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Shut Down by a Sneer

Shut Down by a Sneer

Six weeks ago, I flew back from a Hearing God retreat in Seattle. I sat next to a young man—thirty-ish—who was returning home from a job interview. He scoffed at the interview process, saying he was interrogated by a bunch of “suits.”   “Suits?” I asked, “Surely no one actually wore a coat and tie.” “Naw, they were just puffed up buffoons, hot air balloons, all show and no...

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Our Biggest Problem Is Our Heroism

Our Biggest Problem Is Our Heroism

On my twelfth birthday, I received four birthday cards, each with a personal message. My grandfather, my parents, my oldest brother, and an elder at church each took time to pray for me, and each of them wrote something remarkably similar. They said, “When I prayed for you, I sensed God say, ‘You are to listen to God’s people and to speak to God’s people.’”   I immediately...

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Invaded

Invaded

Growing up, I had two close friends: one came from a devout, Christian family, and the other came from a devout, atheist family. One family went to church Sunday mornings and prayer meetings Wednesday night. The other played golf on Sundays and watched TV on Wednesdays. Apart from Sundays and Wednesdays (and perhaps personal prayer times), the lives of my friends’ parents looked identical....

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The Deceptive Danger of Natural Gifting

The Deceptive Danger of Natural Gifting

I attended the University of Michigan in the 1970’s (like, before indoor plumbing). I joined a campus ministry that emphasized community, worship, and outreach.   It was a great group. About one hundred and fifty of us sacrificed to live in the dorms all four years for the sake of outreach—and believe me, living in those dorms was a sacrifice. We roomed with, did laundry with, and...

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Vandalizing God

Vandalizing God

I attended a magnet high school in Detroit, Michigan. Cass Tech was a university preparatory school that emphasized science and the arts. One night before an art showing, a vandal broke in, defaced multiple paintings, and took a hammer to dozens of sculptures.   Imagine the angry anguish of the victims: the lost hours of creativity, the shattered dreams of masterpieces. But the hours and...

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Hearing God in the Abundance of His Methods

Hearing God in the Abundance of His Methods

Most believers long for—desperately long for—God’s voice, but most of us experience silence. Scripture says, “God speaks in many and diverse ways, but nobody notices” (Job 33:14). We miss his voice because he’s not a paint-by-number God. He speaks in ways we don’t expect.   Well-meaning people often mislead us when they describe their conversations with God. Their...

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