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 Just weeks after the wedding last March, my new brother-in-law Larry was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent chemo and radiation throughout the remainder of 2009, and his docs told him there was no evidence of his cancer at the conclusion of his course of treatment.Just before Christmas, he contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized. Last week, they placed him on a ventilator. The couple remains committed to trusting their Savior no matter what happens, no matter what their location or … [Read more...]

Book review | Live Sent: You are a letter

Sometimes an overarching metaphor organizing a work of non-fiction can feel a little trite or forced. I admit that when I picked up Jason Dukes' Live Sent: You are a letter and skimmed the chapter titles, I predicted the book would be a lightweight approach to the subject of missional living. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Dukes, a pastor, presents a valuable and eminently practical exploration of what it means to be sent by God into the life to which God has called you. He challenges, encourages … [Read more...]

Book review: Who Owns The World?

Who Owns The World? The Surprising Truth About Every Piece of Land on The Planet is an encyclopedic accounting of land ownership on our globe. It is packed with fascinating facts: Did you know that Queen Elizabeth owns 1/6th of all the land on earth? Did you know that the largest private landowner in the U.S. is Ted Turner, who owns 1,800,000 acres of land? (Yes, all those zeroes belong in that number.) Have you ever heard of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a land area of 14,720 acres which … [Read more...]

I got the volunteer blues

I originally posted the basic content (below) during 2007 - and have tweaked it a bit for 2010. I love to volunteer to help, to serve, to minister, to use the gifts God has given me to bless others. You'll note that the word "volunteer" is a verb in this sentence.  I hate to be called a volunteer. Noun.  When I was on staff at a mid-sized evangelical church, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to fill slots on our org chart, especially in the children's ministry, … [Read more...]

I need Thee every hourMost gracious Lord;No tender voice like ThineCan peace afford. I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;every hour I need Thee....Please pray for health and safety for the beautiful people of Haiti - and for wisdom for those organizing rescue and relief (and eventually, rebuilding) operations in the country.And give what you can, to a charity or ministry you know is trustworthy. … [Read more...]

Come, Lord Jesus

A friend asked me if I wanted to join her at a night of corporate worship at a church a decade ago in a nearby town. My friend and I were "church nomads" at that point, and we both missed the dynamic of gathering with others to worship. Neither of us knew anyone at the church, and I think we both expected a couple of hours of singing. The end.As we walked into the church building, there was a palpable, nearly overwhelming sense of the nearness of God. This sense of simultaneous exposure and … [Read more...]

Strange place to plant a family tree

Open the Gospel of Luke, right there in chapter one and begin reading. The physician-scribe throws us right into the middle of the action first with the warm-up of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist and then the history-splitting incarnation of the Lord Jesus. Luke has penned a real page-turner!A hinge of sorts happens in chapter 3, as the cousins come together in the river. Jesus asks John to baptize him, and eternity invades finite space and time:"When all the people … [Read more...]