The House that Sanctifies Me

There are many tools in God’s toolbox that he uses to sanctify his people. Some of those tools include other people, a specific verse, a sermon, suffering, and circumstances. The Lord knows the right tool to use at the right time. Over the past ten years the Lord has used a home as one of his primary tools to sanctify me. My wife and I were excited to finally buy our first home. We had our first child and were looking for a place to settle down after moving around a couple of times. We looked at many different homes and eventually found one that fit our budget. We knew the house would need some work; we did not realize how much work we were getting ourselves into. After a couple of months in the home, I received a call from my wife at work, “there is a leak in the bedroom ceiling!” My excitement of homeownership quickly turned into despair. I...
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Book Review: Where Prayer Becomes Real by Kyle Strobel and John Coe

How is your prayer life? This is a question that can bring up feelings of shame and guilt. We often do not spend enough time in prayer or we forget to pray. Sometimes we might feel like God is not listening to us and other times we feel like we are talking to ourselves. We might think we need just the right words for God to listen to us. Prayer is not a skill we master but a practice that we grow in throughout our entire lives. A new book to help us grow in our prayer life was released in March 2021 called, “Where Prayer Becomes Real: How Honesty with God Transforms Your Soul” by Kyle Strobel and John Coe. In the opening chapter of the book Kyle Strobel shares what he learned about prayer from John Coe, “prayer is not a place to be good, it is a place to be honest.” This is a major theme of the...
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Do you consider yourself an influencer?

One of the most well-known influencers is Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla. He is widely known for creating a successful electric car company and then becoming one of the world’s richest people in the world. He is not only known because of Tesla, but also for his viral tweets. In December 2020 he tweeted “One word: Doge.” Have you ever heard of Dogecoin? Dogecoin was a cryptocurrency created in 2013 as a joke. The cryptocurrency was trading for less than a penny last year. Dogecoin jumped after his tweet and at one point was up over 700%. The joke turned into a market cap today of over $6 billion dollars! His influence fascinates me, and it made me think about how we influence each other. Most of us do not have that type of influence on social media, but we all influence people through normal everyday conversations. This began all the way back in the Garden of Adam and Eve. In...
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Do you have an iPhone, or does your iPhone have you?

I came across a news article this morning that talked about a Digital Detox Challenge. I am reminded about how much technology is part of everyday life. I am not against technology by any means, I was part of the generation that grew up when the internet was gaining popularity. I am in the age group that can be part of Gen X or Gen Y (Millennials), depending on whom you ask. Wikipedia is the authority on all truth, right? The article I read this morning talked about a contest where they choose people to take a 24-hour period without any technology. They will pay $2,400 and even supply a safe to lock up your devices! There is a lot to say about how gamification, financial incentives, and preventing access can be tools for temporary behavior modification. Long-lasting change comes by aiming at the heart, which I will cover in future blog posts. All that to say, this sounds like a...
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Facing the Unexpected

James 4:13-15 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  The verses above have often come to my mind over the last year. Life in a fallen world is full of joys and disappointment, fulfilled expectations and unmet expectations, dreams fulfilled and dashed dreams. Life in a fallen world during a pandemic adds another dynamic, the constant reminder that life is short, and we have limited control of our circumstances.   How can these verses bring perspective back into our lives? One truth that we should remember is that the Bible does not always explain the circumstances of life, but the Bible...
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The Age of Skepticism

Do you have a favorite conspiracy theory? There are so many to choose from over the last year: the pandemic, stolen elections, Pizzagate, and vaccines. It seems that conspiracy theories are more common today and they come out much more quickly after a major event. We live in a unique time in history where there is a combination of misinformation and untrustworthy leadership. This is not new for humanity, but the speed of news spreading is new. Social media has allowed us the ability to create an online presence to share information with a community of people we may never meet in person. Along with that is the ability to say anything without anyone verifying the facts. Over the last year, I have listened to stories of those who have believed in conspiracy theories, those who regretted what they believed, and others who held to their beliefs even when proven false. (By this I mean that there were theories of events...
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Where is your hope?

The events over the past year have changed lives around the world. A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has spread across multiple countries. At the time of this writing, there have been over 29 million cases in the United States with over 500,000 deaths. Worldwide the number of cases is over 120 million and over 2.5 million deaths. There have also been many people who have recovered from COVID, over 22 million in the United States, and 96 million worldwide. We interpret numbers and they can tell different stories. Often in the United States, the number that is most emphasized is the number of new cases and deaths, rarely do you hear about the number who have recovered. This also leads to how we react to the news since there is a constant minute-by-minute news cycle about the Coronavirus. News, social media, and even elementary school children are talking about the coronavirus. The coronavirus...
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Why this blog?

Blogs, blogs, and blogs. I read blogs daily on a variety of different topics: news, technology, investing, frugality, counseling, and Christian theology. There is no shortage of blogs out there and I debated in my mind whether I should start one.   Why am I starting a blog? I enjoy reading but I find that writing is difficult. My brain hurts as I try to find the right words to express my thoughts clearly. I also find that writing is enjoyable as I see words coming alive and my thoughts make more sense (you can be the judge of that). I also want to become a better writer and I know that only comes by writing.  Why now? A colleague of mine Lisa LaGeorge encouraged me to start a blog after I finished a doctoral program in biblical counseling. I hope that writing will help continue the momentum of always learning, growing, and changing. I also want to be a good steward of...
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