February 2008

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Overwhelmed

Imagine you're Jesus on the ministry circuit, age 32. Where will you sleep tonight? What will you eat? Where along the way can you replace your threadbare tunic? What town should you and your crew hit next week, once you're ready to move on from your current locale? And beyond that, since you know your time is coming soon? What is the end going to look like? Will ...

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The Women Out There

Quick confession: I google myself fairly frequently. I didn't really do this - much - until last summer, when a friend emailed to let me know she had googled me and found that I popped up as an acrostic on some random man's website. That got me wondering what else was out there.

In addition to all the usual suspects - links to the articles I've written, my ...

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Food for Thought - Feb 25 2008

Should crusaders strive to "stay angry"? It's a bad idea. Someone once said that staying angry is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. If your cause is just, you would still find the energy to fight for it even without anger. You just wouldn't be self-righteous about it. The worst effect of self-righteous anger is the inner damage. ...

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Should Churches Differentiate?

As a show of solidarity with my seven-year-old daughter, I recently reread the classic Little House on the Prairie books and Anne of Green Gables. One phenomenon I noticed this time around (probably because I'm in the habit of thinking about church leadership) was that the books' good, churchgoing characters didn't have to choose between churches of various ...

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Food for Thought - Feb 18 2008

When I tell people I'm a recovering alcoholic, I get a variety of responses. Some say, "Good for you!" Others say, "I always knew there was something weird about you." Some Christians say, "Isn't God capable of curing you? Why do you have to label yourself so negatively?"

My answers are simple. I'm neither hero nor victim. I don't ...

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Too Busy to Wave?

There is a person in our neighborhood that defies and therefore defines our hustle-bustle culture. He is seen during my normal driving route that takes my son to and from school.

I call him Waving Man.

He is a tall man in his late 30s. Judging by the expression that is always on his face, he was born with an IQ that falls short of society's acceptable standards. ...

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Group Solitude

Macrina Weidekehr, in her book The Song of the Seed, tells of when she was young how she used to enjoy sending coded messages to her friends by typing letters without using the space bar. Without the spaces the words were hard to decipher. The spaces were needed to make sense of the message. She makes the comparison that the same is true in our lives, "It's the ...

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A Deeper Spiritual Issue

My name's Marshall, and I'm a male and I enjoy reading the "GFL" e-newsletter. (I feel like everybody in the room just said in unison, "Hi Marshall.")

No, this isn't an AA meeting. But yes, it's sort of a check-in. Sort of a confession. Sort of just who I am - a voracious reader, a colleague of the people who write GFL, and the husband ...

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Food for Thought - Feb 11 2008

A look at current social trends bears out the experience of churches: today's women are complex. Studying these trends also provides information that can help churches design effective women's ministries.

Consider just two trends that affect most church ministries:

1.Women working outside the home. Because women working outside the home have less time to participate, ...

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Prodigal in the House

Have you ever tried to wake up from a nightmare only to find that you were awake? That's how I felt when our "perfect" daughter became a strong-willed, rebellious teen. The transition seemed as quick as switching TV channels. It caught us totally unprepared.

Although we made many mistakes during our five-year ordeal, we learned a lot. As a pastor's family, ...

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