The Eyes Have It

How would you rate your five senses in terms of the lasting impression they have on you? I can remember the first time I tasted Peking Duck, but I can’t actually taste it without eating it again. I can remember the first time I heard Handel’s “Zadok the Priest,” but I can’t actually hear it […]

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Gardening Season

I really have a way with plants—a knack for turning them brown. So this note isn’t full of tips about tulips, or pointers for primping your petunias. But it is about gardens. As I spend time mulling over the biblical texts of Easter, I’m struck by the contrast between two garden trials. The first, through […]

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A Valid Life

I had a long conversation recently with a man I had just met, and he had a theory about human nature. He asked me if I knew what the basic requirements of life were, and of course we soon agreed on the traditional list of water, food and shelter. “Ah, but!” says he, with a […]

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There’s More to Church than Meets the Eye

“Why do we do it?” I think it’s one of the most obvious questions people should ask about church. I am surprised that more visitors don’t ask it. If a newcomer came to your church and asked you that question, what would you say? Because it makes me feel better inside? Because it’s what we […]

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The Value of Good Counsel

Holding my speed, two miles per hour is appropriate for passing a moored boat. Doing everything right as far as I can tell. The bridge ahead is flanked by trees and the shade of the evening light casts darkness beyond the bridge’s far side, but I can see well enough to know there are no […]

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It’s All a Matter of Reputation

Eli! Eli! Lama Sabachthani? When Jesus called out from the Cross, some standing there thought He was calling for Elijah. They misunderstood – He was actually quoting what King David had written a thousand years beforehand. Matthew and Mark both explain that the Lord was actually citing the opening lines of Psalm 22. The fact […]

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What Do We Tell the Children?

How do we explain to children that Christmas signifies God drawing near to His people? By example is a great place to start. Young children in particular don’t work so well with ideas in abstract form. They take things very literally. Much better to show them from things they already know. Get down on the […]

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Surrounded by Our Gods

When the Apostle Paul arrived in Athens he caught the attention of the local brain trust. As was his habit, on arriving he sought out the synagogue to proclaim first to the Jews that their Messiah had come, died, and defeated death itself. But his spirit was troubled in that great city (Acts 17:16). When […]

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Of Prophets and Angels

Has it ever crossed your mind that Isaiah—often called the “Prince of the Prophets”—would have wanted to trade places with you? Think about that for a moment. Isaiah lived in Jerusalem and had ready access to the kings of his day: some great, like Hezekiah, some not so great, like his predecessor, Ahaz. Isaiah had […]

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Playing with the Box

It’s been a while now, but I can still remember the worst Christmas present I ever gave my wife. What was I thinking? Idiot! So don’t worry, this isn’t going to be one of those pieces about finding that perfect gift for the one you love. If you had been there on that fateful morning, […]

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