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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Trusting in God’s Grace

Therefore, confess your sins to one another…  (Jas. 5:16) I was in my twenties, on my knees, confessing my sins to a monk, and I heard him snoring. When I loudly coughed he woke up for a few moments, but then he fell asleep again. I was miffed he was so inattentive.  I thought my …

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Jesus Overturning The “Tables”

Then they came to Jerusalem.  And [Jesus] entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves…  (Mk. 1:15) The most unpopular thing I did in 30 years …

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Our Prayers to God

O daughter Babylon, you devastator!  Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us!  Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!   (Ps. 137:8-9) I find these words to be very encouraging.  I don’t find these words encouraging because I want God …

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