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The Last Word

Jesus People

I recently heard a story about a church that was looking for a new pastor. The leaders of the church sat down with their regional minister and she asked them what they wanted in their new pastor. “Someone who can attract young families,” they all agreed. The regional minister asked, “What is it about your…

Preachers Gone Wild

Greetings from sunny Florida! Yesterday, it was nearly as warm in Iowa as it was in Daytona Beach. I’m guessing that won’t last for long! Today I’ll be seeing colleagues from all across the United States who are engaged in ministry very similar to ours at First Christian Church in Keokuk. For many years now,…

A Parable of the Incarnation

Soren Kierkegaard once wrote a parable about a prince who wanted to find a bride. One day while the prince was traveling through a local village, his eyes fell upon a beautiful peasant girl. He wanted desperately to meet her and possibly marry her, but he didn’t know how to go about it. He could…

Coming Soon!

When I was a kid, it seemed like Christmas would never arrive. Nowadays, as soon as the calendar flips to December, I feel the panic beginning to set in. Christmas is coming and there’s still lots to do! It’s like the story about the woman who was finishing up her Christmas to-do list when she…

Baby Jesus

When it comes to Christmas, I think a lot of folks are like Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights, the dim-witted racecar driver who always prays to the baby Jesus. When he bows in prayer with his family, he prays: “Lord Baby Jesus, watching your Baby Einstein videos, still learning your colors and shapes……

Christmas Decorations

I’ve always had mixed emotions around this time of year. I love Christmas lights and decorations, just as long as someone else is responsible for putting them up and taking them down. I’m not a huge fan of all that work, but I also understand that celebrating the incarnation of God in Jesus requires preparation…

Super Great!

Tammy and I have been invited to Common Grounds for their annual Thanksgiving celebration. I’ve got a couple of ideas for a devotion, but one thing I know I want to emphasize is that genuine thanksgiving is something that takes practice. It’s like the old joke about the conductor of the New York Symphony who…

The Maestro

In Ephesians 3:20, Paul writes: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” I love those words because they remind me of the amazing things God can do with ordinary people, like me. It reminds me of…

Look Around!

I’ve been loving the beautiful fall weather. I’m pretty sure it was on a sunny fall day like the ones we’ve been having lately that novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So, I spend almost all the daylight hours in the…

Children of the King

There’s a wonderful story about a king who was growing old and had no son to succeed him. So, a competition was held among all the young men of the land, until only three were left. The final competition was to be a footrace. The instructions were clear: when the referee shouted “Go!”, the runners…