Focus

Each morning we move from our sleep into a more focused wakefulness. It comes in stages. We may have morning birds, family nudges, or an alarm to stir us. Then we’re on to the standard start-up stuff of every morning. A shower. Toast and coffee along with some family coordinating. We all have our own …

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Spiritual Formation

How do we, as Christians, build up others? I’m asking this with both our secular contacts and fellow believers in view. Is there a special evangelism and discipleship program, ministry strategy, or sermon series available to do the trick? Are there seminars to attend, disciplines to engage, or educators to invite to teach spiritual formation …

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Calvin & the Spirit

In the sixteenth century John Calvin was a gift to the young Protestant Reformation; and he remains helpful today. The broad Bible reach of his Institutes, for instance, is still engaging. Some, I know, will be suspicious. Calvin has a reputation as a cold intellectual fixated on divine sovereignty and predestination. But, certainly to my …

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Waves

We watched the waves start to form over a hundred yards out. Our family visits to the Kailua beach on Oahu where Dad was based in the Air Force were common and we boys got the knack of bodysurfing. The trick was to swim like crazy in the low stage just before the peak of …

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Two Items

Billy Graham caught my attention early on. I remember hearing about him as a child living in Japan in the mid-fifties. My father was in the Air Force and we were stationed at the Tachikawa air base, near Tokyo. Billy came to Tokyo for an early outreach effort and my parents attended the rally because …

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Pompeii

Luca and Anca spent the day with me visiting the ruins of Pompeii near Naples. Then the next day Luca and I visited the Naples archealogical museum where most of the artifacts of Pompeii’s destruction from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius are on display. I was surprised by my response to the experience. Let me …

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True Friends

“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17). And, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” (Proverbs 27:6). The constancy and honesty of true friendships is a treasure to all who have it—and without this steady love life grows very cold. Yet thinking about friendship raises questions: What is a friend? How many friends can …

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Point-Counterpoint

The apostle Paul hated counterfeits. He knew when he launched new churches opponents of the faith would soon pop up with false teachings. Some even followed him directly—as in his trip from Thessalonica to Berea—just to stir chaos (Acts 17:13). Jesus anticipated this sort of thing in his parable of the weeds (Matt. 13:24-43): “The …

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