The spiritual advantage of leaving God out

This lack of diversity no longer exists.

This lack of diversity no longer exists.

The pledge that we now use as the official Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America was originally written by a Baptist minister who chose to leave God out of it. Not only that, the original pledge he wrote didn’t even have America in it. It was a generic pledge written to be used by any nation that wishes to uphold the ideals of freedom and justice.

The following paragraph was lifted from the Wikipedia article on the Pledge of Allegiance: Continue reading

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At The Catch

From l. to r.: Diane, John, Elaine, David, Marti.

From l. to r.: Diane, John, Elaine, David, Marti.

I am currently reading through the Old Testament book of Numbers in my daily Bible reading program. Numbers is one of those stimulating Old Testament books that reports the results of a census taken of the children of Israel under the leadership of Moses after escaping their bondage in Egypt. It’s as exciting as its title: Numbers. Accountants love this book. If you love math, you’ll love Numbers. Continue reading

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True Religion

Not this.

Not this.

Christians in America today need to be radical about supporting freedom of religion in public life. In doing so, we will be carrying on the grand tradition upon which this country was founded. Some have called it the great experiment. Continue reading

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The cool cathedral

th-4My first album was released in 1969 and it was called “The Cold Cathedral” after the first song by that title about a young man who wanders into a church and cries out, to no avail, for someone to hear him and know him. It captured the fact that there was a generation of kids seeking spiritual answers to life while rejecting, and feeling rejected by, the institutional church of their upbringing. When I wrote that song, I had no idea that the church was going to be forever altered by that guy and all his friends with all their questions. Continue reading

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Everyday grace

th-3I spoke with a friend yesterday who is dealing with a mountain of guilt over his son getting into trouble. The thing that happened to him could have happened to anybody. You make one mistake and you land in jail. How many times have we or our children made mistakes that could have had the same consequences, but we had a near miss, or God spared us for no reason we can discern. Some get caught; some don’t. Some have to pay; some don’t. Some pay more than they deserve; others pay nothing. Life is not fair. But one thing is true: Jesus paid it all. Continue reading

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Lose it and use it

If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. (Mark 8:35)

Marti's now clean counter.

Marti’s now clean counter.

I think I just figured out why I’ve been so irritable lately. Oh, you wouldn’t know because you don’t have to live with me, but ask my wife or my son and they’ll tell you, I haven’t been a happy person to live with.

Even this morning, all by myself, I was irritable. First, I got up late. I must have hit the snooze button four times. Yes, it’s such a great feeling to go back to sleep, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. But here’s the deal: for that wonderful feeling of going back to sleep, you have to endure the awful feeling of waking up each time. And then once you’re up, you’re late to boot. It adds up to a disadvantage. No wonder I’m so irritable; I had to wake up four times this morning! Continue reading

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Making room for the gospel

thMark wrote me the following after yesterday’s Catch:

I was on my way to lunch and was following an SUV with lettering across the back: “Jesus is my friend, He died for me.” My immediate reaction was: Would I put that on my car? I thought not … which was immediately followed by: Why? Are you ashamed of the Gospel? Which was followed by: No, not me … right? I was glad to read your Catch. I have come to realize that I’m not ashamed of Jesus or the Gospel, but I am ashamed of the Jesus and the Gospel as the World knows Him and it. Continue reading

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A good question

What’s Christian about Christian? Has the name hurt the gospel? Can art be Christian? Can music be Christian? Can anything that’s not a person be Christian?

Steve Hindalong. Artist? Christian? Christian artist?

Steve Hindalong. Artist? Christian? Christian artist?

If someone asks if you are a Christian, do you find it difficult to give a simple answer? In some cases I’d rather say no than yes. The problem that occurs when someone asks if you are a Christian is that, if you say yes, you don’t know what you’re saying yes to. You really have to ask a question back. A good response to that question might be: “That depends on what you think a Christian is.” Or even better, it might be good to ask a question back: “What is a Christian?” I’m pretty sure that’s what Jesus would do. Continue reading

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