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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Lovevolution!

  The current Russian/Ukranian crisis reminds me that almost 100 years ago, riots and demonstrations erupted in the city of Petrograd, now called St. Petersburg. The February Revolution of 1917, so-named because Russia observed the Julian calendar at that time, was the beginning of the end of three centuries of czarist...

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Do We Really Need Lent?

  Ash Wednesday cometh and, with it, the beginning of Lent. My earliest memories of Lent are rooted in my community theater days in Oklahoma. At a rehearsal on a late-winter evening, I remember a grizzled actor named Bob announcing that he was giving up Brown Derby beer for Lent. I was a happy-go-lucky college...

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You Need Jesus – So Do I

  Not long ago, I heard a Christian friend say of a wayward girl, “She needs Jesus.” I nodded, vaguely agreeing. Later, I thought to myself, “Wait–we all need Jesus!” That certainly goes for Christ-followers as well as the unchurched and unbelievers. We need Jesus every moment, every day. We need...

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