NEW BOOK: Esther, Queen of the Jews

I have published another FREE E-Book. This time it's a simple curriculum. I wrote it out of frustration that the book of Esther (which I love) was not taught very often in churches. It's a five week plan that brings you through a number of different angles. Feel free to use it! Let me know how it works for your context. I would love to hear about it. Have a blessed day!Download :EPUBKindlePDF … [Read more...]

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The Role of Tears in the Spiritual life: lessons from the Desert Fathers

One of the most interesting things that we as human beings do is to weep. From a purely scientific perspective tears are a lubricating fluid that pours across the cornea. They are created when the lacrimal gland is stimulated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine through the nicotinic and muscarinic receptors.[1] Although this tells us a bit about the physicality of tears it doesn’t tell us much about why we cry, and how it impacts us spiritually. Tears are a unique specimen of human behavior. T … [Read more...]

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LOVE WINS: a review

My beautiful and intelligent wife wrote a review of Love Wins by Rob Bell. I thought is was much better than any review I could write so I thought I would share it with you. Please let me know what you think of the book, and any of the reflections that are shared here. Thanks!-Billy KangasLOVE WINS: A Call to Participate in the Kingdom of HeavenBy Joan KangasThe book "Love Wins" is, in my view, intentionally controversial, but I think a very interesting read and even IMPORTANT read for opening … [Read more...]

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Living as a Peacemaker in a World at War

Having a Voice in a Violent WorldThe movie “Miss Congeniality” (2000) presents the story of Gracie Hart, a FBI agent who goes undercover as a contestant in a beauty pageant in order to protect the contestants from a threat of violence. After learning how to dress, walk and act the part, and after wooing the audience with her amazing “glass harp” playing skills, Gracie finds herself doing quite well in the competition. She then has to answer a few personal questions about who she is and what she v … [Read more...]

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Song: Calling

Here is one of my songs... It's a rough recording I did today. Let me know what you think. … [Read more...]

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What is RUTH doing in the BIBLE?

The book of Ruth finds it’s place in the Christian canon of scripture wedged into the Deutoronomic History (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings). It offers a break from the larger framework of Israel history and presents us with a charming story of one seemingly unimportant family in Bethlehem.Although few would argue that the book of Ruth is not a beautiful story, in the context of the many great things that happen in the Bible, many are left to question “why is such a simple nar … [Read more...]

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Why did God command such violence against the canaanite peoples?

One of the most common critiques of Christianity and Judaism is the חרם (ḥērem) that is given by God in Numbers 21:2, Joshua 7:12, Deuteronomy 7:2 and 1 Samuel 15:18. This is the instructions to wipe out many of the nations of Canaan, including all women and children. God even says that they are not allowed to take any wealth from the conquest for themselves. Why did THE LORD impose such a harsh penalty?It doesn’t seem to make sense. It’s hard to imagine Jesus Saying these words. We are left wond … [Read more...]

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How do you read the Histories in the Bible?

The Bible is a book that is filled with many kinds of literature. There are poems, philosophical works, stories of people, songs, visions, and many other genres. Amidst the cornucopia of scriptural records are many accounts that seek to inform people about events of the past. These books are often called the "historical books." Although these books have historically been authorities in understanding what has happened in the past, that assumption has been seriously challenged in the last … [Read more...]

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What is addiction?

The first question in the Heidelberg Catechism is: "What is thy only comfort in life and death?" The answer to this question, according to the catechism, is to "belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ."I know that there are many things in my life that give me comfort that are not inline with this idea. All the things that give me comfort outside of Christ point to places in my life that I may be struggling with an addiction.I believe that we are all addicts, because we … [Read more...]

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