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Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion against Low Expectations, by Alex and Brett Harris. Multnomah Books, 2008; 224 pages + appendix. Do Hard Things. It’s such a catchy title that the book’s subtitle could easily be overlooked. That subtitle, “A Teenage Rebellion against Low Expectations” is a very accurate indicator of the book’s contents, and […]

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Outliers – The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2008; 285 pages. Outliers is an odd choice for a Beacon Lights book review. Perhaps readers of the Beacon Lights would be expecting a religious book of some sort. Outliers is not. It is a thoroughly secular book intended for a secular audience. However, this book is a […]

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Youth – Prayer Candy

“Let’s pray,” began the preacher. All eyes were softly shut and all heads were bowed in reverence to God, but one child was enough to break the stillness. He blared out his signal that all was not right. His father quickly arose to take the youngster to the back of church. He sobbed all the […]

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Love…7-Eleven?

God is love. Our love for Him is a primary concern. Our relationship with the living God is awesome and important. But, it is very difficult. So God gave us a way to understand love. In His providential care and love, He did not place us alone in separate little pockets of the human population. […]

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Pride – Number One in My Life

I woke up this morning. It was a short night. Going to bed late last night, I got only five and a half hours sleep. But, I am awake. I need my shower to get things rolling. Shower should be quite hot. I like it very hot, almost scalding. Better hurry, though, or I might […]

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Mercy – What the Lord of Trees Has Meant Me to Be

Maple—The maple tree is a common species, numbering about 120 varieties. Maples grow almost exclusively in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a maple in the “bottom” half of our planet. Locating a bottle of maple syrup would be easier, since it is part of a multi-million dollar industry. […]

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Admonish-Would You?

Hi! You and I are friends. Such close friends we are that whenever I am in trouble, I call you. When other people talk poorly about you, you call me. We talk. We talk a lot. Sometimes we talk about important things: God’s direction in our lives, choosing a college, picking the right career (we […]

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Forgiveness – “A City of Two Tales”

In the city, it was a bright summer afternoon. A few fluffy, white clouds rolled overhead, but otherwise dotted with only a few of the flying sort. Crisp blue sky everywhere seemed so warm and inviting. No rain, no storm, no gray. It was blue—bright blue—with a few feathery, painted clouds. Amazing how weather can […]

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Happiness – Allegro Con Spirito

Happiness is a wonderful gift among God’s saints. Within the church family, one of the greatest times to share that happiness is in congregational singing. The moment to spread your joy is during the singing that is such an integral part of the worship service. Together we sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to our […]

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Compassion – Hail to the Victors!

Saturday, November 24, 1995. An afternoon football game that really meant something for a number of people was in progress. The number two college football team in the nation was trailing its opponent late in the fourth quarter. The score was very close all game. The lead had changed hands a time or two. But […]

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Respect: A Letter Sorely Missed When Absent

This is a most unusual paragraph. How quickly can you find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so ordinary you’d think nothing was wrong with it—and in fact, nothing is wrong with it. It is unusual though. Why? Study it, think about it, and you may find out. Try to do it […]

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The Definition of Unity

Unity, (u’ni-ti). noun 1. State of harmony, of being in agreement 2. Having achieved a dimension of oneness and concord 3. State in which the church, all individuals being members of one body, live together as brothers and sisters in the Lord 4. Good and pleasant when brethren dwell together 5. Synonymous with the dew […]

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Heaven – Our Hope

The poem I have written to fit the topic “Heaven our Hope” is written in dialogue form. That means, two people – or two groups of people – read the two columns of the poem simultaneously. When a reader’s side has only a blank line, he waits for the other reader to recite the “solo” […]

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Point Them to the Gospel and Jesus

The Bible is a good thing to read and study. However, for a person who has never opened one, the length of it may be daunting. When you run across this person at work or school, it would be a good thing for you to point out certain passages. Beginning at Genesis 1:1 and ending […]

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Call Me Abigail

The Word of God is the means placed before us to nourish our faith. The story of David and Abigail is a good example of the incredibly rich nourishment to be had through faith. When a believer digs in—really studies the Word of God—Jehovah-jireh (Provider) continually opens up that wealth of riches. Centrally, when it […]

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Our Mission Work

What is mission work? Mission work is the means God uses to preach the gospel of salvation. The Lord uses the preach­ers sent by His church to proclaim Christ to the wandering and lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 1:6; 15:24). Through mission work, es­tablished churches call those outside of Christ to repentance […]

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The Antithesis

Here is a diagram of the antithesis. What is the antithesis? It means that for each child of God, the Word of God supplies a rule of life that separates the Chris­tian from the ungodly. Each Christian is called to live this life of antithesis, life of distinction. Everything that you say must iden­tify you […]

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The Information Superhighway

Rushing into a new century, we no longer live in the Space Age or Information Age. The newest emphasis, swift communication of information over long distances, makes it more of a Communication Age. This age is reaching maximum speed on the new “information superhighway.” While the world in­dulges itself with such earthly devices, the Chris­tian […]

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Voyage of the Phoenix

This is the first article in a series on missions and witnessing. Some of the articles will focus on the church-bodily function of mission work, while others will center on the individual calling to be a witness of God’s Name through our everyday lives. This particular one will address the matter of witnessing through the […]

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Little Bilney: Ready to Witness

Sitting on the grassy slope were hundreds of onlookers. It was August 19, 1531 just outside of Norwich, England. Torn between two religions, England was a bloody sight. In 1531, she had not yet broken from Rome, although King Henry VIII was rearing that decree. Protestants and Catholics alike were suffering from the prolonged civil […]

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Thomas Jefferson and the Man from Uz

Philadelphia, 1776 – While the mid-summer heat wave sizzled over the city, Thomas Jefferson sat at his wooden desk to write a statement for the colonies. At first, his part was prepared specifically for the men of Congress. But 40,000 people of Philadelphia soon heard the meaning of the Declaration of Independence. Up and down […]

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The Golden Ratio

Do you have a second? Grab a tape measure. Measure the length of your leg (heel to hip joint) and the length of your lower leg (heel to kneecap). Divide the entire leg length by the lower leg length. It should come out to about 1.5 – 1.8. (Heel to hip joint) ÷ (Heel to […]

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Narrow-Minded

The time spent in catechism is for instruction concerning the Reformed faith. All those years studying the faith help catechumens see how to apply instruction toward a holier walk. Doctrine and life always go hand in hand. But what if someone questions your faith and asks, “How can you believe in the doctrines of total […]

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