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Putting on Love

My mouse hesitated over the post button on a political cartoon, thinking "This is mostly true...but is it worth sharing?"  "Is it going to ruin a chance to introduce someone to Jesus? ... Maybe." "Arghh. It's not worth it." Whether I like it or not, my actions represent Jesus, on and offline. The quest to love is like how Galadriel describes the Fellowship's mission in The Fellowship of the Ring : “The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail…” Love can be a delicate operation to say the least. The New Testament equips us with effective ways to overcome the passions that corrupt our love for neighbor though. Love is not just a feeling. Love is an action which we are called to step into by faith. Love doesn't make worldly sense. It makes us look bizarre and foolish by the world's ideals. Love doesn't always make is a great entertainer; it does make us the ideal neighbor and, even more, a faithful followe
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7 Eternal Truths from the Presidential Debate (+ a little commentary)

The Trump-Biden debate tonight was indeed "a hot mess inside a dumpster fire in a train wreck." Joe Biden was more respectful and dignified. I am dispirited that Trump is the figurehead of conservative(ish) politics. He used multiple segments to solely attack Biden instead of casting a vision for what could be his next term. Biden did this a little, but overall spoke to the listeners much more effectively. The thought of offering full support for either leaves a bad taste in my mouth. One's policies distress me and the other's character repulses me. My goal is to dwell on these eternal truths instead of tonight's brouhaha: Politics should be a pursuit to "love our neighbor." (Mark 12:31) My calling is to first share Jesus with people and not be a pundit. (1st Peter 2:9) My final hope does not, indeed CANNOT, lie in politics. (Psalm 146:3, John 18:36) My first citizenship is in heaven with Christ. (Philippians 3:20) Wicked politicians are a burden to thei

Ct Studd: Only one life, twill soon be past

Photo Credit: Missionary Portal Yesterday I closed with a Poem by C.T. Studd (1860-1931). He was a well-known Cricket player in England who turned to missions. He is remembered as one of the famous "Cambridge Seven" who responded to a call to missions from the encouragement of Hudson Taylor. Studd served in China, India, and Africa before his death. Here is his poem again: Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way; Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart; Only one life, ’twill soon be past,  Only what’s done for Christ will last.   Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done; Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat; Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.   Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave; Only one life, ’

Resources on Teen Anxiety and Depression

  While reading these two books, I had numerous flashbacks of burdens shared by parents and youth. I was even reminded of my own teenage struggles. Even better though are David's solutions; His writing is relatable, biblical, and practical. I wish I read this book as a youth. He clears away the mystery of teen anxiety and depression in bite-sized chapters, only 5-6 pages each. These books hit a sweet spot for a stressed, anxious, and depressed generation of teens. They are written by Bible Teacher and Counselor, David Murray, to help parents and teens face these problems head-on. Each chapter tells a story of a struggling youth who found help in God's word to navigate through their issues.  I especially connected with chapter four, "Imaginative Imogen." David discussed how our minds are like a movie theater, constantly playing a movie, and some teens endlessly replay movies of past trauma, horrific hypothetical situations, or graphic images so that anxiety and guilt t

Hate in Quarantine

I am concerned that some of our hearts have grown "a few sizes too small" in isolation. Quarantine brought benefits for homebodies, but also a litany of temptations to harbor hate and let love for Jesus and neighbor deflate. Remember when Jim Carey as The Grinch thumbed through his Whoville phonebook with these words: "hate, hate, hate, double hate...LOATH ENTIRELY!”? This scene kills me and has taken a life of its own as a joke on my side of the family.                              The Grinch, isolated with his own insane thoughts and his dog Max, holds a longstanding grudge against the people of Whoville. The plot takes off when the sweet Cindy Lou Who invites the Grinch into the community for celebration and appreciation. Her initial attempt fails, but eventually the Grinch's heart grows with love for the townspeople. The Grinch's hate is funny because it is flamboyant, kooky, and fictional. Our hate rarely resembles his, but that doesn't mean we are free

Isolated & Afraid: Quarantine's Trap of Worry

Did you know that Satan is an ambulance chaser? A good one, too.  This doesn't mean Satan drives closely so he can get through red lights; an "Ambulance chaser" is slang for lawyers who pick up clients in emergency rooms.  It is considered unethical because the hospitalized are easy to take advantage of. Satan pulls this off quite a bit; He eagerly awaits weak prey.  Today, some of us are in ambulances with spiritual ailments:  our society-wide isolation from  friends, mentors, and Christian leaders have given Satan fleets of ambulances to chase. Sadly, he isn't chasing some of us because he already caught us.  Three age-old traps Satan has laid for us are fear, hate, and apathy. We may fit right in with the world when we adopt these, but they undermine something precious and life-giving: love for God and love for others.  Can I ask, is fear coloring the way you live recently? Fear is hard to describe, but we all know its effects: a knotted gut, a swe

Piper's 7 Lessons in Productivity

I listened to an APJ episode recently called " Seven Lessons in Productivity " and loved it. I was challenged and encouraged to embrace the tiniest moments to create, love, and serve. I thought I would distill the advice for my sake and pass it along. The 20 minute podcast is worth your time, but below is my summary: 1. No man is an island.  Productive people have others help them. Who is my team?  "The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 1 Corinthians 12:21 " What do you have that you did not receive?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 2. Know why you exist and why you do what you do. God created us a secondary creators and makers. 3. Discover and embrace the difference between sloth/lazyness and rest/leisure. The sabbath may be gone, but the sabbath principal is not. 4.If we are going to work abundantly and faithfully, we must not be paralyzed by perfection. God