“According to new research from the Center for the Study of Global
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Christianity one out of five non-Christians in North America does not “personally know” a single follower of Christ. That’s 13,447,000 people who don’t have a Christian friend or even acquaintance. The percentages get higher for certain religious groups. For instance, 65 percent of Buddhists, 75 percent of Chinese people, 78 percent of Hindus, and 43 percent of Muslims in America do not personally [...]
Maybe you’ve experienced something like this: You are talking with someone when suddenly they openly yawn and look at their watch. How did you interpret those actions? Can you remember how you felt at that moment? Were you hurt? insulted? enraged? How did you react? How do you wish you had reacted?
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What about this: You’re discussing ideas with a colleague and while you’re speaking, you think you see them just barely roll their eyes [...]
What? You say you’ve never met a porcupine? I’ll bet you have. In fact, you may be one yourself. I’m pretty sure I am.
“The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, ‘The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night [...]
We live in an age where everybody is worried about protecting their rights. There is the right to defend ourselves, the right to privacy, and so on. This is nothing new. God provided Esther “for such a time as this” when God’s people needed someone to defend them. The NSA of the day was following Daniel around, and found him praying in an open window. Apparently he was not so concerned about his privacy. He had nothing to hide. Even [...]
Have you ever noticed that humans, as a group, tend to be extremely superficial and shallow? We expend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy making sure that we look a certain way – wear particular brands of clothes and shoes, dye our hair, even have surgery. We go to great lengths to change our outsides … but do almost nothing to change what really matters.
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Even back in Jesus’ day, folks gave more attention [...]
I have found that there are some important topics that nobody wants to talk about. I went to all my regular websites and found an entire category suspiciously missing. It goes by several names – temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control, balance …
Part of my problem, I think, is that a couple of those terms have taken on very specific meanings even though they can be applied in lots of different situations.
Temperance, for example, has come to be used almost exclusively in relation [...]
How honest is your mirror? Has it ever lied to you?
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Sometimes when we look at the way some people leave their houses, we might think their mirror has not given them an accurate picture of how they look. In those cases, though, it’s usually the mental picture that is faulty, not the mirror’s reflection.
Often our own mental picture of ourselves is different than reality.
“Here’s some good news: if you’re like most people, you’re way [...]
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If you don’t understand this cultural reference, it’s from the movie, The Karate Kid. The main character in the movie is a teenage boy, Daniel who has just moved to town and is getting bullied. In order to stop it, he wants to learn karate. He meets up with the manager of his apartment building, Mr. Miyage, who agrees to teach him. One requirement of this agreement is that Daniel must obey Mr. Miyage’s [...]
“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:4, NIV
Very old ruins have held a romantic fascination for me. When I walk beside the ruined walls, I wonder what stories could they tell of lives lived long ago. What hopes and dreams did the people who built them have? What tragedies might they have witnessed? Were the lives of those ancient folk mundane with routine and boredom? [...]
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“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.” Amos 5:21-23
Prophets have a hard job. God tells them what to say, and then they have [...]