Lessons Learned from the Weddings of Friends – Part Two

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Marriage is a journey. I had the privilege of watching two dear friends begin that journey on Saturday, and I loved seeing their excitement for the road ahead. As they exchanged their vows and reflected on how God had so perfectly led them together, I saw yet another picture of God’s love for us. The simplicity and humility shown was beautiful, and it pointed to the pure example of Christ, who died for his enemies to make them adopted children of God.

As new marriages are beginning, others I know are marking the first of many anniversaries, allowing me to see couples in a various number of early stages. Not surprisingly, I’m learning a lot by watching those facing the challenges that time brings. Today, I wanted to continue adding to a post I wrote in June. I pray God will encourage and challenge you through these observations. Continue reading

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God’s Faithfulness to Stubborn Hearts

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The Israelites were a hardheaded bunch of characters. I’ve been reading through the early books of the Bible (I just recently started on Deuteronomy), and I’ve noticed that the Israelites seem to rarely be content. No matter their situation, they always want something more. When they are miraculously delivered from captivity, they complain that their food situation isn’t adequate. When God miraculously provides bread, they complain that they don’t have meat. When God miraculously provides meat, they soon begin to complain that they’re tired of the meat. Throughout the wilderness wandering (which came about due to the people’s disobedience), Israel shows herself to be a fussy people. Continue reading

Lust: The Ugliest of Pokemon

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“Pokemon Go” came out this past week in app stores, and, consequently, twenty-somethings all over are reliving their childhood calling to “catch ‘em all!” By using smartphones, we can now see the teeming masses of Pidgeys and Rattatas that pepper the landscape as we hunt the elusive Scyther on campus (no exaggeration; NOBTS is covered with Pidgeys and Rattatas). I have to admit that I’m sucked into the craze. For a simple enough game, “Pokemon Go” delivers hours of fun.
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An Even Trade?

I used to be all about some trading cards. Granted, I never managed to jump on board the major trains (shout out to Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic, etc.). Instead, I amassed stacks upon stacks of Young Jedi cards (a trading card game based on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace), Marvel’s Recharge trading card game (complete with images from the first Spider-man movie), and, finally, The Lord of the Rings trading card game. For all the inherent nerdiness, trading card games captivated me for years. I loved to collect, to display, and, whenever I found an opportunity, I loved to trade.
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Fellowship

Frodo could not have made it to Mount Doom without the help of the fellowship. Sure, he wasn’t completely helpless on his own; he showed surprising resilience and courage throughout the journey. In fact, the strength of hobbits continually surprised the peoples of Middle Earth throughout the story of The Lord of the Rings. But the truth remains that the fellowship, that band of nine commissioned to carry the ring of power to its destruction, were crucial to Frodo’s success. The fellowship challenged Frodo to grow beyond what he had once thought possible for himself, and, because of their influence, he was able to complete his mission. Continue reading