Sam

He Loves Me … He Loves Me Not

A friend of mine used to begin every prayer: “Father, I love you.” When I first heard him, I thought it was cool. After a couple years, something began to seem strange. I liked that he loved God, but his inflexible, unwavering, rigid preface to every prayer felt weird. I wanted to ask him why he started prayer with those exact words, but he was also an irritable person. If...

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Don’t Believe Your Own Headlines

In ninth grade, my brother Andy’s locker partner (the school drug supplier) had a bad trip on LSD. The bad trip continued in a small series of scary flashbacks, and Kevin asked Andy if God had anything to say about it. My brother had just had a Sunday school lesson about the Four Spiritual Laws. He even had a copy of the tract. Together Andy and Kevin read the pamphlet, and Kevin prayed...

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What About That GTO?

When I grew up in Detroit, the population was over 1,200,000 people. I spent the next forty years living in Ann Arbor, population of about 120,000. Last summer, my wife and I moved to Brooklyn MI, population 1,188. Which is 25% smaller than my high school graduating class. A few weeks ago we ordered takeout from Harold’s Place, a restaurant near our house. As I sat at the bar waiting...

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Should Christians Fear Thinking?

Four years ago, I met with a pastor who talked about problems in his church. I asked him what he thought he should do. He said, “Watch it! ‘Thinking’ puts you into the devil’s territory.” (He really said that; I kid you not.) His answer hinted at one of his church’s problems. I figured he was an anomaly, like when you phone Comcast, and a real person answers the phone. But a...

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Trusting Doubt

My friend was recently fired from a job when he was blamed him for a mistake the boss had made. He said to me, “All is good.” The next week his wife totaled one of their two cars. My friend said, “I trust God that everything will work out for the good.” When we met for coffee, I asked how he was doing, and he snapped, “Of course I’m okay. I’m keeping a positive attitude. I...

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