Tending the Fire

After dessert on Thanksgiving Day, the big kids and I went out to the (now vacant) goat pen to build a fire in the pit they dug. For my money, building a fire is the least expensive form of therapy. There is something inexplicably soothing, grounding, and time-suspending about staring

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ISIS and the End of the World

Terror has no logic. Satan is an anarchist whose kingdom is derivative, perverted, and unsustainable. This must temper our attempts and claims to understand terrorism. As the missionary who guided us through the gas chambers and incinerators of the Buchenwald concentration camp put it, “You cannot rationally explain pure evil.”

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The Dimensions of Divine Love

First it was the cooing. Then it was the tongue clicks. Then the grunts. Samuel’s communication has progressed these nine months, yet one thing has consistently accompanied them: eye contact. He needs the visual confirmation that he is connecting with me and I am responding. And when a smile breaks

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Courage for a Costly Discipleship

Recently our men’s group was discussing courage, as exemplified by Joshua, Caleb, and David. Many brothers shared stories from work or friendships where living by God’s promises rather than conforming to the lifestyles of their peers feels like swimming upstream. Then I steered the conversation in a different direction–“Do you

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Innovators of the Reformation

Following his wildly successful biography, Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson set out to write a different type of book. “One of the things we biographers realize is that we distort history a little bit,” Isaacson said in an NPR interview. “We make it sound like there’s some great individual in a

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“Reality” Trumped

Buried deep in one of my stor•a•way boxes of sermon cassette tapes is a talk Chuck Colson gave in 1990. He recounts a phone conversation with a law partner from his pre-Watergate, pre-conversion days who invited him to leave Christian ministry and return to practicing law. “We’d love to have

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A Past Worth Repeating

[Part 1 in the Revival and Reform series] Imagine an America where the church has almost no impact on the culture. Ivy League students–the leaders of tomorrow–are polled and those who profess faith in Christ are in the single digits. Nationwide, church attendance hovers between 5 and 10%. In the

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The Reset

When God ceased from his labor on day seven of creation, he created a category for how we approach work. “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy” (Genesis 2:3). He anointed a time in which his image bearers would cease from their labor to enjoy God and to

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A Field of Hope

There is something special about overcoming the odds that leaves a lasting impression on us. It inspires and gives hope that maybe the impossible is within our reach. We are encouraged to take on new challenges contrary to the overwhelming evidence that our endeavors will not succeed. Through it all

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A Dispatch from Sabbatical

From time to time I amuse myself by imagining what you imagine I am doing on Sabbatical–lounging by the lake, reading for hours on end, perhaps eating fried chicken and collard greens with men in overalls named Bubba. Whether you have wondered such things or not, let me give you

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