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7 Reasons to Trust God in Times of Stress

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When life gets messy, it’s natural for us to get stressed. Or angry. Or bitter. Especially when life takes a turn we didn’t expect – a broken engagement, the loss of a spouse, the diagnosis of cancer, the death of a dream. Sometimes it’s even the day-to-day frustrations that make us feel we’re in a […]

Resurrection Day In The Muslim World

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  I was a pastor for 20 years before God called me to launch into missions in the volatile Muslim world. It was three months before September 11, 2001, and if I’d known what was coming, I might’ve asked God to send me to South America instead. You can imagine the flak that my wife […]

Encouraging Authentic Prayer

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Though it’s been the better part of eighteen years, I can still recall vividly the day I received a phone call at work from the secretary at the church my wife and I had recently joined. As much as I was confused at how she knew the phone number she had reached me at (this […]

Perception And Our Behavior

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“The picture I have of prayer is like Luke 15 and the prodigal son story, where the father ran to him and embraced him; I see prayer more as a hug than a kneeling appeal.” Judah Smith in The One: Experience Jesus. This excerpt from the interview we did with Pastor Judah really hit home […]

Stop Throwing Hail Marys

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The American church is having a bit of an identity crisis. People want to be entertained, and they have a long list of expected religious goods and services. Pastors can find themselves caught up in having to create “cool plays” or throwing Hail Mary’s, hoping for the best — only to receive Monday-morning emails on […]

When Church Responsibilities Distract From The Word

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Recently I looked at a job description list for a local pastor. As anyone would expect to find on such a list, I read things such as: “plan preaching schedule”; “deliver gospel-centered sermons”; “lead weekly staff meeting”; and “perform weddings and funerals.” But knowing well the pastor who was currently in this position, I also […]

From Inherited to Adopted Beliefs

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“We d.i.v.e. deeper into God’s Word so He can dive deeper into us.” I’m a church girl, a preacher’s kid. I grew up in the church, knowing all the things about the church—the lingo, the rules, and the traditions—and my head was spilling over with Jeopardy knowledge. I carried my burgundy NIV to church every […]

The Absolute Gospel In Our Non-Absolute Culture

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“If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.” “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” This wretched exchange of dialogue between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi is only a small part of the disaster that Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith brought to the childhood favorite saga of tens of millions. Unfortunately, though, […]