What Captivates Me?

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Jesus preaches release to the captives and this is good news because I’m a captive. I don’t like to think of myself that way. I much prefer thinking of myself as an independent person. I value my freedom. I’m proud that freedom and liberty are core values in my country’s founding documents. And yet, I have to admit, there are …


Learning to Get Over Myself for the Sake of Unity

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Maybe My Opinion Isn’t The Most Important Thing You may not be able to relate to this, but I need regular reminders to get over myself. I tend to think of my ideas, opinions, and viewpoints as “right” or “best,” instead of just seeing them as “mine.” When I convince myself that my way is the right, best, or only …

Spiritual Maturity and Wisdom: Not Leaving Jesus Behind

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One of the wonderful, but sometimes frustrating, things about the New Testament is how little biographical information it gives us about Jesus. The Gospel of Luke spans 18 years of Jesus’ life (from age 12 to age 30) by telling us that “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor” (Luke 2:52). This is reminiscent of …

Advent: How I’m Preparing to Prepare

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This might seem redundant, but it’s time to prepare for Advent. Of course, Advent is a time of preparing to receive Christ, so this is a case of preparing to prepare. This year I’m using three folks from the Bible as my guides: Mary, Simeon, and Anna. We often celebrate Mary for her willingness to say yes to God (Luke …

Jesus' Apocalyptic Talk: An Invitation to Hope and Pay Attention

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Apocalypse and Hope. Do they seem like opposites? I have always thought of them that way—in opposition to each other. It turns out … I’ve been wrong. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus describes a time when everything will change. The temple, the center of religious life and a place described as “the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1), …