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Rite of passage: Good gifts
Jul17

Rite of passage: Good gifts

When my boys were young, I had to travel on many occasions to preach or teach. While I was away, I wanted them to know that even though we weren’t close in distance, they were on my mind. Now, these were the days before we had cell phones, internet and FaceTime. It would seem like I could connect with them maybe once a week, not the 10 times a day we now do with our smartphones. My love language is giving, and I wanted to bring...

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Rite of Passage: Flat Walker
Jul10

Rite of Passage: Flat Walker

This is the first summer in 40-plus years that I am not leading teams and serving on the mission field. I have to be honest; it is hard to watch the reports coming in of what God is doing through our teams while sitting in a recliner. I have always been a participant and not a spectator. There is a huge difference from being in the midst of the battle, getting your hands dirty, confronting darkness and then seeing that darkness...

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Rite of passage: A fresh trust
Jul03

Rite of passage: A fresh trust

One of the things I have taught my students is that each one needs two mentors: one living and one who has passed on. I have had both. My living mentor was Avery Willis, a well-known name among Baptists worldwide. For some reason, Avery picked me to travel with him to teach MasterLife, a very popular discipleship process. He told me never to call it a “program,” because a program has a beginning and end; discipleship is a process, and...

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Rite of Passage: Honk if you love Jesus
Jun22

Rite of Passage: Honk if you love Jesus

I was born and raised in the state of Missouri; our state is called the Show Me State. We got that name because in the early days, we Missourians were rural farmers, and we didn’t cotton to all that highfalutin’, slick, double-tongued city folk talk. So the bottom line was to put up or shut up; just “show me.” Now the state of Missouri is a beautiful place, and we have a lot of caves—over 6,400. I think the only state that has more...

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Rite of Passage: Preparing a Place
Jun19

Rite of Passage: Preparing a Place

I have lots of friends who take their grandchildren to Disneyland or Disney World. They take each grandchild, one by one, on a memory trip there at about the time of their ninth birthday. They tell me about the memories they have made on these special journeys. I think this is a great idea, but my wife and I don’t have the financial means for it. And at the age I’ll be when my grandsons turn 9, I don’t know if I want to chase them...

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