Welcome to my blog. I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and – join the conversation.

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Quick Bio
I’m a businessman, elder in one of the more conservative mega churches in Grand Rapids, Michigan and for over 25 years a full time spiritual mentor of men. I love introducing people to Jesus and truth from God’s perspective. I’m also an NPR listener and student of our culture because I want to understand how the world and a younger generation think, so I’m prepared to engage in conversations which are true to the Bible, intellectually honest and gracious.

Following Jesus is the only hope I have of living this life with purpose, energy and expectation. I hope to end my days on earth still meeting young men at Starbucks who have no interest in God, being the patriarch of my family, cheering them on to godliness, making sad people smile and the lonely – laugh, giving the poor hope, pointing wayward men back to their families, teaching the whole counsel of God and keeping myself unstained – God’s reputation and mine intact.

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Welcome to my blog.
I spend half my life in coffee shops having honest conversations about how following Jesus works in real life. So, let’s learn together, grab a cup and join the conversation.

This edition from Simon and Schuster has been totally revised with expanded teachings and a study guide. Available in stores and online now!


   
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Guest Blog: An Interview with Eric Metaxes
Posted by Clare
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eric_book
Eric Metaxas, is the author of Bonhoeffer, and a columnist, speaker and Christian thinker I respect a lot. In this interview with John Zmirak, he discusses his surprising takes on moral foundations that are foundational for a functioning democracy, the premise of Eric’s latest book, If You Can Keep It.

John: Please explain what you mean by the “Golden Triangle of Freedom,” a concept which you take from Os Guinness, that inspired you to write this book.
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Six Things You Can Do to Address Racism
Posted by Clare
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Racism
Our family, including our grandchildren, have been discussing the events in Dallas and the videos of black men being killed by police. And now the heartbreak in Baton Rouge yesterday. Everyone has an opinion, because we all want a solution.

I hear white Christians blaming the problem on the immorality and breakdown of the family in urban America. And blacks see racial discrimination everywhere from the justice system to education. And there are elements of truth in both camps. Human nature is such that we tend to find evidence to support the views we already hold. And at no time was this form of confirmation bias more obvious than in the O.J. Simpson verdict.

But if I hear one more politician, or new commentator say, “It’s time we have a national conversation about gun violence and racial discrimination by police against black men,” I think I’ll scream! We’ve been having those conversations for years, and intensely ever since the Trayvon Martin incident in in 2013, spawning the Black Lives Matter, movement.

Please don’t misread me; I’m all for discussions and conversations, even at the national level to address these problems. But, we can learn from environmentalists who coined the phrase “Think globally, but act locally.”

So, what does “act locally” actually mean in this context? It means that although you and I alone can’t change national policy, we can and should be far more proactive with our own family and friends. So here are six ideas to get started;
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The Myth of “Closure”
Posted by Clare
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Closure

I’ve sat with men and women, months after the death of a child, spouse or parent and have been asked “will I ever find closure?”

My honest answer is “probably not, and I’m not sure you truly want closure.”

Closure works well in some areas, like the closing of a real estate transaction. But the term closure does not apply well to the human heart. It might not be possible, or even desirable, to permanently close the heart on a deep relationship, ended by death.

Are you sure you really want closure?

I loved my mother deeply. When she died unexpectedly more than 15 years ago, I would not look at her in the casket. I wanted to remember her the way I’d last seen her, watering flowers at our cottage on a bright June morning. She was one of the great loves of my life!

Several family members said I was in denial. Perhaps I’d never get closure, they said. I didn’t want closure. I don’t want closure even now. Yes, of course I wanted the pain to lessen, and it did surprisingly quickly. But if ever I went a month without thinking of her, sometimes with sadness but mostly with joy and gratitude, to God, something good would be missing from my life. I don’t ever want closure until I meet her in heaven. Then ironically, there will never be closure!

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

It’s not over
In losing someone, it’s important to remember that the relationship is not over. Death can rob us from the companionship of a loved one, but not from the memories of their life and love. And why would we not want to remember that, even at the risk of some tears?
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A New Kind of Reconciliation With a Former Spouse
Posted by Clare
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Resolution
Almost every divorced Christian I know cannot imagine reconciling with their former spouse. So much hurt, so many bitter words and fights. “Clare why would I take that risk and jump back into that snake pit again?”

Not only are there those risks, but in most cases one or both of the spouses have remarried. “So, Clare even if I wanted to reconcile with my ex it is impossible.”

Surprisingly, it isn’t. At least, not the kind of reconciliation I’m encouraging.

So what follows is the advice I gave to a divorced man recently that you may want to pass on to a divorced friend, or anyone at odds with another believer.
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