The 11th Child

child standing outside of a closed door

March 2021. Some Sunday school classes had been canceled altogether during the year-long COVID “emergency.” Wanting to open back up, many considered Easter Sunday to be a good time. But being still fearful, some churches aimed to limit the number of kids per classroom. One such class planned to allow registration for 10 preschool children. A loving, concerned teacher from…

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Living Dangerously

young man in hoodie facing a distant crowd through the fog

Jay Sekulow’s ACLU periodically has to defend a student whose Bible has been confiscated at school and/or the student has been told it’s forbidden to talk about Jesus there, even during free time like recess. Here’s one such report about a fourth grader. I can’t help wanting to take advantage of this kind of situation to turn it on its…

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Not Always What They Seem

man's legs facing down a long street

My church has recently used Michael W. Smith’s song “Surrounded (Fight My Battles),” just singing a few rounds of the two repeating lines. It seems to have had a profound effect on the congregation. Here’s my take on why: We are in a battle, soldiers in a spiritual battle. It’s good to acknowledge that. Paul likens Timothy to “a good…

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Ezekiel vs. the Dark Side

old map of Babylon

Kids (and adults) look to sports stars, world travelers, movie/cartoon characters, or military figures as their heroes. Bible heroes don’t often top the list, but if we read their contexts carefully, the elements of a great adventure—exotic settings, danger, rejection, races against time, supernatural “interference” (good and bad)—are all there. Consider Ezekiel. Back story: Assyria, under the vile King Sennacherib,…

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Keep an Eye on the Door

soldier in hat and sunglasses

Several years ago I was meeting my cousin Lafe for dinner. Having arrived at the restaurant quite a bit early, I took the side of the booth that faced the door so I could wave when he arrived. He came in wearing a cap and sunglasses with small lenses, looking—as I’d thought so often before—like the perfect poster guy for…

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