A Journey That May Heal Your Own Hearts

Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.    (2 John 12) I once had a serious break with my daughter that was breaking my heart. …

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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 …

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Jesus Born Again Anywhere

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Lk. 2:6-7) When my schedule permits, I visit some inmates in …

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Too Good Not To Be True

  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors.’ (Luke 2: 13-14) One of the ways that some people get in the “spirit” of Christmas is to watch the old-time …

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Forgiving Someone From Our Heart

So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.    (Mt. 18:35) The man was a respected leader in town. The man also had a secret life.  During business trips he indulged in risky behavior.  In time, he contracted a …

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…and a Little Child Shall Lead Them

“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Is. 11:6) Let me call him Fred.  He didn’t like the changes I was making at church.  He made an appointment to express his …

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Room For All

He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.’   (Lk. 4:17-18) One of church’s receptionists buzzed to tell me that she had a woman on the phone that demanded to talk with …

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Jesus’ Love Makes All Things New

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Heb. 13:8) One of my least favorite expressions is “same-old, same-old.”  When I ask someone how they’re doing, and they say “same-old, same-old,” I’m tempted to do an “encouragement-intervention” on them. The expression sounds so dreary, sullen, and bored.  One of the ways I sometimes …

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With Barnabas

When he [Paul] had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord...   (Acts 9:26-27) …

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Following Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’    (Mt. 16:24) Are you all-in?  Do you live with urgency, conviction, and purpose?  Or, do you hesitate, dabble, hedge your bets, play it safe? One of the most striking characteristics …

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