Pentecost is the Miracle Hear

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Forty days after Easter, Christians celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. Fifty days after Easter, Christians celebrate Pentecost—the coming of the Holy Spirit in a special way. Jesus told the disciples he would not leave them alone, but instead, the Father would send the “Advocate” (John 14:26).  In Greek, this word is “Paraclete.” It means not only Advocate but also Comforter, …

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The Ascension

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Up, Up, & (Not So Far) Away A few years ago, I was at a church with a basketball ministry. The church is in a suburban neighborhood that used to be affluent but is now in transition. In the past, it was the kind of neighborhood where teenagers were always either occupied or supervised. Through the years, it became the …

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What If Peace Begins With Me?

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Where does peace begin? Is it about nations and treaties? It is a religious movement? If it’s only external, how can I ever experience it? We’ve just passed another Memorial Day. A time when Americans pause to remember those who have died in military service. Coincidentally, the scripture passage for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend was from the Gospel …

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The Lie of Being Good Enough

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I want to tell you something that might be hard to hear. I’ll try to say it in the nicest way possible. Please know, I say it with the best of intentions. Here it is. Are you ready? You are not perfect. God does not expect you to be perfect. You might think being “barely good enough” is the same …

The Women of Easter and Me

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The Easter season has begun! Yes, that’s right, Easter is more than just one day on the church calendar. In fact, Easter is a season that lasts for fifty days (7 Sundays) and culminates in the celebration of Pentecost. Have you ever noticed that all four Gospel accounts tell us that women were the first to discover the empty tomb …

God Is Wasteful

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I try not to be wasteful. I try not to buy too much food at the grocery store and I take leftovers home from restaurants. We have a section of our laundry room dedicated to “give-aways,” the clothes and other things we can’t use any more, but which might be useful to our favorite charity’s thrift shop. Although I love …

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Suffering and Solutions

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The question of why people suffer is a longstanding existential question. It is a question that brings people to God and it’s a question that makes some people doubt God’s very existence. Why do bad things happen to good people? The Bible approaches this from several angles. That frustrates some people, but I find it encouraging. I like that the …