New Conversions or Changed Lives?

This article is Part II. Part I of this article appears here.

Someone once said of William Penn's conversion: "Conversion must not be considered simply as a change of opinion. It penetrated his moral nature: it made him a new man. He was raised into another sphere and consciousness."

I've been thinking about the way that some of us evangelicals report ...

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Celebrating Milestones of Faith

In Life Verses: The Bible's Impact on Famous Lives, Volume 2, by F. W. Boreham, the author tells the spiritual journey of William Penn, Quaker, Philanthropist, and founder of Pennsylvania. Son of Admiral William Penn, the younger William was a contemporary of the Puritans. Milton was putting finishing touches to Paradise Lost, and John Bunyan was writing Pilgrims' ...

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The Gift of Worship

Early in our marriage I gave my wife a terrific anniversary gift: a rain gauge. At least I thought it was a great gift. Susan, after all, is a farmer's daughter and keeps close watch on the weather. I envisioned her delight and nostalgia while tracking our backyard precipitation. I congratulated myself on my creativity.

Guess what? Susan was not impressed: "A ...

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Wise Living, Online

I am not a particularly jealous person. But in recent months, feelings of envy well up in me regularly whenever I do one thing: browse the photo website of an old friend who lives, with her husband and daughter, across the country. Her husband is a fabulous photographer and cleverly captions the pictures of their adorable one-year old.

The odd part is that I'm not ...

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Leading Your Leaders

As a leader, it's easy to understand and embrace your responsibility for those entrusted to your leadership. But how often do you think about your responsibility to lead your leaders? Try these 10 strategies for exercising your leadership skills in relationship to those who lead you.

1. Pray for them. This is pretty self-explanatory. Everyone needs prayer, and people ...

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Disappointed Women, Angry Men

After our church council made the recent decision not to hold the door open for the women to become elders and deacons (see "Let Men Get the Door" for my first post on this topic), my friend Anne suggested the main reason was because "it is easier to deal with disappointed women than angry men."

While this may seem harsh to say about the decision-making ...

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Comfort in a Time of Despair

My wife and I read Psalm 74 last night. It was a strange choice - a break from Advent passages about anticipating Christ's coming. One particular phrase lodged itself in our minds: "Have regard for your covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence."

Our minds went first to Rwanda, a country that lives in the shadow of a genocide ...

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A More Soulful Religion

In his best-selling book, Care of the Soul, Thomas Moore describes the soul as that which makes us human. "Soul," he writes, "is revealed in attachment, love, and community, as well as in retreat on behalf of inner communing and intimacy?. Tradition teaches that soul is in the middle (between the material and the spiritual) holding together mind and body, ...

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Born to Follow?

At a very early age I came to understand that as a female, I was born to follow. "Men lead. Women follow." That's what I was taught. It didn't matter that I was the pastor's daughter, even though PK's are often leader-types. My three brothers each took a turn as president of the youth group at church. Not me. I knew my place. Girls aren't supposed ...

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Food For Thought

Stillness offers me the distinct beauty of hearing God whisper my name, as only he can do it. The words quiet, alone, and undistracted do not describe the vast majority of my waking hours. It is in this mixture, however, that God often makes himself known. God shouts to us through the glories of his creation, but when calling our name, he speaks with a quiet voice.

Living ...

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