Escape from the Wasteland

"Some wandered in desert wastelands,     . . . hungry and thirsty,     and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord . . .     and he delivered them . . .  Let them give thanks to the Lord  . . .  for he satisfies the thirsty     and fills the hungry with…

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Story-Stingy No More!

"Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—     those he redeemed from the hand of the foe" (Psalm 107:2). Facebook overflows with national headlines about politics and tragedies. Celebrity quotes buzz from Twitter as if it were a beaten wasp nest. Instagram, Periscope, and Pinterest offer the newest trends and…

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Hope and Imagination

"Suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3-5). Magical characters reach from movie screens and beckon me into their world. Theme…

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An Inclusive Father’s Day

Cakes, red meat, and fresh neckties fly off the shelves this week. I'm grateful for the ease with which I could choose a card for my wonderful dad. But many struggle with this weekend's holiday. I heard a comedian wish aloud for a card without overstated accolades, reading something like, "Well,…

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Gospel in Nature

"The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God" (Psalm 19:1-2). Tender grass bursts from the earth. Glimmering beetles scurry up to lily pinnacles and raise their antennae. My favorite gnarled oak ascends from a velvety…

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Crucial Prayer

"Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you will not fall into temptation.' He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,  'Father, if you are willing, take this cup…

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Crucial Prayer

"Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, 'Pray that you will not fall into temptation.' He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,  'Father, if you are willing, take this cup…

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Royal Status of a Child

"children running and shouting through the Temple, 'Hosanna to David’s Son!' . . . Jesus said, 'Yes, I hear them. And haven’t you read in God’s Word, ‘From the mouths of children and babies I’ll furnish a place of praise’?'” (Matthew 21:15-16). Easter dawned on the horizon as Christ marched through formidable gates to…

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Hold on to your Hat!

"Therefore put on the full armor of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. . . . Take the helmet of salvation" (Ephesians 6:13,17). I enjoy a solitary day at the mall, unless I'm searching for…

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Precious Distraction

The sanctuary's music and message fade the instant I see one. They snatch my attention from intimate conversations. Even the deepest gloom cannot hold my focus while these remain in view. The immediate and thorough captivation brings me no guilt. I'm convinced God designed infants to draw our attention. Though many ancient cultures…

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