freedom

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 …

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 …

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), …

what really counts

The Real Reason the Widow’s Mite Was Worth More

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“Sitting across from the offering box, Jesus was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, ‘The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than …