January 2013


A place for civic duty


Again a summons has come. This time it is from the U.S. District Court with a demand that I report for jury demand. It is probably my fourth summons during the past few years. They never come at a convenient time, but I always feel slightly honored to be summoned. It means my country, my state or my county need me.

It is a matter of civic duty, and it is important because I possess a great civic debt. To live in the United States is one of the great privileges of my life, and with that privilege comes responsibilities.

Quite honestly, it surprises me how much some people complain about a summons to jury duty or go to extreme means to...

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The 'mark of God on your heart' is what matters


Legalism is so tempting. Even if we understand the biblical concept of being saved by God's grace through our faith, there is a pull toward legalism, to judge based on rules. Just as 2+2=4, we want to know what you have to add up to equal "good" or "godly."

A New Testament view of life, however, is less like basic math and more like calculus, which involves the study of change by using symbols in making calculations. Following Christ is about change in our lives, and we talk about that change using various expressions.

The "legalistic critics" referred to by the Apostle Paul generally do not get it when it comes to understanding...

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Six year old Evan knows how to have a holiday


Six-year-old Evan Jenkins is full of energy. That energy shows up in various athletic pursuits, but it showed up in another way over the holidays.

Evan's dad, Rand, reports that in the midst of family holiday house cleaning, Evan "disappeared for a bit and came back wearing his orange 'No Kid Hungry' sunglasses and carrying all the money he could find in the house."

It turns out that Evan broke his piggy bank, found some change here and there around the house and even a $5 bill. He then made Rand and Denise stop cleaning in order to count his money. It came to $25.57. "Wow!" was his first exclamation. Second came, "I want to...

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