Midlife, Christ Is

I turn 48 this year, loosely ensconced in my middle age years, on the downhill slope to 50. I’ve thought a lot about this season of life, primarily from the standpoint of committing to passing the baton and investing in the Church’s younger generations. But I’ve also thought a lot about the peculiarities of this season of life, how for many it holds such uneasiness and insecurity. I’ve thought about the so-called “midlife crisis.” I used to think it was a weird thing that (mostly) men in their middle ages feel suddenly drawn to sports cars and career reinventions and (worst of all) trading in their wives for younger models. These things have become midlife cliches.

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You’ll Be Known By Your Fruits

There’s no greater compliment than receiving a positive remark about my children, especially if I was not present for the incident that spawned the remark. To me, how one’s children turn out—the good, the bad, and the ugly—is the overriding indication of how one parents. Matthew tells us, “You will know them by their fruits” (7:16, NKJV). Like trees bearing life-giving fruit, raising compassionate, faith-filled humans takes the right rootstock (that’s you, Mom and Dad), the right amount of time (it’s a marathon, not a sprint), and the right consistency (small daily actions). 

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Is It Always Biblical to ‘Honor’ Your Father and Mother

Recently, a primary school in Hong Kong asked its students to kneel and serve tea to their mothers and fathers as a gesture of filial piety, a Confucian-inspired attitude of respect and service toward parents. While tea ceremonies are often performed by Chinese brides for their future in-laws, the school’s instructions suggested this might also be a worthy practice for children to direct toward their own parents.

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An Intimate Hour with God

The Lord invites us to know Him better. What a privilege! If the joy of heaven is in knowing the Lord’s presence without any sin to hinder us, surely seeking His presence now must be the greatest possible pursuit.

Do you feel your need to pray? A person who has no need to pray cannot be living by faith. Prayerless-ness says, “I am sufficient in myself for everything required of me.” But is that so? And do you not grieve God by your persistent self-sufficiency? The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

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When Clutter Is a Gift


Decluttering is a fact of life, too. Over the years, I’ve decluttered more than the average person and now, I actually write books about decluttering.

When people find out I’m a Christian who writes about decluttering, they want to talk about what the Bible says about clutter. One of the verses they love to quote is Matthew 6:19: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (NIV).

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How Good Intentions Can Turn Believers Into Slackers

Are You A Christian Slacker?

In a Business Week poll, employees were asked “Are you one of the top 10 percent of performers in your company?” A whopping 90 percent of all employees said yes, including 97 percent of the executives! But the math does not compute. Ninety percent of us can’t be in the top 10 percent. So, what is going on?

We often think we are the hardest workers and others are the slackers, partly because we judge ourselves based on our intentions and others based on their actions. We don’t think other people are as committed as we are – that they avoid their responsibilities, are always late, and make excuses.

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Do You Love the People of God?

Have you ever known a married couple who confessed they didn’t love each other? I have, and trust me, there is nothing more painful. As a husband, I can’t imagine waking up every morning beside a woman I didn’t love. I pity such a person.

On a couple of occasions, I’ve had such couples meet with me. Their stories tend to be similar. Life is rote. Their relationship is boring. They are married, but they feel more like individuals sharing a home and splitting the bills. For these people, romance left town long ago. They feel trapped because they understand divorce isn’t an option.

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Three Ways to Unthaw Your Frozen Calling

Conflict stirred within as I attempted to blend into the audience. The secret struggles in my heart felt exposed as the conference speaker addressed the crowd.

Frozen callings

“There are frozen callings in this congregation,” she declared.

The weight of that statement hit my spirit like a bag of bricks. No, Lord, I whispered. I can’t hope any longer for things that never come to pass.

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7 Absolutes in the Bible That Call for a Celebration

Always, never, nothing, all, everything, best, worst. Typically, when we think about absolutes, we think about those rigid, inflexible words people use to describe situations or others.  The latter case, when used in a negative context, “always” strikes a nerve, doesn’t it?

Consider… Have you ever been in a heated discussion with someone and they said, “You always {insert your current mistake}”? Or, do you have a friend or a loved one who is the consummate pessimist who believes things will never ever work, or something will always go wrong?

The good news is, life is rarely 100% one way, every day, all the time, forever.

Or, is it? Enter the Word of God.

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Cultivating Faith Like a Child

“I’m getting a new friend tomorrow!”

This was the announcement my 5-year-old daughter had for me when I picked her up from kindergarten. She was absolutely sure she would have a new friend coming. This was kind of mystifying for me, for while I am aware that little kids make friends with an ease that adults can only envy, to be so sure a new friend was coming seemed another level. It was only after some follow-up questions that the truth was revealed.

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