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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2

Do Christians Who Commit Suicide Go to Heaven?
Posted by Clare
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I’ve had the privilege of meeting a half a dozen or more Christians in my lifetime who were seriously contemplating ending their lives. These weren’t just average people going through depression. One young business owner, whose family called me late one night, had a gun in the drawer of his desk in his office. Another successful professional, whose wife frantically called me had been contemplating ending his life for weeks. They and the rest were dead serious about putting an end to it once and for all.

Every single one of them asked me The Question, “Do Christians who commit suicide to go to heaven?” I was afraid if I told them what I really believed, they might just do it. So I lied. “I’m not sure,” I told them. And if that was a sin, I was willing to commit it to scare them into choosing life.

On this topic, theologically, I’m way over my pay-grade. So the following are the views of Pastor John Piper, one of the most conservative and respected pastors and theologians in the country.
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2

What Does it Mean to Become More Like (the Actual 1st Century) Jesus?
Posted by Clare
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This is a guest blog by Dr. Preston Sprinkle. Preston has a PhD in New Testament, taught at Cedarville and Eternity Bible Colleges and co-wrote a book with Francis Chan. He’s also a close friend and co-founder with me of The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender. www.centerforfaith.com. Preston and his amazing family living what he teaches.

I’m one of those guys who has an extra sensitive Christian cliché antenna. Some call it a BS meter. It picks up on all kinds of chatter through the church airwaves and demands a concrete explanation. So when I hear Christians say “I want to become more like Jesus,” my meter goes nuts. Not that it’s a bad thing. Becoming more like Jesus is a good thing. But what is this good thing? What does it look like? What does it smell like? What does it mean to “become more like Jesus?”

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The Confession of a Recovering Martha
Posted by Clare
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In Luke we have this familiar story:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

Most of my life, I’ve not been all that wild about Mary, because I’m a Martha. I’m a doer. I like getting things done for the kingdom of God. I like organizing things, starting new ministries, teaching and leading.

Mary’s don’t seem all that interested in moving forward or pitching in with the work. They’re happy and thankful when you or other do it, but they are generally people, people. They hang out with people and they love quiet times of contemplation and Bible study. They’d rather “be,” than “do.”

Does Jesus favor Mary’s?
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3

What If There Is Nothing After Death?
Posted by Clare
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A few weeks ago, I gathered with our older grandchildren (high school and college) for what they call Papa School. They suggest topics they’d like to discuss about the Christian life, the Bible, history – you name it and I try to answer them.

One of the questions they asked was “how can we say with confidence, all other religions are wrong and we are right?” You can read my blog “The Myths That Not-Yet Christians Believe About God” for the answer to that question.

But one of the other impromptu questions during that discussion was this, “Papa, what if the Bible isn’t true and there’s nothing after death?”
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