President Trump’s Prayers

The grandeur and genius of American democracy is on full display every four years when the new president is sworn in, and I make it a point never to miss the pageantry that goes along with it.  It thrills me every time and makes me proud to be an American. This year, though, there was an additional piece that caught…

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The Power of Hope

Optimism hopes for the best without any guarantee of its arriving and is often no more than whistling in the dark. Christian hope, by contrast, is faith looking ahead to the fulfillment of the promises of God, as when the Anglican burial service inters the corpse ‘in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to…

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Praying with Holy Confidence

Mark Batterson is challenging me to pray like I’ve never prayed before, in his book, “The Circle Maker.” Here’s what he says about praying with confidence: “With God, it’s never an issue of of ‘Can he?’ It’s only a question of ‘Will he?’ And while you don’t always know if he will, you know that…

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Six Steps to Improving Your Prayer Life Right Away

As a pastor I know first-hand how people talk more about prayer than actually praying. The act of praying takes energy and intentionality. It’s hard and you have to learn how to do it. Many of us prefer instead to discuss it–prayer’s importance, the way we should pray, how people don’t pray enough, how prayer…

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God and Time

Pam and I arrived in Tokyo yesterday morning after a marathon series of flights from Columbia. It was quite a journey, taking us west to Houston then on to Los Angeles. After wandering through the endless hallways, elevators, moving sidewalks and shuttle routes of the LAX International Airport we miraculously found our seats on our…

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Five Steps to Starting a New Worship Service

I believe in multiple worship services. At our church, we now have five Sunday worship services. Four are on Sunday morning and include two large services in our Worship Center, with a blended style utilizing a large choir and orchestra. The two in our fellowship hall are contemporary, praise-band driven with one of those including…

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Prayer, Healing and Our Miracle-Working God

Before Christmas I developed a voice problem. I noticed my voice growing weaker over the course of several Sundays, a trend that grew so bad that I finally sought out a specialist. He took a look at my vocal cords and immediately saw my trouble. I had a nodule—a callous—on one of my cords, caused…

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New Year's Resolutions, Tightropes and Prayer

Making New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored road to self-improvement. Right now, the local gyms are full of people determined to lose 25 pounds before summer. The schools are full of students ready to get better grades this semester. Families are trying to get their finances in order. Churches see their highest attendance of the…

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Praying Your Kids Through Christmas

My daughter Katie married a Navy pilot last January and the first thing he did was to get himself transferred to Japan for three years. It made me think about withdrawing my blessing on the marriage to begin with, but I love the guy so I had to roll with his plans. This in-law gig…

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Suffering, Disability and the Will of God

We had Thanksgiving with my wife’s family, in the upper part of the state. A great time as usual, filled with relatives we don’t get to see often and lots of catching up. Also loads of food. I’m still recovering. My wife’s father suffered an accident two years ago—at the age of 74—that left him…

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