20 Bold & Politically Incorrect Forecasts for the Roaring 2020s (& 30s and 40s)

This is response to my father’s blog, “The Roaring 20s 2.0: Thoughts….” People are living more and more of their lives in the digital realm. Now, my inner old soul/hiker wants badly to lament this trend, but instead, I must submit, why not embrace it and use it to spread God’s kingdom? If you know me personally, I probably shared with you some stories about how… Technology is making the[…]

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The Roaring 20s 2.0: Thoughts about 2020 and a New Decade (Guest post by Stephen Garner)

Almost 100 years ago, the world, and especially America, experienced an exciting economic boom. Everything seemed possible through the new modern technologies, such as the automobile, movies, radio, the telephone, TVs and airplanes. Society broke with many long-held traditions and embraced great change. The popular TV show and movie, Downton Abbey, helped many of us see what a decade of disruption and change it was in the Roaring 20s. On[…]

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Guest Post: “How I Became A Hiker Dude” by Stephen Garner

It is my great pleasure to feature Stephen Garner for the first time. I hope you enjoy my father’s unique blend of biblical insights, illuminating anecdotes, and punny repartée. Our numerous hikes together over the past decade have then a powerful connecting force during my young adult years. Read more of his work at https://hikerdude.wordpress.com/. Someone asked me once how I became interested in hiking. I hadn’t really given it[…]

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Jesus: Don’t Judge? (pt. 2)

Okay, maybe judgment isn’t such a bad word after all. What, then, could Jesus mean by His words in Matthew 7:1? Well, first, who is Jesus talking to in Matthew 7:1? Check the context. Four verses later, He addresses his audience as, “You hypocrite.” Now, I will be the first to admit that I and everyone I know struggles with a little bit of hypocrisy, but to truly understand what[…]

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Jesus: Don’t Judge? (pt. 1)

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matt. 7:1). These oft-quoted words remain a favorite of Generation X and millennials, but what do they really mean? The term “judging” is used by my generation with an almost universally negative connotation. “Don’t judge.” “Only God can judge me.” “Don’t judge me if you don’t know me.” What we’re really saying is, “Back off. Don’t tell me what I can[…]

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Jesus Says NO to Self Defense?

There is plenty in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount to wrestle with. Does he really mean, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and threw it away”? Does he really mean, “Blessed are those who mourn”? Wait … um, doesn’t the Bible also command me to rejoice? (See Philippians 4:4; Nehemiah 8:10.) Jesus, I think I’m confused. To make matters worse, part of my preparation for[…]

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Jesus Has a Brand?

It is interesting how powerful a symbol can be. There is one particular logo I have seen in many different languages (the one shown above is in Amharic, the most common language spoken in Ethiopia, where I went in 2012). The same is true for the other languages in which I have seen the classic white writing on a red background with that unmistakable swoop. One of the most powerful brands[…]

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Teaching: Whose Job is it Anyway?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You can lead a child to knowledge, but you can’t make him think. I’ve been thinking about the role of the school versus the role of parenting in the education of a child. For what it’s worth, I have a few *ahem* candid thoughts. The state’s job is not to educate your child; it is to make[…]

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Teaching: Confronting my American Idols

Step into my classroom on any given morning, and you’ll see a kaleidoscope of humanity. About half my class was born outside the United States. I have students from Eastern Africa, the Middle East, India, Burma, and more. My American-born students range from platinum blonde to black, and all in between. They are Muslims, Christians, and non-religious. You continue looking around the classroom. Their learning experiences are just as varied.[…]

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Madman or American Hero? (Part 2)

Continued . . . A man who attacked Harpers Ferry? Yes. A madman? Perhaps. A radical, Violet abolitionist? Yes. It’s easy to see where this man’s reputation comes from—first, the part you’ve heard. John Brown felt the federal government wasn’t doing enough to in slavery, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He attacked the federal arsenal then at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, with an aim to use[…]

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Madman or American Hero? (part 1)

Sitting in Mrs. Tuggle’s 5th grade classroom as a 10 year-old, with U.S. maps and Gettysburg Address posters on the walls, I remember a few things. When I wasn’t presenting about the great locomotive chase of Kennesaw Mountain or staring blankly down my t-shirt in my desk, we learned about U.S. History since the Civil War. I learned about Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote a book called Uncle Tom’s Cabin,[…]

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