A new view of life

Last week I was with a church outreach in Guatemala. We used an autorefractor supplied by Global Eyeglass Ministries to examine eyes of hundreds of local Guatemalans. And with that we also had many used and donated eyeglasses to match needs through a computer program. Once we had a match we gave the eyeglasses as …

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The Reunion

Yesterday I hosted a reunion for some Bible college friends from my undergrad years. We shared stories that only old and dear friends can enjoy. We also laughed and had some near-to-tears moments. But what have we learned over the years? Two things stand out. Humility. And values. Let me start with the values. Years …

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Above and Below

I often watch Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) shows like Nova and American Experience. Or in the UK I’ve turned to BBC Four for similar programming. And in both settings I expect to find droves of programs with one common quality: a view “from below.” It’s also true of public education. We don’t find teachers today …

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Divine favorites

What if an angel were to say this to you, “O man [or woman] greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” Wow—“greatly loved”—what a tag! It’s a greeting given to Daniel three times in Daniel 9-10, first by the angel Gabriel and then by another heavenly speaker who …

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The paper mill

I live in a paper mill town. For decades Camas was infamous for the fragrance it shared with its neighbors. No one for miles around could escape us if the wind was blowing their way. But that’s changed—new process scrubbers have made a huge and happy difference. Yet another worse sort of pollution is still …

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The most human human

With family, friends, and neighbors it doesn’t take long for our failings and fantasies to show up. We’re regularly exposed despite our efforts to inflate strengths and hide weaknesses. And as constant performers who stumble on steps, miss lines, or say things out of order, others notice. So we cover with a quip, “Just being …

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His Presence

Do we long for God’s presence? King David wrote in Psalm 27 about the “one thing” he wanted in life. That was “to gaze on the beauty of the LORD …” Later in the same Psalm he wrote, “You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek.’” …

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Jesus at Church

What do we want from a church service? Jesus may catch our attention here if we notice the single reported sermon he preached to his home “church”—the synagogue in Nazareth—in Luke chapter four. But first let’s consider our own preferences in church worship songs and sermons. What about singing? Not the melodies but the words. …

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Diverted Love

Let’s talk about modern idolatry. Not so much the Eastern varieties, but here in the West where we’re saturated with idols. They consume our time, thoughts, resources, and energy. But for the most part we’re clueless—unaware that they rule us. Call them our comfortable heart entanglements. So I don’t mean the sort of idols I …

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Too much of nothing

Over three decades ago, in 1985, Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death predicted a loss of faith among Western Christians. He saw that endless streams of visual entertainment were pushing God to the margins for millions. God, he realized, isn’t a video-screen entertainer, and most people prefer lively entertainment more than the weighty and …

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