The Life of God in Us

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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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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The End of an Era

The End of an Era

Yesterday morning our last horse, Misty, died. My wife saw her laying down in the pasture, went out to investigate, and found she had died during the night. Misty had seemed perfectly normal the day before.   We’ve had horses since we moved into our house December 1991. We started with Ace and Joker (an Arabian and an Appaloosa), and then we bought Lady and Tigger (two wonderful ponies)....

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What’s So Bad About Works Righteousness?

What’s So Bad About Works Righteousness?

The week before Christmas I heard the best argument against Christianity I’ve heard in years.     I met with a professional woman who had worked seven years for near minimum wage in the administration of a Christian ministry. When they decided to move their headquarters, they abruptly dismissed her with two weeks’ severance. She felt used and discarded. And she felt anger: How...

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Twin Motivations

Twin Motivations

I once had a client whose business-gifting outshined the stars of the Harvard Business Review. Yet she scorched everything she touched. Relationships went rancid, projects were poisoned by punitive criticism, and her management style left associates embittered.   We met for lunch a couple times a year for much of the 90’s. Over time, my opinion of her zigzagged from initial awe, to...

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