Sam

Fear for a Son

Fear for a Son

Lisa and I bore fruitless until late in life, Wondering were we physically broken Or spiritually barren? A pastor, son, and grandson of pastors, I felt I was losing faith.   In prayer one day, as luck would have it, I heard the voice of God, As clear as crystal and large as Imax, “I am real,” he convicted, “You don’t understand.” When she announced her expectations Most were...

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Spiritual but Not Religious

Spiritual but Not Religious

Fifteen years ago, I was dining alone in New York City when I overheard a Christian woman ask a friend for dating advice. She had met two men on eHarmony. One said he goes to church and the other said he was “spiritual but not religious.” I thought his line was clever.   Clever turns of phrase thrill me. I collect them the way my sister-in-law collects stamps: It’s not the size of the...

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Mission Idolatry

Mission Idolatry

Last summer I met with a pastor who serves a church near a large campus. As the university grew in prestige, it attracted thousands of international students, many of whom had little exposure to Christianity. So the church began to reach out to them with language classes, tutoring, and members who “adopt” students into their homes.   The church also changed their Sunday morning worship...

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We Buried the Hatchet

We Buried the Hatchet

Twenty-five years ago, my wife and I moved into a lovely farmhouse in the country. But in our hunt for that house, we made huge blunders in understanding (or misunderstanding) each other, and those communication errors stressed our marriage.   Within a few years, those growing tensions contributed to significant marriage difficulties. We saw a Christian counselor, and after an extended time...

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Old-fashioned Pharisees with a Modern-day Makeover

Old-fashioned Pharisees with a Modern-day Makeover

You and I are just normal folk: we struggle to make lasting friendships. But we also know people who casually stroll into a room of strangers, and leave with a dozen new friends, three lunch dates, and a personal introduction to someone’s dear old grandmother. We wish we were more like them: delightful and enchanting.   Last summer I read a BBC article entitled, Tricks to Make Yourself...

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