“Anthro…what?”

Last week I used some ordinary jargon in a conversation: “Churches seem more anthropocentric than ever.” My friend was puzzled, “anthro…what?” “Sorry,” I said, “they seem more human-focused and less God-centered—‘theocentric.’” Why the jargon? Using obscure terms when normal speech works is a bad habit. And that, in turn, can fog a conversation. If, for …

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The Liar

James Warren, after the recent US election, cited President Obama as saying, “Trump understands the new ecosystem, in which facts and truth don’t matter.” In the same week we learned that a widely circulated Facebook news item—about Pope Francis endorsing Trump for president—was a bold lie. And, elsewhere, news is now out that the Volkswagen …

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Active Listening

We all enjoy talking to an active listener. As in the Bible, “The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Prov. 20:5). Yet they’re hard to find! Think of a time when you read a book that captured you—an insightful story that stirred you …

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In a Relationship

A few years ago I was curious about social networking. How does it work and what does it offer? So I joined Facebook. In the profile page I gave my actual age and social status—I’m an aging single guy. Oh my, was that an awakening! From the start my FB page featured photos of young …

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Today in History

Just one year from today, on October 31, 2017, we’ll celebrate the fifth century anniversary of Martin Luther’s publication in Wittenberg of 95 Theses—his 1517 protests against a church scheme to offer God’s grace in exchange for money. Is there some way I can get to Germany for the occasion? I doubt it, but stay …

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Effective Ambitions

Isaiah asked, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?” (Is. 55:2) His question is still lively today. How many of us spend time chasing ambitions that neither nourish nor satisfy? If, at the end of the day, we ask “So what?” …

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Night Vision

A while ago I attended an Air Force open house where a team of PJs—rescue specialists—showed off their wares. As part of the event I wore a night-vision device in a dark—virtually black—room. It was amazing: I could see everything! The goggles offer a nice analogy for life. Let me explain. At times life can …

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Walking with God

This morning I had a rich experience. I enjoyed a walk with God. Can I tell you about it? But first a “truth in writing” warning: you may be disappointed by my claim. The walk—what God offers me every morning—can be seen as an ordinary “quiet time.” But it’s much more than that. It’s an …

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Dropping words

This morning the verse jumped off the page once again: “And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Sam. 3:19). Every time I reach this part of the Bible I know it’s coming. Here’s the problem: my words keep hitting the ground. Sometimes …

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