Category : Ponderlust

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“I’m a Man. I’m Forty!”

If you’ve read this far, you’re one of those people. I’m going to keep writing for you, because I’m going to keep fishing for stories in the pond of my soul. If all goes to plan, maybe we’ll both learn something along the way.

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382: God of the Dramatic Pause

For me, though, it comes back to the prompting. That idea didn’t blossom beyond pity until after it could surpass a common courtesy. The voice in my head was mute until it came with Jesus’ name. It became a holy caper, a fun assignment only after God could turn the episode into something greater. When I joined God’s narrative, I got a story; and he got a little extra glory.

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377: No Wolf Dare Hunt Her Alone

Though Death took her there, it didn’t win because it had to come to her. It had to play by her rules. It had to waste multiple arrows. It had to face the “rage against the dying of the night.” She wore Death out a little bit, enough to give the rest of us more time. I can’t speak for the rest of my family, but I’m going to use that time to make sure I’ll be missed as much as she will be.

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372: My Passport Holds the Secret of Dead Kings

God makes beautiful things for himself, whether we will ever find it. He paints and sculpts because he can, because he enjoys it. He creates just to store beauty. He curates gardens and fountains where we can’t take credit for them. He has done this for millennia, knowing that we would take centuries to find his masterpieces—that we might never find them.

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371: No, Your Church is Not The Church

One thing we can all be a part of, though, is the remedy for whatever we feel ails our local church or even the global Church. Few of us will impact multiple churches. None of us will change the American church as we know it. We can, however, follow Mother Teresa’s call to “help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”

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370: Caught Between a Song and a Hard Place

I don’t know what challenge you’re facing, what God is asking you to relinquish, what painful reality you know you need to accept. I don’t know what style of music reaches your heart or touches your soul. But I hope you find a mile marker song, an undeniable moment, a portion of Scripture to guide your next step. And I hope you find the courage to lean into it.

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368: Why Christians Should Lust More

Over my past decade in the church, I’ve sat in literally hundreds of circles with other men. As we talk about our doubts, personal battles, and spiritual journeys, inevitably someone says that they “struggle with lust.” In terms of the church’s euphemisms about pornography, I hear that one more than “my thought life,” “the computer,”

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366: Grow the Church with Two Words

Growing up in American fundamentalism, I’ve seen or heard about legalism absurd enough to be a punchline on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I was recently surprised with an odd legalistic edict, though. It was a curveball because it came from the non-denominational world. Apparently, it’s a thing now that Christian leaders shouldn’t thank those who serve

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363: A Memorial Day Prayer

My prayer today is that God would give all of these souls a respite from their grief. Oh, there’s freedom to rightfully mourn; but today it comes with proud tears, with happy memories, with a renewed hope for a reunion someday. I pray that God redeems their pain and leverages their loss. I plead for peace. I ask that no more brave soldiers will need posthumous plaques, that no more civilians would need victim memorials.

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Why I Don’t Pray for Revival

The word revival isn’t in the Bible. Neither is rededication. The idea of a jump start to a dead battery that once was alive rarely makes the Bible’s pages. You’re far more likely to read tales of dead things coming to life. Resurrection. Jesus even disclosed that the reason he left heaven was to bring life and life more abundant.

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361: What a German Evolutionist Taught Me About a Healthy Church

Recently, my circle of friends has been growing deeper with each other. My Tuesday night study group, specifically, has been embarking into the kind of conversations you’d expect at a therapist’s office. My encounter with Peter Wohlleben’s book happened as we have been in the process of distilling our DNA to make our culture replicable. Several of my takeaways from the book explain why our circle has functioned with such health—and why it continues to grow.

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355: The Antidote for Midlife Loneliness

Maher was describing the blessing I try not to take for granted and the responsibility my friendships often require. If you don’t have this reality in your life, you can. If you do have this luxury in your life, don’t keep it to yourself. There’s a world out there literally dying for what you have.

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353: Tinder on Evangelical Steroids

One of my old school friends sounded exasperated. Like me, he has spent a lot of time in independent, fundamentalist Baptist institutions. Unlike me, he’s still a part of that ecosystem. That culture still puts a large emphasis on door-to-door evangelism. Participation in that guerrilla marketing is a litmus test for your commitment to Jesus and

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346: Serotonin Gives Me Hat Hair

I’ll never forget that moment in my life: the sense of accomplishment, the impression of awe. Scientists have found that reflecting on life’s wins like these refuels our serotonin levels in our bodies, which helps us manage stress. Triggering those memories and what goes with them immunizes us to burnout. So, I wear these hats regularly to take me back to January 2008.

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342: Good Books to Read Over Christmas Break

The twenty or so books I have finished so far in 2016, though, have each left an impression on me. Several have created meaningful conversations in my life and even some personal growth. I’ve listed the books below and commented on each for two reasons: (1) to remind me of my takeaways and (2) to pique your interest in the better ones.

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340: The Gospel According to Arrival

Theologians have studied God’s expressions in similar ways as the linguists and scientists of Arrival evaluated the transcriptions of the heptapods. Like the linguists, it can be easy for us to focus on parsing and expounding—on asking, “What is your plan here!?”

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338: I Met a Deceitful Beauty in Paradise

At times in my life, my life looks active and alive. Tourists visiting my life would see life and maybe even evidence of growth but no significant fruit. There are moments of beauty, of put-togetherness. With social media assumptions, the motion blur of my life can look green.

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