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How to Be the Best Gift Giver

By |December 22nd, 2013|

Are you exhausted yet? It’s the 22nd of December… And time is running out for last minute shopping. Come on now. Can you really say you gave it your all? Did you pull out all the stops to make sure everyone on your list got exactly the right gift?

Fear not, faithful Christmas warrior, because I’m here to tell you how to be the best gift giver ever.

I’ve done my fair share of scrambling. I’ve even procrastinated to the point where I didn’t have time to get a gift.

I’ve also been a great Santa, and spent way too much money on gifts, even though they were fabulous ones.

Stop for a moment. Think deeply with me.

What would Christmas be like without presents? What if Cyber Monday and Black Friday weren’t things? What if Christmas revolved around community and joy and forgiveness and selflessness?

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How to Make Your Spouse Fall in Love With You

By |December 14th, 2013|

I’m just gonna wing this.

I’ve done all the research I can stomach. I’ve been to every “fall in love again” website I can take, and read a hundred ways to “bring the romance back.”

Wouldn’t you love to have a sure-fire way to keep the fire smoking in your relationship? So would I. So I’ve looked long and hard at how to make your spouse fall in love with you, and I’ve discovered some compelling insights.

Almost every online resource I had time to look at is completely focused on romance, on physical intimacy, on sexual attraction. Holding hands, It was all based on emotionally passionate responses. They all offer “simple, practical steps to identifying and solving” the problems of marital dissatisfaction and relational distance and advice on “why he’s not romantic” or “why she doesn’t respond to you the same.”

In all candor, these small pieces of wisdom have their place. They’re functional, even practical. And yes, some of them work.

But there are deeper considerations; the word love can mean so many different things, and does. It’s the biggest gray area on the planet.

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Black and White

By |December 2nd, 2013|

The dude was sick for 38 years.

38 years.

Most of you reading this haven’t even lived that long, and if you have, it’s the better part of your life. As in somewhere from 50 to 90%

And Jesus healed him.

John 5 tells us the story. The guy was there for 38 years. Trying to get the pool that was known for the occasional stirring of its waters that would heal people.

Back up. Take it in. This man held on for thirty. Eight. Years.

Most of us give up on things after 5 minutes.

So he was there for a while, and people knew him. I’m sure the religious leaders knew him. After all, how many people are in the same place every day for 38 years? Do you notice the newspaper guy on the same corner each time you go to work or the store? Maybe he’s got a cane, or a limp… You know the guy.

So re’s recognizable. And he’s healed by Jesus, and of course Jesus does it by simply telling him to pick up his mat and walk.

He does as Jesus commands, and carries his mat into the city proper, and of course the Pharisees see him. Can you picture the scene? This man who everyone knows, suddenly doing something that an hour ago he literally couldn’t do, and then carries his belongings into town on top of it.

Everyone notices.

But there’s a problem. It’s the Sabbath, the day to stop, to rest. Rules were set in place so people would honor the day of rest after God’s 6 days of creation.

 

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