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Rite of passage: J+0=E
Nov13

Rite of passage: J+0=E

The crops hadn’t been too good that year, and the offerings were down. The small, country Baptist church struggled to keep its doors open and pay the bills. For a long time, the church had wanted to install indoor plumbing. The old outhouse was getting rickety, and the people who came to visit were put out that the church hadn’t moved with the times. As the leader of the congregation, the pastor struggled with how he could best help...

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Rite of passage: First lap
Nov06

Rite of passage: First lap

My inspiration for carrying the cross up Mount Kilimanjaro a few years ago came to me through a man named Keith Wheeler. I have known Keith for a long time, and he is one of my favorite missionary speakers. Several years ago, I was talking to Keith about my upcoming 40th anniversary of entering the ministry. I asked him, “How do you thank Jesus for allowing you to represent Him around the world?” Keith looked at me with those steely...

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Rite of passage: Well, actually
Oct30

Rite of passage: Well, actually

Many years ago, our artillery company was on winter training maneuvers outside the Wisconsin Dells. If you want to find a place that is bitter cold, you will never be disappointed with the Dells in December. The area should have a sign out front: “Welcome! Home of the Frozen Chosen!” My unit was sent there for training in winter warfare. For some reason, the government thought we should be able to fire icicles from the 105-mm Howitzer...

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Rite of passage: Two lefts
Oct23

Rite of passage: Two lefts

Last week, I flew to Orlando to preach in a church that has supported me in my mission work for years. It is a large church with an incredible ministry around the world. Every Sunday-morning service is a huge production. The stage is filled with instruments; the choir is made up of different nationalities; and the church probably spends more money on smoke machines than most churches do on coffee. At this church, the services are...

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Rite of passage: Parking lot wandering
Oct16

Rite of passage: Parking lot wandering

Ever since our children have grown up and moved out of the house, I have made it a habit to assist my wife as she shops for groceries. When we enter the store, she gives me the significant task of finding a product like toothpicks. Toothpicks are in the grocery store witness protection program, and it takes me at least 30 minutes to find a store clerk who has a clue as to where they are hidden. If I am not running errands for my wife,...

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