GUARDING ONENESS

How to Deal with the Killer of Unity in Any Relationship My mentor and friend surprised me the other day. I asked if he could recommend a go-to resource on marriage. I figured he would point to any number of more recent publications by major evangelical authors. Not so. He suggested Larry Crabb's 1991 publication Men & Women: Enjoying the Difference (Zondervan). It just so happens I have a copy in my library. I read it years ago. Never hurts to take another look, so I pulled it off the shelf and began reading again. It took only twenty-eight pages before these ...

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OUR BEST & NOTHING LESS

Pursuing Excellence as Peacemakers for 2017 in the Church God’s word tells us many things we must do for Jesus in light of who we are in Jesus. A select list of responsibilities, however, are subject to a be-the-best-we-can-be, give-our-all, go-all-out kind of excellence in obeying them. One of those responsibilities in particular for every church-going follower of Jesus gets a lot of Bible press. I’m talking about peacemaking. The Scriptures make this very clear in numerous places. Perhaps Ephesians 4:1-6 says it most thoroughly among them. I therefore, a ...

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A PEACEMAKING WIFE

How Nancy Excelled at Safeguarding Oneness in Our Marriage Today would have marked our 42nd wedding anniversary. Ever since Nan went home to Jesus last May 31, I've wondered how this final major historical marker would unfold for me. As I paged through our wedding album this morning, tears fell again. I have so many great memories of life with the wife my youth. We enjoyed uncommon oneness by and large throughout the years. In this personal post, I want to pay tribute to Nan the peacemaker. She took Eph. 4:1-3 seriously in the church and in our marriage. She ...

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BARS, CHAINS, & BIRTHDAYS

More Reflections Along the Jaw Rebuilding Road Last Tuesday took me to yet another doctor appointment in Miami. Never have I looked forward to the 500 mile, day-long marathon trip as I did for this particular visit. Time to remove the Erector Set pile of metal bars and chains holding my reconstructed jaw shut for the last 21 days. What a war! Two surgical residents. Pliers. Wire cutters. Suction. It started easy enough. But before long the yanking, twisting, pulling, and tugging increased. I stiffened in the chair like a 2x6 piece of red fir. My kingdom for some ...

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SAVORING THE BETTER FOOD

When Fighting To Consume Enough Calories Teaches a Spiritual Lesson Day 20. Operation RoboJaw 2 is nearly three weeks in my rear view mirror. Lord willing, tomorrow in Miami, the wires come off this jaw! The Lord has taught me so many things through this latest trial. One particularly important lesson came soon after surgery. I visited my PCP for a post-op follow up. He took one look at my weight and read me the riot act. "You've lost nine pounds in a week. You have to eat more!" Easy for him to say. But I did and have. The scale stabilized right around 170 lbs. I ...

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SUPERIOR SATISFYING TASTE

Experiencing a Taste Better Than 10,000 Kinds of Food Yesterday in Miami Dr. Marx examined the scan of my jaw now two weeks post Operation Robojaw Two. "Everything looks great," he pronounced. And then, turning back to look me in the eye, added, "Only one more week to go." My heart sank. I had nursed a slim home he might release the Miami Vice Grip inside my mouth a week early. Not a chance. "The bone graft is about the consistency of cardboard," he explained. "Still needs to harden some." Doc knows best. I kept my mouth shut. What else could I do anyway? Honest...

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THE TRIPLE FENCE

An Extraordinary Benefit To Having My Jaw Wired Shut One week down. Two to go. Robojaw 2 left me Meatless in Miami--a major upside to the whole jaw-wired-shut deal recorded in that post. Today another half-glass-full look at things from Revheff Smoothie Town. It came to me during my morning reading in the Scriptures. Psalm 141:3 stopped me cold: Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! King David prays. His sense of urgency in approaching I AM is palpable in the first two verses. Need drives him. Concern grips him. Several items ...

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MEATLESS IN MIAMI

When Life Is More Than Food I've seen this movie before. The sequel, like most, is worse than the original--at least with respect to the diet. Robojaw 2 leaves me not just meatless for three weeks, but "solidless" in every other way too. The next twenty-one days for this titanium man mean ingesting only liquids through a syringe. My kingdom for dinner at Emeril's. I get discharged today. Things went very well thanks to abundant prayers and Class A cutters and their staff. I'm grateful--really I am. But why back in prolonged involuntary fasting mode--AGAIN? They ...

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OPERATION ROBOJAW TWO

Ways To Pray for My Latest Jaw Journey In about an hour from writing this post, I head for Miami. Tomorrow morning the oral surgical team at Jackson South will open me up for measures necessitated from massive radiation treatment for head and neck cancer back in 2005. Nice way to spend a Thanksgiving, eh? I must keep this brief as time escapes me. In most ways my prayer requests remain much the same as they were for Robojaw One. You can watch that video post here. However, a few specifics come with this second major step in the four-part journey to return some ...

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POLITICS & CHURCH PEACE

I awoke Wednesday morning to learn that Donald Trump tweeted a revised bio on his feed: president elect of the United States. Honestly, as with the pre-election realities―unlike anything I can recall in my lifetime―I find myself on this side of Election Day scratching my pastoral head as to what to make of our state of the union. If ever I would categorize something as a Psalm 131:2 “too-high-for-me/above-my-pay-grade” scenario, the political drama unfolding before our eyes in 2016 qualifies as much as any of the other mysterious providences to enter my life ...

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