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Whose prisoner are you?

What do you do when you’re in a place that you can’t leave? There is a group of Paul’s letters called the Prison Epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Paul makes repeated reference in these books to his “imprisonment”, to himself as a “prisoner”, and to his “chains”. (Hence the label.) He probably wrote them…

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Please keep reminding me!

I continually forget how radical God’s grace is. It’s like the thick haze of my own regrets makes it difficult to see clearly as I squint amidst the clutter of my own bad attitudes and blunders. God’s grace just doesn’t compute in such circumstances. That’s why I need regular reminders of how amazing it is!…

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Enjoy the View!

As I began reading Psalm 125 this morning, the first verse gave me the impression that my life is only as stable as my capacity to trust in the Lord. In other words, it sounds like it’s all up to me: “Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved…

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How Lack becomes Fullness

One of the good sides of having a heart attack (like I did six months ago), is learning to live with lack: Lack of energy. Lack of concentration. Lack of emotional stamina. And lack can be a good thing, since it pushes you into Christ, in whom there is no lack. As John says in…

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A Hope that defies the storm

Imagine this with me…  A great galleon has battened down and stowed its sails amidst the tearing winds and driving rain of a raging storm. As the winds roar and the ship rises and falls upon the heavy seas, a stout chain of impressive length glimmers in the spray as it vanishes beneath the angry…

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Ever Increasing

In the late 1920’s American astronomer Edwin Hubble spent hundreds of hours hunched over a table, poring over photos of distant stars. He reviewed thousands of images. He often spent his nights gazing at the heavens through the then new 100-inch reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory in California. He collected and organized data. The…

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Comforted by Greatness

The last three Christmases I have given myself the same present: a calendar featuring full-colour, 12” x 12 ½” photos of galaxies. One of these is now hanging from the wall next to my desk. This month’s image shows the Crab Nebula. This galactic cloud is the remnant of a star that exploded – a…

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Bookends of the Bible

Books of the Bible – like most books – have clear and intentional beginnings and endings. In some cases, the writers link them, using matching words or corresponding ideas in the opening and closing passages. The technique is called bookending: it is deliberate, and it helps form the book’s message. Sometimes, the corresponding ideas take…

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A Saviour who waited in line

Here is a Savior who waited in line. When he came up out of the water, God spoke. But prior to that moment, Jesus waited his turn. God’s words from the sky in Matthew 3:17 (“This is my beloved Son”) echoed the great Old Testament coronation hymn in Psalm 2 (see verse 7, “You are…

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I want a new meme

I’ve heard it said that courage is not a lack of fear, but is carrying on despite our fears. Many variations of this quote have been attributed to Mark Twain, Nelson Mandela, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Bruce Lee (among others). I particularly like the version attributed to John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death,…

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