Pathfinding in the Dark

Earlier this week I went with Jacob, my Swahili translator and co-laborer in the Bible school, to his home village to attend the send-off of his sister. A send-off is a celebration that is held right before a lady gets married. It's a time for the family and friends to give her gifts to be prepared for marriage. It is in some way similar to the American bridal shower, but since it is a Tanzanian celebration it includes a bunch of singing and dancing.  I was asked to share a short speech, but since I…
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Near the Cross

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. -—Galatians 2:20 There is a well-known song written by Fanny Crosby that goes as follows: Jesus, keep me near the cross,   There a precious fountain;   Free to all, a healing stream,   Flows from Calv'ry's mountain.   Most people will relate the cross with Christianity, and rightly so, because…
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Changing Direction

I did something I've never done today. I have been in the Singida region of Tanzania, Africa for about two weeks. This morning I visited a church that I've never been to before in nearby village. I had prepared a sermon on The Need for Love from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, that I had intended to share. But during the worship service, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to preach instead on True Worship from John 4:23. I have always been skeptical of preachers that say that God changed what they were going to preach…
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The Rich and Poor are Met Together

The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all. —Proverbs 22:2 This Scripture reminds us of the account of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31. Both were very different in their social status and material possessions. But although very different in this world, they both met in the same judgment. The rich man’s money meant nothing now. It did not purchase him a ticket to paradise. But Lazarus, who was as poor as anyone we’ve ever met, was now rejoicing in that paradise. Then from this example can…
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Two Coats

I love a bargain. I own very few clothes that haven't come from clearance racks, thrift stores, or discount stores like T. J. Maxx (even there I still shop from the clearance racks). Last January I had a heyday at an end-of-season sale at Old Navy. (Don't ask me why retailers think January is the end of season for selling winter clothes.) Of the treasures I got, one of the best deals was a wool, double-breasted pea coat for less than $12. I like wool pea coats. This should be evident since I already had…
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A poem from Proverbs 11:2

xi. 2. The friend— (or should I say, acquaintance) Of the high-headed Is quite the bipolar sort. At once he is jovial and jesting (you are the subject of his laughter and the punch line of his jokes), Then suddenly he is changed (but unlike Jekyll, this disposition is no better) And is eying you with scorn Or not eying you at all. The friend— (and this is true, for she surely is) Of the humble Is the envy of all men. Always beautiful and honored; Rich and giving riches. Giving counsel, honor, strength, and…
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