stephenStephen Pate

All articles by stephen

 

Lust for Life

There’s this beautiful teaching in Judaism that words create worlds. The creative force inherent in our words, written and spoken, has the potential to bring to life what wasn’t there before. Personally, I find this teaching most applicable in books. I love reading and sifting through someone’s words put together to teach, inspire, and instruct.
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Olivia Was A Spiritual Guide

I am thoroughly convinced that paying attention is the greatest spiritual practice in our lives. It looks different for all of us, but usually it means putting down the phone, looking at the person next to us, and seeing what happens. This was the case on a recent flight home. Marissa and I sat next
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Change Is Good For Your Soul

I recently re-read a little book that has had a profound impact on me and countless others. It’s called Who Moved My Cheese? by Ken Blanchard. The book is a short story about how to face change in our lives. The book asks questions and challenges the reader to shift their perspective when it comes
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Learning To Love: Thoughts On Faith Formation In Young People

One of the questions that seems most prevalent in youth ministry circles–outside of “how many students are in your youth group”–is how do you know if a teenager is growing in their faith? It seems most of us long for some definable or measurable way to record faith formation. And I wonder if this quest,
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Facing Worry And Anxiety

The year of 2018 has started off with some incredibly positive and life-affirming moments. But, in the spirit of full disclosure, there’s also been a struggle that has resurfaced for me. Lately, I’ve found myself struggling with the nagging issue of worry. Amidst many good and joyous things, there’s been this prolonged and consistent battle.
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Why Lady Bird Was The Movie We Needed In 2017

Every year, Marissa and I watch as many movies as we can, especially as we move closer to the Oscar season. Admittedly, I’m not a movie critic or a film aficionado. I just like movies, especially ones that impact my heart and soul. Lady Bird is a film that I fell in love with instantly.
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On Guns

We were in Paris when we heard about the Vegas shooting last month. We’d just stopped in at a cafe for a coffee, and I checked Twitter. The hashtag “Vegas shooting” was trending. So I clicked. What followed was shock, outrage, and heartbreak over the details of the event.
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On Travel

There’s something about travel that calls to us in the deepest part of our being. It’s the mixture of adventure, new discoveries, and rest that happens in our souls. Of course, time and money and obligations keep all of us from doing it more. I’ve found that when I can travel, though, it unleashes something
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Waking Up

There are several niche stories spattered throughout the Scriptures that delve into this idea of being spiritually awake. Men and women go about their business, only to be interrupted by a divine appointment. I’ve read these accounts and often found a bit of my story in there too, tucked between the verses. God is saying
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Experience Is > Google

We live in a world of information overload. We’ve all felt it, too. Google this. Ask Siri about that. Find the answer to any and everything you’re looking for. And we love it, don’t we? I don’t know how I drove anywhere before GPS or watched a movie without the help of IMBD. But I
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The Presence In The Absence

Lately, I’ve been acutely aware of both the presence and absence of God. There are days when God feels present in the whole thing, like I couldn’t escape Him if I tried. Other times, however, He seems aloof and nowhere to be found. It’s like David Crowder once sang, “Sometimes you’re further than the moon;
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Loving Life In The Rut

This year has been good, but–and this is a big BUT–it’s also been incredibly difficult and unbelievably challenging. For much of this fall season, we’ve felt like we’re stuck in a rut. Setbacks, financial struggles, and disappointment. These and more describe what the past few months have been like. In the turmoil, though, we’ve been
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Settling Is Not Always Settling

I’ve been thinking lately how life is fluid and change is often sudden. Isn’t it interesting how our plans can change in an instant? We’ve all been there, right? One moment you’re working, dreaming, planning, and striving for something, and then in the blink of an eye, everything has changed. Perhaps you’ve had an experience
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This Election And Its Impact On Students

I feel like I’m late to the game when it comes to saying something–scratch that–ANYTHING about the upcoming election. This has been intentional on my part, not because I’m worried about anyone disagreeing with me, but because I didn’t know how to approach the subject. Honestly, and I know I’m not alone here, I’m not a
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Everything and Nothing

In the gospels Jesus asked this simple, yet haunting question–“What good is it to gain the world, yet lose your soul?” In other words, what if you have it all, but you’re missing what matters most? Is it possible to be incredibly full and yet painfully empty? Can someone have it all together, and yet,
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Uncertainty Is Part Of The Game

I don’t know about you, but I struggle a bit with decision making. Oftentimes, I search for affirmation and guidance whilst navigating the changing waters of life. And the bigger the decision, the more desperately I seek out help and support. This has plagued me for most of my life and I find myself wondering if I’m
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Seasons

I listened to a podcast recently by Rob Bell. This is something I do frequently because I happen to think the RobCast is quite amazing. In this episode, Rob worked through the idea of seasons. His main point was that life has different seasons we experience, and it’s important to be aware of what season we
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