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Our God is big enough to do anything He chooses to allow or do. Lately, though, I’ve been doubting, not His power, but His willingness, in a key area of brokenness and pain in my own life. I’ve allowed myself to hope for restoration in something that He may not allow (and that I personally believe He will not allow).

Heart pain + No clear glimpses of God = A long, dry desert.

So what’s the plan? What do you do? How do we make it through when it feels like He no longer sees or cares about us?
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Topics: Theology
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A new Peanut Butter Cheerios ad is celebrating "Dadhood," and showing us what it means "to Dad." Check it out and let me know what you think!
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Is religion behind all the violence in the world? Is the cause of all fighting somehow rooted in religious beliefs? Some say it is.

For example, God accepted Abel’s offering and rejected that of Cain. “This,” the Bible says, “made Cain very angry” (Genesis 4:5). Later Cain killed Abel. The first act of violence among humans that the Bible records was rooted in a religious issue. Many more acts of violence have followed throughout human history that are directly or indirectly related to religion. . . .

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Are there things you just don't understand about dating? You should probably check out "Devil's Dictionary of Dating: A Guide to the Language of Love"; I now know "all the dating terms [I] didn't know but [was] afraid to ask about."

This witty, useful, and humorous guide is brought to you by First Things: "We are pleased to offer the below definitions to help clarify some of the most misunderstood terms connected with dating and relationships today —Ed."
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The Huffington Post is all over a study that purports to show that religious kids can't tell fact from fiction. Jim Davis of GetReligion quotes from the article: "The study found that, of the 66 participants, children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school were significantly less able than secular children to identify supernatural elements, such as talking animals, as fictional. By relating seemingly impossible religious events achieved through divine intervention (e.g., Jesus transforming water into wine) to fictional narratives, religious children would more heavily rely on religion to justify their false categorizations."

Can we please resurrect Chesterton, Lewis, and Tolkien to deal with this nonsense? There are times when nothing less will do. (Alas, though with God nothing is impossible -- as these fortunate and well-taught children understand -- I don't think it's likely.)
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I recently finished reading "Sun Shine Down" by Gillian Marchenko (whom I know slightly through one of my online writers' groups). Gillian and her husband, Sergei, were living as church planters in Ukraine when their third daughter was born. After a difficult birth, Gillian was floored by the words "They suspect the baby may have Down syndrome."

Already facing the day-to-day struggle of life in a culture very different from her own -- a culture with even less tolerance of Down syndrome than the United States -- Gillian now had a child with a condition she knew almost nothing about. Read More >
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TIME magazine reports, "For the first time in 57 years the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Information Survey has surveyed adults on their sexual orientation, and the results published Tuesday show that 1.6% of adults aged 18 or over identified as gay, while another 0.7% identified as bisexual."

In other words, we're being asked to remake marriage (not to mention completely change the face of primetime television) to be in accord with the desires of less than 3 percent of the population.

Makes you think, doesn't it?
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This past Monday I had the honor of addressing the Prison Fellowship Ministry staff in our weekly gathering. As I went before the Lord asking what He was laying on my heart to share, He took me all over the place. Finally, though, I landed in one comfortable spot: Read More >
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James Franco has recently adapted William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" and Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God" into films; it is rumored that Franco will eventually adapt McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" as well. All three novels (and film adaptations) share a significant theme in common: they attempt to explore human depravity at its darkest, deepest, and most devastating.

An article at Christ and Pop Culture suggests that Franco's adaptation of these three films shows a continuing trend in modern filmmaking: "an invitation to consider depravity." The article goes on to say (and rightly so, I believe), "If these adaptations and their sources reveal anything, it’s that culture is interested not only displaying depravity but also in interpreting it, an interest the Church must share."
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WORLD has named Andrew Peterson's "The Warden and the Wolf King" its Children's Book of the Year. I had the honor of being asked to serve on the selection committee, and I very much enjoyed Peterson's action-adventure fantasy -- the final entry in his "Wingfeather Saga" -- which was by turns creepy, funny, exciting, and deeply moving. Peterson's achievement is all the more impressive given the fact that he had to raise the money for its publication himself. As Janie B. Cheaney explains in her article for WORLD, "The Warden and the Wolf King project became the most successful fiction campaign in Kickstarter’s history." Read More >
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Valen blogged yesterday about the rollout of Rep. Paul Ryan's new anti-poverty plan. Now here's Craig Roche of Justice Fellowship with more on how Ryan's legislation would "help advance key principles of restorative justice."
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If you see a certain unusual symbol showing up all over your Facebook today, there's a very good reason.
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Alissa Wilkinson has a great post up at her blog at Christianity Today, celebrating the good ministers of film and TV -- ministers who show true godliness and integrity. (And I had the honor of contributing one to the collection!) Go here to see who made the list, and to make suggestions of your own.
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I mentioned recently that Meriam Ibrahim and her family have been taking refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum for about a month now. NBC News and others are now reporting that Meriam Ibrahim and her family have arrived safely in Italy, mere hours after her release from Sudan. Read More >
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Congressman Paul Ryan will deliver a speech to the American Enterprise Institute tomorrow in which he will unveil his anti-poverty plan. In the past the House Budget Committee Chairman has hammered federal budget cuts; however, in this new proposal Ryan says, “It is important to note that this is not a budget-cutting exercise — this is a reform proposal." Read More >
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