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Profoundly Grateful

One of the things I enjoy most is listening to Bible preaching on my iPod. Anyone who knows me for more than 5 minutes will get a sales pitch on a) why they should own an iPod and b) why they should be into podcasting. There is such a wealth of rich Bible preaching available today that there is no excuse why anyone to not understand and learn and know the Word of God. But enough of that. This morning, both on the way to playing basketball with the guys at Faith Church and on the way into the office,…

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Snow Day

Ahh, the best laid plans of men. We had a terrific Sunday planned yesterday, with a focus on one of our missionaries, Linda Johnson in Brazil, and special number by our kids and other really important things. But God had other plans. The huge snow day left most people stranded at home. But for those who came, we had a wonderful time, about 20 of us hardy folks showed up. Even one lady whose car had gotten stuck in a ditch. You can look at the snow in two ways. You can be like me and see it as a…

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God of the Random Things

    In my personal devotional time I’ve just begun a study by Henry Blackaby called, Called and Accountable. This week I’m studying thru the book of Esther. Today I was in chapter 3 where Haaman, angered by the refusal of Mordecai to bow down to him, hatches his secret plot to exterminate the Jewish people. Foolish thing to do, considering that God famously said that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those that curse Israel will be cursed. Also foolish considering God promised that Israel would always remain a people and a nation. But you knew that…

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Things They Don’t Tell You About Child-Raising

    Here are things they generally don’t share with you as you contemplate having children. They are things you can only discover after your children are alive and kicking: You may have a child who has such a creative mind that she gets up frightened at 4am because of the spiders she thinks are crawling all over her. Grace literally screamed last night and was pounding her bed at the "spiders." Love the creativity, but don’t always love the time in which she displays that creativity! You may have a child, who in the middle of your potluck at…

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Some Thoughts on the Economic Meltdown

So, here we are in the midst of an economic meltdown. Depending on which overheated news anchor you watch, this meltdown is either catastropic, epic, and/or the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Either way, times are really tough right now. But what is so interesting is how the media and our culture is spinning the causes of the meltdown. In random order, here are the various alleged culprits: George Bush. Why not? He caused everything from Hurricanes to wars to global warming to famine in third-world countries. Why not blame Bush, its just easier that way. Greedy Wall Street…

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Play-Doh Wisdom

On Mondays at the Darling house, we try to "go dark." This just means that I have a day off and we try to spend time with the kids. Doesn’t always work because there are pressing needs at the church or a conference or meeting I have to attend. Pastoring is 24/7, I believe, so my cell phone is always on. But generally, we try to go dark on Mondays. Which is hard for me to do, because I really love church work. Sometimes too much. This Monday Grace and I opened up the play-doh. Our family has an interesting…

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Quotes on Who Jesus Is

I’m ready for my Sunday Sermon on John 5:17-24. Here are some quotes I’m using: I love this famous C.S. Lewis quote from Mere Christianity: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the…

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Fired Up For Sunday

As I write this, I’m in the throes of Sunday’s message in John 5. This is the third of probably 5 sermons in this chapter. This week we come face to face with Jesus Christ’s bold claims. The fact is this: you can’t look at Jesus and be neutral. A theology that says Jesus is a good man, a nice teacher, but not Almighty God is not logical. Because Jesus didn’t allow you that option. He was the most polarizing figure in the history of the world. You either embrace Him and give your life for him as the disciples…

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Let’s Remember That We Are Christians

Over the last few days I’ve received a plethora of emails and forwarded emails about President Obama and his policies. They are from friends who are rightly concerned with the direction our country is taking. Like many Christians, I’m concerned about his policies. I’m troubled by the excessive spending and what it means for future generations. I’m appalled by abortion policies that degenerate God-given life. I’m troubled by a seeming indifference to Biblical values. But here is the big, "however." However, we as Christians must think and live and act as Christ would have us act. What does this look…

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Hang on a Second, Whoopi

Somehow I got suckered into viewing a small video clip of "The View," that famous forum for conversations centered around Biblical truth. I’m kidding. These women were discussing religion. Apparently the Vatican has released a list of new sins. Whoopi Goldberg started out by saying, "How can the Vatican decided what is a sin? How can there be new sins?" I agree. Sins are defined by what God has said and spoken on in His Word–the Bible whose truth has stood the test of time. But, then Whoopi really went off the reservation. She said this (and I’m really paraphrasing…

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Darwin and Lincoln and Faith

Today the world is celebrating two giants of history: Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. There have been many great commentaries on both men. I’ll start with Darwin. If you want a convenient excuse to ignore the truth claims of Jesus and render the Bible as nothing more significant and factual than The Canterbury Tales, then today you’re toasting Darwin. His legacy is that he has convinced millions down thru history to reject Genesis 1:1 and reject the authority of the Bible. But here is the rub. If God is wrong, then no big deal. Christians are as doomed and hopeless…

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Wrestling With the Text

I can’t believe how much I love preaching. I alwasy knew I wanted to be a pastor and I always enjoyed the few times I had to preach, but the opportunity and privelege it is to stand in front of God’s people and preach God’s Word–there is an unexplainable exhiliration and rush. Now I know why my retired pastor friends will do anything to get back into the pulpit. I understand now. That being said, preaching is really a lot of work. I didn’t understand this until I became a preacher. I feel bad now, having grown up under tremendously…

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Gifted Hands

One of my dearest friends is a man named Cecil Murphey. He has authored hundreds of Christian books, but until recently, was not really well known, because he has been a ghostwriter. I don’t know if anyone is more talented than Cec at telling someone else’s story. He has helped some of the world’s biggest celebrities write their autobiographies. One of those great stories is that of Dr. Ben Carson, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at John’s Hopkins University. Dr. Carson is one of the world’s most celebrated doctors. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has received…

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