Four Hundred, Ninety-One

I’ve never really had a “lucky” number- figured those were for folks who like to gamble.  I haven’t really even had a “favorite” number- it seemed kind of pointless, I suppose.  While I still don’t have a “lucky” number, I do now have a “favorite” one!  It has taken me roughly fifty years to decide that my favorite number is 491!

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Doors

Doors serve two primary purposes: 1) as points of ingress and egress to allow movement into or out of a space; and, 2) to prevent the same.   God uses doors for both of these purposes…

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Living in a Glass House

This article is not about eco-friendly off the grid domiciles, or some sort of terrarium-styled greenhouse.  Neither is it any sort of a rant in favor of more privacy or less visibility- in fact, it’s just the opposite.  Living in a glass house has gotten a bad rap.  They’re not just for non stone-throwers; glass houses are great places to live!  In a spiritually metaphorical kind of way, they are the very best place for a Christian to live. Here’s why…

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Spiritual Neutrality

When it comes to spirituality, some people are kind of like Switzerland- trying to be “neutral.” Switzerland’s neutrality has historically been more about money than anything else.  In WWII, they simply wanted to be “on friendly terms” with, and therefore able “to do business” with, both sides. Most attempts at spiritual neutrality have the same motivation!

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Splitting Firewood and Personal Evangelism?

I love the sound, aroma, and warmth of a nice fire.  But such requires work- lots of work.  For me, this means felling the tree, sawing it up, loading it on the trailer, and hauling it back to the house.  But this isn’t the end, as it still has to be split into pieces that can be easily stacked, and eventually put into the fireplace.  I’ve labored at these tasks most of my life to be able to enjoy the soothing, crackling warmth of a fire.  I should probably mention that I’ve never owned a hydraulic wood splitter- though I have borrowed one occasionally for especially big jobs.  Instead, I usually split firewood the old-fashioned way: with wedges and a splitting maul.  Recently, it occurred to me that there are some lessons to be learned from splitting firewood this way that might be comparatively beneficial to breaking open the sometimes-tough exteriors of people, and laying bare their hearts, with the power of the gospel.  So, think with me for a moment about splitting wood and personal evangelism…

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Modulation or Transformation?

Have you ever thought, said, or heard it said, “So N. So is such a good man, he really only needs to be baptized- he wouldn’t have to change much of anything about his life.”  I’ve been guilty of thinking that about some people.  But unfortunately, this type of reasoning tends to either be derived from or contribute to some false notions about baptism…

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Denying Self

“If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” Matthew 16:24.  Perhaps self-denial is the hardest of Jesus’ commands to obey, but it is commanded, and therefore required. So, let's dig a little deeper...

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Longing for the Word

The “living and abiding word of God” is that imperishable seed from which Christians are conceived, gestate, and born again, 1Peter 1:23.  Thus, it is “obedience to the truth” through which one’s soul becomes “purified,” or cleansed from sin, 1Peter 1:22.  But in chapter two, the metaphor changes from the seed of conception and birth to the pure milk from which the newborn babe in Christ continues to grow and mature.  However…

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Have We Replaced “Holier Than Thou” with “Holy Enough”?

The problem of “self-righteousness,” or the “holier than thou” attitude and accompanying actions, has been around a long time.  But things are changing somewhat in that regard.  After all, when was the last time you heard someone actually use the word “thou” in a sentence who wasn’t reading the KJV, or wasn’t on some TV show about the Amish?

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Loyalty Lost

No one needs to be told that ours has become a “dog eat dog” and “what have you done for me lately” world.  One casualty (or culprit?) of this trend has been the loss of loyalty.  What we may not realize is how this loss of loyalty has affected our physical and spiritual relationships....

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Daily Verse

“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven”

- Luke 1:76-78

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