The Presence In The Absence

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Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/alone-1492668

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; sometimes you’re closer than my skin.” How do we reconcile this feeling of nearness and distance? Partly, I believe, is a recognition that there is a presence even in absence.

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Making Our Lives Good News

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/christmas-joy-1251264

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/christmas-joy-1251264

Marissa and I tend to find ourselves in these situations where we begin honest conversations with complete strangers. I’m sure a number of you can relate.

Sometimes it’s gong out to dinner and beginning a conversation with our waiter, or chatting with somebody in line at Starbucks. Or, like what happened last weekend, we end up talking for thirty minutes with someone who came by our garage sale. He didn’t buy anything, but we talked about Jesus for a while, so it was cool.

These conversations begin naturally and simply and I’m often blown away by the tiny bits of grace and truth woven in. It’s like adding a little salt to the mix. It’s nothing big, but I’m convinced it makes a difference. I’m also convinced that the best way to share your faith is by simply letting your life be good news.

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Laughing At Our Sin

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been thinking lately–which I know might be a dangerous thing–about the issues we all have. This all happened after I counseled some of our students who told me they were ‘struggling’ with sin.

We talked about Scripture and Jesus and still felt like we were back at square one. I thought about what sin means if you’re in Christ. Being in Christ means you have been set free. And freedom is something to take joy in.

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The Importance of Short-Term Mission Trips

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I just got back from a short-term mission trip to Ecuador. Like most churches, we seem to take a couple trips a year to various parts of the world. Our trips range from construction and building projects, to evangelism and training opportunities.

Of course, taking a short-term mission trip is not easy or always financially viable. Some have argued that instead of going on these trips, we should just send resources or money. But there’s a beauty in going. Short-term mission trips are important for several reasons.

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