Closer Than You Think

  It’s gone viral. A 60-second clip of Jim Carrey’s recent commencement speech at an Iowan university is popping up on social media sites like so many dandelions on a spring day. In case you missed it, here it is: I liked what Carrey had to say—up to a point. You see, we...

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Language Lessons

  ¿Quienes hablan español? Levantan las manos, por favor.” Translation: “Who speaks Spanish? Raise your hands, please.” I ask this question during one of my magic routines. Of course, the Hispanic kids eagerly raise their hands while the English speakers respond with “Huh?” When I translate into English, a lot of the...

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Is it Really Your Church?

  Not too long ago, a host pastor asked me if he could do “such-and-such” during a worship service in which I had a part. “You can do what you want; it’s your church,” I replied. He shot back, “No, actually, it’s God’s church.” He didn’t say it in a flippant...

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Four Ways to Access Resurrection Power

  Easter Sunday has come and gone, but the season of Easter continues. Known as Eastertide in many church traditions, the season kicks off on Easter Sunday, stretching over 50 days until Pentecost, the celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. When we think of Easter, most...

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The Subversive Cross

  The Cross. It’s been bejeweled, bedazzled and bedecked with trim. It adorns the walls of homes and offices, perches atop steeples, hangs from rearview mirrors. The Cross has been etched into rings, fashioned into charms, made into diamond-encrusted pendants. Once an instrument of torture and execution, it has made its...

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The Power of Story

  The movie Noah recently opened in theaters amid a flood of controversy (see what I did there?). The $130 million epic, starring Russell Crowe as the title character, was directed by Darren Aronofsky, an outspoken atheist whose godlessness led him to “make my God, and my God is narrative filmmaking.” Reviews for...

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Easy to Hate

  Everyone’s favorite preacher to hate, Fred Phelps, has breathed his last. The 84-year old founder of Westboro Church in Topeka, KS, known for his inflammatory pickets and raging anti-homosexual stance, passed away before midnight on Wednesday, according to family members. A recent Facebook post by his estranged son, Nathan Phelps, reported that...

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Eight Churchy Things to Give Up for Lent

  Lent is a time for traditionally giving up unhealthy habits and wanton behaviors. But there are some Christians who may need to dump a few things that they do on Sunday under the guise of religion. Here’s eight “churchy” activities  to consider surrendering during this season of penitence, prayer and self-denial: Complaining...

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Step Out of the Limelight

    The recent Academy Awards gala reminded me of the time George C. Scott turned down an Oscar for his commanding performance of General George S. Patton in 1970. It wasn’t the first time he rebuffed the golden statue. In 1962, Scott refused a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role...

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