We Are Slaves

Thinking back from my early days as a Christian to today, I remember the great emphasis on freedom. Becoming a Christian coincided with my moving to the United States, which was founded on liberty and justice for all. Combine “American” with “Christian” and you get people apparently possessing a dizzying amount of self-determination. While I do appreciate being a citizen of this country, I must remember that, even as an American Christian, I am still a slave.
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The Mourner Comforted

My morning routine includes C.H. Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook”, a daily devotional about God’s promises to his people we can “take to the bank like a check”, to summarize Spurgeon’s words in the preface. I was especially encouraged this week by one of these devotionals.
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Why I Write

Before I started writing earlier this year, I considered my commitment to writing before putting pen to paper. I wanted to count the cost so I would not end up with a half-built house. I examined my motivations, my intended audience, my goals, and how I would handle potential growth. To let you, the reader, get to know me better, I would like to share with you why I write.
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The First Thousand Years

For years I have been supporting Shai Linne on Patreon, and for over a decade before that I have listened to and benefited from his music. What sets it apart, besides the obvious skill, is its clear and consistent focus on the gospel. In my mind, that is a good reason to support Shai. Last week I had the privilege of being part of a video call with Shai and several other supporters from all over the country. In light of current events we looked at the unity of the church in the Scriptures and then discussed.
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Relationship, Not Routine

From the Oxford dictionary, a routine is “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.” We use the phrase in computer programming to describe a method or function that performs a particular job, so every time I need that job done, I call the function to do it for me, saving me time and effort. You may relate if you are a parent and have to say the same things to your kids over and over: “Stop hitting your sibling!”, “Do your chores!”, etc. We have joked that we could just record these sound snippets and play them back when needed, instead of repeating ourselves ad nauseum. Imagine if prayer were programmable this way.
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By What Standard?

Having written about what I can do right now, I want to look ahead and evaluate the issues with a more long-term view. The question is not necessarily “should I dedicate my life to fighting racism?”, but close. Maybe it is: “Should I spend a significant amount of my time and money for the foreseeable future to engage the issue of racism?” Decisions like these should not be done flippantly, so I need a standard by which to evaluate them, especially in light of competing issues.
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First Thoughts

Following the death of George Floyd, the country has been figuratively and literally ablaze. From the video, his death looked unjustified, the force excessive. I condemn that categorically, and am glad to see the police officer charged. Conversations with friends and brothers have had my mind racing on topics like racism, protests, action, and the gospel. In this article, I would like to offer first thoughts on how to react biblically.
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What to do with Boredom?

If you’re a parent, you probably deal with bored kids on occasion. Or maybe you experience boredom yourself, despite the myriad entertainment options available. But what exactly is boredom? One writer defined it as “time without life.” 1 The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest”. And Steve Jobs famously said: “I’m a big believer in boredom. Boredom allows one to indulge in curiosity and out of curiosity comes everything."2 These definitions seem to be at odds. Which is it? Time without life, or great catalyst for creativity?
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Our Light in Darkness

I wrote this post for my local church newsletter. Our theme for 2020 is “Your Favorite Bible Verse”, with a special focus on encouragement during the COVID-19 quarantine. Psalm 90 During much of the global shutdown related to COVID-19, I’ve been camped out in Psalms 90-100 to go along with our sermon series. Psalm 90 in particular is striking in its stark contrast between God and man. The one, infinite, without beginning or end; the other, fleeting like a dream.
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The Gospel is for You

For a while now I’ve been following Evangelium21, a network of German churches united by biblical inerrancy and reformed theology. I am continually encouraged that this kind of teaching even exists and seems to be spreading in Germany (oh the irony!). In a recent talk, one of the E21 pastors shared an interesting observation. Though intentional about preaching the gospel in every message, his listeners were overwhelmed by the heavy demands of good works. How can that be?
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