Our Own Path to Faith

They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.’    (Jn. 4:42) The Samaritans had first believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony.  What exactly they believed about …

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A Kingdom of God Moment

Jesus said, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.'   (Mk. 1:15) At the end of each session at the jail I always ask the inmates what subject they would like to talk about for the coming week.  On one occasion they decided to …

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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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Faith Lost and Then Found Again

Then Job answered the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted…. Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.’   (Job 42:1-3) His name was Will.  He was a retired clergy person who …

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God’s Breath Gives Us Life

…then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.    (Gen. 2:7) I was a competitive swimmer in high school.  In order to stay in shape during the off-season, our coach encouraged us to become lifeguards.  …

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Companions of Jesus

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus.   (Acts 4:13) On the Day of Pentecost 3,000 people were baptized.  The crowds became very curious about the disciples speaking in their own languages. They …

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God’s Grace Can Heal Your Heart

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice...   (Eph. 4:31) Let me call her Eleanor.  She was in her seventies. I visited her every month.  We would read scripture, pray, share communion together, and then she would launch into bitterly complaining about her mother. During …

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Encouraging One Another

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.  (1 Thess. 5:11) She was a world-class athlete, who had competed at the Iron Man championship in Hawaii—which is 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, and 26.2 miles running. I had met her at the gym. If you sweat in close …

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The Sermon on the Mount

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.  He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit..."   (Mt. 5-7) We had just finished a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We gathered at the bottom of a hill where …

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