2:7) I’d received a phone call from a distraught mother. Her 30-something daughter had disappeared. The mother feared that her daughter—let me call her Abby—could have committed suicide. A few …

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Bethlehem In Us

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem… While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  (Luke 2:4,6) While visiting the Holy Land I was very excited to see Bethlehem—the place where Mary and Joseph traveled, where Mary gave …

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