On ‘handling it’

There is a platitude often uttered in some Christian circles. It goes like this: God won't give you more (hardship) than you can handle. or God knows how much you can take (and won't let it go farther). This is used to rationalize staying in all kinds of abusive, harmful, and toxic relationships and situations …

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Moral physics

The concept of sacrifice is central to Christianity, but it is also found in many - if not most - traditional cultures around the globe. For many years it often occurred to me that if sacrifice is so intrinsic to human culture and mythology, then it must have roots in lower levels of organization: in …

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Still small voice

January 14, 2013: Paul preached a good sermon yesterday about Elijah, about how Elijah had fallen in love with wind, earthquake, and fire - signs of God's power and presence - more than with God Himself. Being able to call down fire at will, Elijah started to think he could control God's responses. Then God …

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Numb joy

After three brutal years in Uganda from 2010-2012, Amber and I left the country for six months. We toured Europe for a month and then spent five months in the USA where we reconnected with family, friends, and churches. Enough time had passed since seminary that I could relax a little, let my guard down, …

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Cold empathy

People with degrees of narcissism may have what Sam Vaknin calls cold empathy. That is, though they do empathize, their empathy tends to be cold, calculated, and cognitive. They are keen observers and analysts of emotions - in themselves and others - but largely incapable of feeling them. They remain detached from emotional life, preferring …

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Frodo’s quest

In late 2011 we were slogging through some tough times. The journal entry below, from October 23, shows how precariously near I was getting to burn-out: I really, really want to run away right now. I'm not naturally a fighter; I'm more of a flee-er. I'm scared that God wants me to stay here. That …

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Feathered friends

At a time in which human relationships were often so overwhelming, I took solace in communing with other members of the local ecosystem. This journal entry describes one special experience where I got to enjoy some of my favorite feathered friends. *The photos are not my own. August 7, 2011: Two mornings ago, when I …

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Temptation

July 16, 2011: After lunch I went to a cafe to do some planning for work. After a while, an attractive girl about my age came and sat close by. She had tight pants on and a low-cut blouse and she talked with a sexy European accent. Her presence really threw me into turmoil. I …

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‘Special’ forces

July 11, 2011: While watching a movie last night, my desire to be in the special forces got reawakened. I don't want to kill for any government but instead give life for the government of God, doing so in the manner of the elite teams: going behind enemy lines before conventional forces arrive being highly …

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Little girls

On May 9, 2010, I wrote the following: Being here with the X's, their beautiful houses and beautiful daughters, has stirred up all kinds of emotions I can hardly identify much less understand. I know this: I love girls...I wonder how God can use these desires? The best I could guess would be that I …

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