The Blessing Of Missing Christmas

When I was a kid, I knew Christmas as the otherDecember celebration. I spent most of my secular Jewish childhood in a heavily Jewish Chicago suburb. Of course, there were still the Christmas commercials, Christmas specials, and Christmas songs at school, but our family celebrated Hanukkah. Our eight-night “Jewish Christmas” had its own miraculousbackstory. My Gentile classmates had only one day of presents to anticipate during December. I felt pretty lucky to have eight nights of gifts (even if, … [Read more...]

Review: Strange Fire, Holy Fire

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I wish I could give a copy of Michael J. Klassen's Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of Your Charismatic Experience (Bethany House Publishers, 2009) to every person I've ever met in the various Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Third Wave/Vineyard congregations of which we've been a part. Whether they're still a part of one of these congregations, have jumped to a different stream within the Church, or have chosen to hang out the "Done" sign on any formal church involvement, … [Read more...]

Giving Thanks From The Valley Of The Shadow

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If you have suffered a loss or have a fractured family, holidays like Thanksgiving can be more endurance test than blessing. Memories of happier times in the past and the nagging sense that most everyone you know and all those people you don't know but with whom you're connected on social media are experiencing #blissed #blessed #family #togetherness on the holiday. A few years ago in this piece for the Christianity Today Her.meneutics blog, I talked about the effect social media was having on t … [Read more...]

Making Space To Grieve 11/13

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Pope Francis stated we may already be in a "piecemeal World War III" after last Friday's synchronized attacks in Paris. Certainly, ISIS and its spiritual confederates have declared war on all infidels in their sights - their own neighbors, both Muslim and not, as well as the the entire West. One commentator after another has emphasized that there's no foolproof way to prevent these attacks - not when a person is willing to strap on a suicide vest for the Cause.As initial shock and awe over … [Read more...]

Regret and Re-Formation

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I've been blogging for almost ten years, and I've shared pieces of my own good, bad (and occasionally excruciating) experiences with the church. I've wrestled with God over these experiences, and continue to journey on with him with a limp. One of the most gratifying things about writing online is I hear from fellow wrestlers. Some continue to gimp with Jesus as I do. Others have chosen to run in the opposite direction. I recently heard from someone who fled the fundamentalism of his childhood. … [Read more...]

Socialization and Peer Pressure Among Home School Families

Thoughtful interviewer Martha Manikas-Foster posted the interviews she did with author and Liberty University professor Dr. Karen Swallow Prior and me about homeschooling pressures and pitfalls. A short version aired on Family Life Radio's "Inside Out" today. Click here for links to both interviews.Because a few listeners may find their way here, I'm reposting a piece I wrote about the subject for Christianity Today's Her.meneutics blog. Though most home school parents have to answer the … [Read more...]

Old Testament Foundations And Hebrew Roots

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I wish more Christians would take an interest in learning the Jewish foundations of their faith. Too many of my Christian brothers and sisters wave off the Old Testament except for a few stories from Genesis and Exodus, the book of Psalms, and, recently among some streams in the church, some out-of-context texts about blood moons. The default setting for many believers is "Now that Jesus came, we don't need to worry about the Law anymore." For some, "the Law" translates to "Pretty much the … [Read more...]


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