World class farm boy

th-70 I’m going to brag a little. No, not about me or someone in my family, but about my old college roommate.

Wayne Bridegroom grew up on a dairy farm in the little town of Denair, in central California. When people think of California, they never think of Denair, or Turlock, or even Modesto. They think metropolitan San Francisco or Los Angeles — the mountains and the beaches. Denair is closer to Iowa than to anything that would resemble the California image. So when Wayne came to Wheaton College and ended up in a suite with suite mates from Los Angeles, New Jersey and Rochester, New York, it was an eye-opener for this back-country farm boy.

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Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

Dr. Larycia Hawkins

Dr. Larycia Hawkins

A Wheaton College professor recently stated that Muslims and Christians worship the same God and lost her job. This has stirred up quite a debate in the echelons of evangelical accuracy that should have gone on before the professor lost her job. It’s a healthy discussion. At least let the teacher keep her job until we figure this out.

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Rediscovering true love ways

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Please lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside, where I hide
With my loneliness  – Paul McCartney, as sung by Peter & Gordon

On Saturday night last weekend, Marti and I had the privilege of enjoying a unique, one-of-a-kind experience featuring Peter Asher, his touring band joining with our local 60-piece concert band for one of two special weekend concerts. Peter is half of the ‘60s duo, Peter & Gordon — Gordon Waller having passed away in 2009. Peter & Gordon’s debut single, “World without Love,” written by Paul McCartney, went to number one in 1964 in over 30 countries including the U.S. and U.K.. Four of their early hits were written by Paul when he and Peter shared the upstairs room of Peter’s childhood home in London, and Paul was dating Peter’s sister.

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Close Encounters of the Supernatural Kind

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The year was 1979. Phillip was attending seminary on the east coast and driving a cab in Boston in the evenings to try and pay for it. The schedule, and the traffic, was exhausting him. One late afternoon, while driving to the cab garage on Kilmarnock Street, feeling weary and worn out, Phillip heard a song come on the radio — one of my songs, actually — and the words, “And in the in-between time, when you feel the pressure coming, remember that He loves you and promises to stay,” washed over his soul. “It brought tears to my eyes and lifted my spirit. I felt a precious love that I can and will never forget.”

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What the heart knows that the head doesn’t

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All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. – Blaise Pascal

I’ve been reading your comments from yesterday’s Catch and watching us all stumble gracefully over one of my most favorite people who ever lived, and the fact that he lived 400 years ago, yet could have easily written his volume of work yesterday, gives his arguments even more credibility. To study the French philosopher and mathematician, Blaise Pascal is to find someone all tangled up in paradox. It is part of our baptism to be immersed in contradiction.

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A supernatural encounter

th-60A note from one of our supporters got me going on something yesterday. He wanted to know if I knew anything about the spiritual nature of some of the songs by the rock group Kansas, famous for their 1977 hit, “Dust in the Wind.” I knew that Kerry Livgren, the author of that song, had become an outspoken Christian some years ago, and went on a brief Internet search during which I discovered the following from one of his biographies:

While in the band, Livgren said he sampled all of the religions of the world. At 3 a.m. July 25, 1979, Livgren found what he had been looking for all along. “I realized Jesus Christ is the Lord and there is no other,” Livgren said. “There is only room for one at the top.”

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Monkey see, monkey (don’t) do

th-58Probably the most dysfunctional thing about my family growing up (and every family has something dysfunctional) was the avoidance of confrontation at all cost, and each day as I still struggle with this, I am constantly made aware of just how high a price that was. It is far worse than any confrontation anyone could experience, because the price is the cost of the relationship itself. We finally discover that the only way to truly avoid confrontation is to avoid each other entirely.

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When the wind was anything but low

th-57Ever since I woke up this morning, I’ve been singing, “And the wind was low, and He brought me to the water…,” a Chuck Girard song I quoted last week when I was writing about the Spirit of God. I thought of this song again because this morning, the wind is low, whereas last night, when I went to sleep, the wind was howling. It was slamming doors and banging windows. It was tearing dead palm branches from trees and sending them flying. It completely blocked the main route in and out of town by downing a tree across the road, crushing a parked car.

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