July 2010

Do It Yourself

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Wise, humble, and smart "how-to" questions gave birth to a helpful network of television, video, and Internet called "Do It Yourself" (DIY). DIY is built on the ethic that "an ordinary person can learn to do more than he or she thought was possible." Smart people "do it themselves" to save money, to have a joyous sense of accomplishment, to meet teaching and learning needs, or simply to solve a problem.

Dry Rot

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We were standing on the deck that my wife had just painted, sipping coffee, enjoying the flowers and the refreshing scent of a lilac bush, when she noticed something.

This is not always a good thing. Something she "notices" can translate into a big project. Being the kind, compassionate husband that I am, it often means my involvement. This was to be no exception.

From Pain to Promise

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Almost daily I come into contact with someone who feels worthless or disappointed with life. I can relate.

When I was a senior in high school, a guidance counselor told me that I was a loser and that I would "never amount to anything in life." I did not take this criticism well. In fact, I spent the remainder of my teenage years searching for significance in the world. Dropping out of high school and floundering for a season, I squandered many good options.

In Celebration of God's 'Yet'

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"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
(Luke 22:42, NLT)

Sacredly, I knocked on the front door of the Free Grace Church parsonage. Sister Christine opened the door and said, "Brother Kerry, Danny will be so glad to see you." To her, his name was Danny, because he was her husband. But to me his name was Pastor LeRoy.

Dear God: Children's Prayers—Innocent Faith

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Matthew gives us Jesus' wise words about prayer: "But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:5-6).

It is behind this closed door that parents must use utmost restraint in reacting to the innocent, heartfelt pleas their children present to the Father.

Trading Places

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"Our viewers want to know the most important thing they can do for their relationships," the producer told us. We were sitting in plush leather chairs, sipping bottled water out of straws in the green room of the famous Harpo Studios in Chicago. "Oprah is likely to ask you," the producer continued, "if you could only give one suggestion for improving relationships, what would it be?"

We didn't have to think twice. In fact, it wasn't the first time we'd been asked. We hear this question a lot. In nearly every interview we do that question is predictable.

Unexpected Joy

March 2, 2010, is the day our Willow Rose was born. We were expecting her around March 13. The day started like any other. Chad got up and went to work. I got the girls ready and sent them off to school. It was late that afternoon when my water broke and we realized this was not going to be any ordinary day. This was going to be the day of our daughter's birth.

A Chat with Anthony Quimby

Born and raised on the Caribbean island of Barbados, Anthony Quimby is pastor of St. James Church of the Nazarene in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. He has served on the denomination's General Board and is a member of the Trinidad and Tobago District advisory board. Also, he is president of the Caribbean Nazarene College (CNC) alumni association. Recently, CNC honored him with a D.D. degree. He and his wife, Marcia, have four children.

A Relevant Message

More than 500 years after John Calvin's birth, the Dutch have a love-hate relationship with the famous reformer. Netherlanders appreciate and honor Calvin for profoundly shaping their history and culture. Yet the Netherlands is today one of the most secular countries in Europe. Nearly half of the population self-identifies as non-religious. Dutch society embraces a tolerance at the opposite extreme from the religious intolerance of Calvin's day

Beyond Appearances

This passage gives us the underwhelming introduction of one who would go on to become the greatest of the Old Testament kings. However, in this passage, his name does not even warrant a mention.

The prophet Samuel is working with Jesse, the father of many sons, to anoint the next king of Israel—the one who will replace King Saul. Even the most handsome and strongest of Jesse’s sons is rejected (see 16:7). The youngest was out in the field tending sheep. He was not even invited to the lineup!

Full Deliverance

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I recently heard a pastor friend say, “First, God had to take His people out of slavery, but then, He had to take slavery out of them.”

The deliverance of God’s people from Egypt is the central story of the Old Testament. It not only sets the stage for the most important story in the history of redemption—the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—but it also has some important parallels for us in regard to the journey of holiness.