One Nation Under God

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American patriotism hits a high point at about this time every year. Independence Day celebrations remind us of our nation’s rich history of liberty.

But we’re also confronted with some very dark chapters that can tarnish the national pride we feel.

That paradox brings to mind an important question: “Should we love our country?”

Author Eric Metaxas says a lot of people today interpret love for America as nationalistic chest beating. Our pride is really nothing more than tribalism, they say.

Ray Vander Laan on How We Fulfill Jesus’ Mission

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I love the way Ray Vander Laan illustrates the expanding influence of God’s kingdom when we Christians live in faithful obedience to Christ. He says every time we obey our King – in big or little things, whether in our families or throughout our communities – we extend His kingdom by a square inch.

That’s the example Jesus lived out before us, and one which He asks us to follow. He extended God’s kingdom by doing the will of His Father, by loving His neighbor, by loving His enemy, by touching the unclean, and by caring for sinners.

We’re Going on a Family Missions Trip. Here’s What I Hope Will Happen

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This Friday my family and I will travel to Zambia to participate in Camp Life, a week-long camp for orphaned and vulnerable children in the southern African country.

The need is overwhelming. So many adults have died from HIV/AIDS that half of the country’s 15 million people are under the age of 16. Of the 6.5 million children in Zambia, more than 1 million of them are orphans.

Zambia has the highest per capita orphan rate in the world.

Do Christians Share Blame for Orlando? Read My New York Times Piece

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Have Christians created a harmful atmosphere for gays?

That’s the question The New York Times asked me last week in the aftermath of the massacre in Orlando by self-proclaimed ISIS supporter Omar Mateen.

If you think the question is startling, you’re not alone.

While Christians have mourned the loss of life in Orlando and area Christians have jumped in to provide tangible love and support for those impacted by the violence, there’s been a push by some to put some of the blame on Bible-believing Christians – specifically, those of us who support God’s design for marriage and who have advocated for it in the public square.

Healing the Wounds from Your Father

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What’s your name?

I don’t mean your given name. I’m asking about your real name, the name that defines that sense about yourself you most deeply believe – your identity.

Some of you go by the name “wealthy businessman,” “bread winner of the home,” or “perfectionist.” Your identity is about performance and earning your worth. Others of you have names like “failure,” “disappointment,” or “unworthy.” Your life has been shaped by the message that you don’t live up to people’s expectations.

What Does True Happiness Look Like?

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What does true happiness look like?

Is the concept of happiness even biblical?

I’ll never forget the trip I took to Jakarta, Indonesia, many years ago for a speaking engagement. If you’ve never been there, it has some of the worst smog of any city in the world. My eyes burned, and breathing was difficult after being there for only a short time. The traffic is notorious. Imagine Los Angeles and New York combined and multiply all of that by a factor of 10.

Responding to Orlando with Compassion, Truth and Love

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We woke up to shocking news Sunday: a man had entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the early morning hours and began shooting.

When the carnage ended, 49 innocents were dead, plus the gunman. An additional 53 were wounded.

We’re now learning about the people who were murdered. There’s Edward Sotomayor, Jr., who loved wearing black hats, and 20-year-old Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, who was among the youngest of the victims.

Kimberly Morris had recently moved to Florida to help her mom and grandmother.

Finding Rest When Life Gets Too Busy

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“Take time to smell the roses.”

It’s a well-worn phrase. But phrases like that endure for generations because their wisdom is so profound. In this case, that simple bit of near poetry reminds us that we tend to miss the richness all around us because we rush so quickly by the flowers of life that we never notice their color, their beauty, or their wondrous fragrance.

Popular guest, Vicki Courtney, told me of one springtime when she was pushing her grandson along in his stroller.

Trusting God through Disability and Weaknesses

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When I think of today’s and tomorrow’s radio guest, Sarah Kovac, I’m reminded of a story I once heard about two people strolling along the beach.

One was blind, the other was not.

At the top of a large sand dune, the blind man stopped and breathed in the salt air. “Isn’t this absolutely beautiful?”

“How can you appreciate any of this?” the sighted man asked.

The blind man smiled. “Can’t you feel the warmth of the sun or the sand between your toes? 

What You Think About the Gorilla Controversy Reveals Your Worldview

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It started out as a day filled with eager anticipation for a 3-year-old boy going to the zoo with his mom and siblings. We can imagine the happiness of the Saturday morning scene.

But the carefree adventure quickly took an ominous turn once the family made it into the park.

By now, you’ve heard what happened. Trying to get a better look at the endangered gorillas, the youngster somehow fell 15 feet into the enclosure’s water-filled moat.