Handle With Care

“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean,’” (Mark 1:41) The ghastly label of leper is his sole identification mark, for we are not informed of his name or the city of his origin. Banished from society, his kind becomes invisible. Whisperings about the […]

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On Our Side

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all….” (Romans 8:32) We’ve all had them: those days when a bonus was promised, but bills arrived instead; times when leaky roofs, court summons, and solemn physicians showed their unexpected faces; seasons when it appeared everything was against us. Paul the […]

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Highway

“And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’” (Acts 3:4) At first glance, the story doesn’t seem thrilling. The man is lame; the disciples show up; the man is healed. No big deal. Jesus did it all the time. On closer inspection, when we read through the Acts […]

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Directions

“And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and they prepared the Passover.” (Matthew 26:19) They often got it wrong. Jesus’ band of followers usually ended up making poor choices, succumbing to sleepiness when he desperately needed companionship, running away like frightened mice when he could have used a little lion-­‐-­‐-­‐hearted friendship. His time […]

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Hands‐On

“How are such mighty works done by his hands?” (Mark 6:2) His calloused hands – accustomed to hammer and nails, splinters of wood and planks of lumber – carted carpentry tools long before they healed a child, touched a leper, or broke bread to nourish a crowd. The carpenter from Nazareth who created the world […]

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Alongside

“May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!” (Psalm 20:1) On occasion, even sovereigns slip off crowns and don battle garb; regal wear is not suited for wrestling in wartime. David bows before the Lord and begs help, conscious that his title topples […]

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Backyard Pulpit

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” (Psalm 16:1) The racket emanating from my backyard escalated, forcing me to discover what animals could possibly be creating such uproar. With the rumbling sounds of thunder in the background, I peered through the light rainfall and noticed a creamy-­‐-­‐-­‐ brown duck marching back and […]

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Carrier

“The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes and in the wilderness where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you as a man carries his son, all the way that you went….” (Deuteronomy 1:30-­31) Pictures portray […]

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Rest Stop

“Come away by yourselves….” (Mark 6:30) Squeezed between the horrific beheading of John the Baptist and the magnificent miracle of the five thousand stands an overlooked passage that invites us to love Jesus more deeply. Mark 6:30 reads, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he […]

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Barreling Down

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Sometimes ordinary acts remind of us of heroic ones, and sometimes simple choices illuminate profound truths as satisfying as a splash of cool water on a sun-­drenched day. When our eldest son Bill purchased his first home, every room begged two coats […]

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