6 Things Every Christian Should Know about the Minor Prophets

Many Christians find the last 12 books of the Old Testament—known as the “Minor Prophets”—well, boring! Why? First, they don’t see how the books relate to today. Second, they don’t know what was going on at the time. And third, the prophets address a lot of unfamiliar people and places. Some Christians even skip reading […]

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The Ultimate Reason Behind Unforgiveness

What’s the ultimate reason behind unforgiveness? Part 5 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Forgiving without excusing is hard, so hard it sometimes seems unforgiveness won’t ever let go. When I stopped excusing my mother’s actions as based on ignorance and inability to help herself, I had to learn something new: forgiving without excusing. […]

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4 Sins that Require Faith to Forgive

How do we take hold of faith to forgive when forgiving is tough? Part 4 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Some sins are relatively easy to forgive: unintentional sins and minor wrongs, for instance. Other sins are much harder. Here are four that require faith to forgive. It takes Faith to Forgive Sins […]

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How Confessing and Forgiving are Inseparable

To forgive, combine confessing and forgiving as Jesus taught. Part 3 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Jesus said something astonishing in the Lord’s Prayer about confessing and forgiving. He said we should pray, Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12 In so doing, he linked confessing and […]

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What Forgiving Isn’t: 5 Stand-ins that Masquerade as Forgiving

Forgiving isn’t always what we think it is. Part 1 of “Forgive Intentional Sin—Don’t Just Manage Emotions.” Forgiving isn’t managing emotions. Most Christians know Jesus taught that we must forgive. But when anger and hurt linger, we sometimes turn to forgiveness substitutes that merely manage our emotions—and not all that well. Here are five stand-ins […]

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Witnessing to Darwinists

Slightly smirking, he asked, “Don’t Christians believe God created the earth in six days?” He was a Jewish atheist scientist with a PhD. And a staunch Darwinist. We stood outside a laboratory of green-mirrored walls next to a man-made pond. There damp turtles rested on rocks and orange-and-white koi darted beneath the floating, round leaves […]

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God’s Hidden Blessings

Our twenty-one-year-old Green Machine (aka Honda Accord) won’t pass the next California smog test, so we’re car shopping. (We save oodles of money by driving a car till it or Sacramento calls it quits. Since I don’t commute, that can take years.) As we drove into the big parking lots with rows of shiny cars, […]

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What’s So Good about Royal Psalms?

What is a royal psalm anyway? And why should we care? Just as today we hear many types of songs—love songs, anthems, lullabies, ballads, odes, rap and more—so the ancient Hebrews heard many types of psalms—royal psalms, wisdom songs, laments, thanksgiving songs, hymns, confidence songs, and more. Knowing a psalm’s type helps us know how to […]

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Psalm 2: Hope in the Midst of Injustice

Terrorists murder and maim. Con artists bilk the elderly. The rich exploit the poor. Abusers scar children. The promiscuous mock the chaste. Liars lock the innocent behind bars. Those who’ve sworn to uphold justice overturn it. What is our hope in the midst of injustice? Psalm 2 tells us. It’s a psalm originally composed for […]

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Art as Worship

Whether you consider yourself to be artistic or not, you can worship God through art. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, for God sees the heart: “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12). Worship is an […]

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How to Understand Psalms

I used to dislike the Book of Psalms because the psalms kept repeating themselves instead of proceeding point-by-point to a nice conclusion in the first line of the last stanza. After all, essays put the main point in the first sentence of the last paragraph. That’s why we call it a “conclusion.” The psalms didn’t […]

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Every Cover-up to be Revealed—It’s a Promise

On Saturday, April 4, 2015, white police officer Michael Slager shot and killed an unarmed black man, Walter Scott. Officer Slager claimed Scott had grabbed his Taser and he had shot in self-defense. The story may have ended there except for one thing. Feidin Santana, a barber walking to work, saw the officer “controlling” Scott […]

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