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Rite of passage: Treasures in Heaven
Jan31

Rite of passage: Treasures in Heaven

Last month, my wife and I celebrated our 42nd anniversary. We got up that morning, looked at each other, said, “Happy Anniversary!” and went about our day’s work.  I met my wife, Cathy, in Hannibal, Mo., where I was attending school at Hannibal-LaGrange College. New to the area, new to the ministry and very wet behind the ears, I was thrilled when a small country church, Antioch Baptist,  offered me a job as their youth pastor. I had...

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Rite of passage: A time to laugh
Jan24

Rite of passage: A time to laugh

I grew up in a family of comedians, my mom being the chief. She loved hearing jokes; she loved telling jokes, and she loved to laugh. She was the kind of person who could laugh long, hard and deep. One day she was telling a joke, got tickled in the middle of it and started laughing. This was par for the course, as she almost never got through a joke without laughing. Most of the time, her laughter was funnier than the joke. But this...

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Rite of passage: Drivers training
Jan17

Rite of passage: Drivers training

I’ve concluded drivers training is a U.S.-only thing. That’s because I’ve traveled the world as a missionary and have driven in most of the countries where I’ve served. If you aren’t close to Jesus, you will be within a mile of taking the wheel in another country. Just last week, I was driving a team of students in Mexico and experienced several moments like this. In drivers training, you are taught to leave one car length between you...

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Rite of passage: The widow’s mite
Jan10

Rite of passage: The widow’s mite

Sometimes the smallest things move me most. I just returned from Mexico, where I was serving in evangelism with 22 student missionaries in the city of Nuevo Laredo. When I first started to work in Mexico, I ministered in the garbage dumps of this same city. Families would come from all over Mexico, trying to get across the border. When they couldn’t cross, they would go to the garbage dump and rummage through it, looking for cardboard...

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Rite of passage: Strong and courageous men
Jan03

Rite of passage: Strong and courageous men

My son Caleb recently messaged me a picture of my grandson Titus the Honorable. He had climbed into his little brother’s baby bed and, holding onto the crib rail, walked his feet up the wall. (Look at the picture to see what I mean.) He is only three years old, but inside him lives a tremendous warrior with an adventurous spirit. The next day I asked my son what happened. “I came into Titus’ bedroom, and there he was with his feet...

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Rite of passage: The second greatest gift
Dec20

Rite of passage: The second greatest gift

The greatest gift is the salvation given to us through our Lord Jesus Christ. But today, I want to write about the second greatest gift, and that is the gift of friendship. To me, the measure of a person does not lie in their wealth but in the number of people who call them friend. We live in a world where a friend can be had by the click of a button on Facebook. I am not talking about that kind of friendship, but the kind of friend...

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