God’s New Year’s Resolutions
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God’s New Year’s Resolutions

Tonight, we say farewell to the troubles of 2016, we celebrate the joys of the past year, and we ponder mysteries of the new year to come. Above it, all ring the ever-revolving anthems of our “New Year’s Resolutions.” We cringe at the thought of failing at them before the end of January. We fantasize...

Mourn with those who mourn
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Mourn with those who mourn

The worst mass shooting in our country’s history has occurred. A community has been devastated. Worse, a group of people already marginalized in much of our society now likely fear for their safety even in public places. My heart hurts for what the victims and their families are going through. This is a time to...

I’m Obligated, and I’m Eager!
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I’m Obligated, and I’m Eager!

“I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome” (Rom. 1:14-15). I read this passage this morning, and it struck me as beautiful how Paul juxtaposes these two ideas. I’m obligated,...

Soured Plotlines
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Soured Plotlines

Four months of sub-human treatment in the enemy’s camp, and Bobby can’t believe his eyes. Hope forsook him long ago, and yet he’s now staring at his rescue in disbelief. The group of five infiltrated the camp, and they now stand ready to end his stint as a prisoner of war. An hour later, as...

Sneakers
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Sneakers

In the movie Sneakers (think 1992), a band of “criminals-gone-good” is coerced by secretive government agents into stealing a “black box.” Going to great lengths, they do indeed retrieve this box, only to discover what it actually is. This box can break any cryptography ever invented. With this device, previously incomprehensible gibberish comes to striking clarity. The...

Fantasize
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Fantasize

It came up in redemption groups recently that “behold” is a bit archaic. So, if I could swap it out with just one other word, that word would have to be “fantasize.” For many, that word is tainted to connote something sexual. But it simply means to daydream. It means to play a little movie...

Learning from sin
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Learning from sin

“Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off…” Mr. Miyagi makes poor “Danielsan” repeat the motion over and over and over again. Later, Mr. Miyagi suddenly starts to attack Daniel and tells him to block. Daniel thinks he has no idea how to block, but the motion of waxing is the same as blocking. Daniel quickly learns...

Inspiring Others
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Inspiring Others

After His well-known encounter with the Samaritan woman at a well, Jesus’s disciples offer Him some food. But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about. […] My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. (John 4:32-34) Do we...

Inspiration
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Inspiration

Love of family inspires many an addict to get clean. Protection of freedom inspires men and women to risk their lives for those they’ve never met. Longing for greatness inspires athletes to accomplish feats that seem impossible. Desire for control inspires people to keep their composure amid scenes so ugly as genocide. Inspiration comes in...

Detail
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Detail

Redemption is as easy as making your way from Kwakoegron, Suriname to Paramaribo. Got it? OK, good! That’s what counsel can sound like when we don’t go into detail. I have no idea where I am, where I’m going, or how to get there. What’s the first thing you did when you read that? You...