Sam

Sharing Our Victories or Our Struggles?

Sharing Our Victories or Our Struggles?

Many years ago, I met with a Christian leader who had influenced me in my youth. As we talked, he offered to give me input on a recent sermon series I had preached. A month later, he shared a few positive comments, and then he added this critique: “I think you share your weaknesses too much. People need to hear our victories more than our struggles.”   I think he is mistaken. The...

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Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

My parents moved from Detroit to Philadelphia in September 1975. I started university the same month, and I paid my tuition, room, and board by continuing my high school janitor job in Detroit, about a half-hour drive from Ann Arbor.   That October—forty-two years ago this month—I drove my white, 1967 VW Beetle to visit my parents in their new house for the weekend. It was a...

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Call Me Ishmael

Call Me Ishmael

I need to sacrifice something to God, and I don’t want to. After months of trying to sell our house, we signed the closing documents a few weeks ago. My wife and I have painstakingly pursued our hunt for a new home. For me, it’s been more of a frantic, obsessive, compulsive quest. We’ve exhaustively examined hundreds of homes, but only one fit our unique criteria for layout and...

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Bringing God Our Emptiness

Bringing God Our Emptiness

My leadership at my church feels fruitless and my last few sermons stank; in the first 34 weeks of this year, I published only 25 “weekly” articles; and all my service to a partner charity feels last minute, like I’m doing everything in the nick of time.   Recently, I spend less time with my wife than I want; my brother (who lives in Australia) is visiting for two months and I’ve...

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Self-Deception

Self-Deception

I once visited an executive at a Christian publishing house. He wondered aloud how he should counsel an employee of his who was pregnant out of wedlock.   While he was “wondering,” the woman herself burst into his office in tears. She had shared her situation in confidence with the executive, and then she discovered he had asked several people for their “wisdom” in counseling her...

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