Christmas Lights, a Junkyard, and the Manger

Listen to the Audio My eyelids sprang open at three in the morning. Christmas morning. I was seven years old. My half brother Joel—already twelve and too cool for kid stuff—lay sleeping soundly next to me on a makeshift cot in the dining room. Fueled by the anticipation of Santa’s arrival and a record-shattering blood…

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Life Is Not About Trying Harder

Listen to Audio My late father Sam had three sons: Joel, Joseph, and me. Born of my father’s first wife, Joel is my half brother and five years my senior. Joseph and I share the same mother. Born three years before me, Joseph died before I came on the scene. My father also had two…

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A Plot Twist That Changes Our Mind About God

Listen to the Audio The religious authorities demand some answers from John the Baptist. Namely, they want to know who he claims to be and what he’s up to. He’s gotten their attention because he’s drawing big crowds and shaking things up. Tons of people have beaten a path to the desert to hear this…

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Play It Like You Mean It

Listen to Audio My daughter Meredith plays the flute. It’s not likely that she’ll make a living with her instrument, but she’s an accomplished musician. She has mastered various scales over the years. In other words, she reliably plays the correct notes in a range of keys. But musicianship involves more than merely playing the…

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