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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I’ll post every Monday and invite you to weigh in.

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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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2

Thinking About A Divorce? Think Again.
Posted by Clare
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“I’ve had it! Our marriage is a sham. I really believe it would be better for the kids to not be exposed to the constant tension in our home. I just want to be done with it.”

I’m guessing that you’ve also heard these pain-filled words from a family member or friend and found yourself at a loss as to what to say. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be passing to you some ideas others and I have used to help our friends make wiser and more biblical choices.

Setting aside for a few minutes what the Bible has to say about divorce, and who’s to blame for the disintegration of the marriage. Here’s my response to this statement; “I just want to be done with it (or her, in this case) and move on.”
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Re-thinking What It Means to be “Devoted to Doing Good.”
Posted by Clare
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I just finished reading the short book of Titus. In chapter three, Paul uses a slight variation of this phrase three times, “devote yourself to doing good.” The opening verses of Titus say this:

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” Titus 3:1, 2

The first time I read those familiar verses, I blew right past them. “Sure, I know that! All Christians should devote themselves to doing good. Next!” But when I ran into that phrase “do good” twice more in the same chapter, I had an impression from the Holy Spirit to stop and reflect on them. So, what does it actually mean to devote yourself to doing good? 
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Seven Reasons Christians Shouldn’t Play the Lottery
Posted by Clare
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I’ve never blogged on the subject of gambling and the lottery, because specific prohibitions against both, in the Bible are rather thin.

However, the other day, I ran across this blog by Pastor John Piper who does a great job of making a case against playing the lottery, using a number of general biblical principles that I believe apply. So, if you are a lottery player, or you know another Christian who is, carefully consider John’s wisdom.

Americans now spend more than $70 billion dollars annually on lotteries. That’s more than the combined spending on books, video games, and movie and sporting-event tickets. Lotteries are legal in 43 states.

“That’s more than $230 for every man, woman, and child in those states — or $300 for each adult,” reports The Atlantic.

I agree with the report that this is a great shame on our nation. From time to time, the Powerball or Mega Millions lotteries rise to unusually high numbers and get fresh attention in the news.

Here are seven reasons, among others, I have often rehearsed to make the case that you should not gamble with your money in this way.

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There Are Some Things You Should Never Trust Jesus For
Posted by Clare
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That was a statement I made standing before 150 high school students one Sunday morning at my church, a few years back. I didn’t throw that line out just to get their attention. I meant it.

In the weeks preceding that Sunday, I’d had two different conversations, which troubled me.

The first was a forty-something man, I didn’t know all that well, who was unemployed. After some small talk, he told me with great enthusiasm about this job he’d applied for. “I’m really trusting Jesus to get me this job”, he gushed hopefully. “Would you pray for me?” I did, of course, but alarm bells were going off.

The second was a high school girl in a small group at my church, whose parents were going through a messy divorce. She, too, was “trusting” Jesus to put her parents’ marriage back together again.

Now, I know what each of these people meant when they said they were trusting Jesus. They were asking God to do something they desperately wanted done in their lives. That’s fair. I do the same thing all the time.

But, here’s what bothered me and this is how I addressed it that Sunday morning.
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