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Struggles with God and Men

Mrs. Covey, my fourth grade teacher, taught me a great life lesson. She gave each student in our class at Bernard Hoffman Elementary School two fertilized chicken eggs. We put our initials on the eggs, which were put into a glass-topped incubator. After...

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Everything Falls into Place Eventually

Kristina dropped me off at the airport for a flight to Oakland last month. She was coordinating a medical clinic in Mexico for the weekend. I was traveling to California for Jon Riley’s ordination service, a family dinner, a pastor’s ...

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Stumbling into Health

Late one afternoon last month, I returned from my office exhausted. I tried to take a quick nap, but my left shoulder began to throb, making sleep impossible. I had hurt it lifting weights or sleeping in the wrong position. I wanted to have my physical therapist friend Steve ...

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How can we find the time?

I was talking with a friend with a large ministry who has many opportunities and challenges. I asked him what he does to stay in shape. He told me he eats healthy, works hard, and sleeps well. Those are all good things, but I encouraged him to take time ...

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Our Political Challenge

Years ago I learned a simple life lesson. If I want to enjoy my marriage, friends, and coworkers, it is best to be thankful for the blessings they bring, rather than focus on where they fall short. Lately, I’ve been trying to apply that principle to politicians. I’ve been following politics since I watched...

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Three Men with a Dream

In 1972, John Guido, and brothers Francis and Bob Capaldi, were close friends attending the University of Arizona. They heard stories about hippies and students coming to know Jesus on the beaches in Southern California. They headed west to visit the Jesus Movement sweeping ...

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Embracing Uncertainty

I have tried to peer into the future many times while praying. I would like to know the future, but most of the time it is a blur. I would like the Lord to tell me if I should invest in the stock market, or not. I think I know when our economy is headed for rough waters, but I cannot say for certain. I think I...

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I Wish I Could Do More

My back has gone out a couple of times this month. I wasn’t doing anything strenuous, yet the muscles in my lower back suddenly went into a spasm which made movement painful. I slowed down my workouts for a week, and I began to feel better. The next week, as I started out my front door to ...

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Inspired by a Dream

The ISIS attacks in Paris were a wakeup call for the western world. ISIS has given its followers a dream that the Caliphate they have established in Iraq and Syria can spread throughout the world. They are prepared to murder and terrorize anyone who opposes their diabolical agenda. Jihadists ...

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Chicken Little Goes on a Mission Trip

I wrote this Reflections in Honduras, where Kristina and I were visiting with Peter and Katie Stockton. Peter, a physician, brought his wife and four daughters to this remote northern coast to serve the poor. This area had no hospital for the thousands...

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Selah

I became friends with Larry Bresnan my senior year in high school. Larry went to a Fellowship for Christian Athletes camp after graduation and gave his life to Jesus. Larry found peace with God, started reading the Bible, and continually told me “Jesus is alive.” Even though Larry seemed to be ...

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A Snake in the Grass

Kristina and I flew to California in April for my mother’s 90th birthday. Our luggage never got off the flight, so our first day in Marin started with frustration. I was scheduled to speak at the San Rafael Open Door Church that Sunday. They had asked me to speak about the faith of Enoch from...

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When It's Time to Say Good-bye

A lady made a difficult decision to come and talk with me recently. She wanted to tell me her family was moving on to another church. It was not an easy conversation for either of us. She had served faithfully at Living Streams for several...

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A Model of Love

Our family will gather in Napa, California in April for my mother’s 90th birthday. Roberta Buckley has eight children, twenty-one grandchildren, and several great grandchildren with more on the way. Her life is full with lots of family, friends, faith and and bridge....

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Climate Change

I was driving to Living Streams on a recent Sunday morning when NPR announced the UN had released a report on climate change. It said scientists have evidence our behaviors have negatively impacted our environment and weather. They...

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What in the World is Going On?

Many people wonder how a group like ISIS can draw men from the free world to fight on its behalf. Why would a young man from Minnesota, London, or Sweden, leave the comfort of his home and risk his life fighting to establish an Islamic State? An Islamic State, or caliphate...

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The Big Difference

I've heard many people say, "As long as you believe in something, that's all that matters." They don't think it makes a difference what you believe about God. That is a naive philosophy. The world around us is screaming out a very different message. The Muslims involved in ISIS force men to convert to their brand of Islam or face execution. Like the...

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The Healer of Broken Lives

Like many people around the world, I grieved when I heard the news of Robin Williams' death. We both grew up in Marin County and attended the College of Marin at the same time. Kristina knew Robin from Redwood High School and College of Marin. She loved listening to Robin ...

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Misunderstandings

My sermon June 1 was titled, "What’s the Big Deal about Sex?" About fifteen minutes into my message, two rows of high school students sitting in the front right side of our sanctuary stood up and walked out. I didn't know what I had said that disturbed them so much. I continued my message, but I was upset. I felt like I must lack the wisdom...

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A Walk of Grace

At Living Streams our Easter services are packed with members and visitors. I feel extra pressure to prepare a good sermon for Easter. I want to bring fresh inspiration, not a recycled message. I had felt impressed by the Spirit to speak about the walk Jesus took with two disciples on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection. Two weeks before Easter, I went ...

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An Unexpected Blessing

In February, Living Streams hosted a worship and prayer meeting that was attended by a few hundred Catholics and Evangelicals. The local Catholic bishops were present along with Matteo Calisi and Giovani Traettino from Italy. I was sitting in a front pew next to Matteo when Robert Briggs, the Executive Vice President of the...

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Obedience Has Its Rewards

Giovani Traettino leads a network of Pentecostal Churches in Italy. For years Pentecostals had experienced persecution from Italian Catholics. So in 1992, when Giovani was invited to speak to a large meeting of Catholic Charismatics in Bari, Italy, he felt conflicted. He loved preaching the gospel, but he didn't want to betray...

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Hope for the Future

Kristina and I were listening to the news and having one of those, "Can you believe how bad things are getting," talks recently. Actually, evil has been in our society for a long time. We would be outraged if we lived in a society where people had slaves. Yet Americans, including many Christians, lived with slaves and justified their actions for two...

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Time to Live

On June 29, 1979, I was praying in my office in Novato, CA. As I knelt beside the couch, I heard a voice in my heart say, "I'm going to take you home." I got off my knees and sat down on the couch. I was really upset. "Lord, are you telling me that I'm going to die? I have two little boys who need me. Kristina is pregnant. She and our new...

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The Value of Relationships

I'm heading to my 45th high school reunion in Marin County this month. The dinner will be expensive, and it won't be served until hours past my usual dinnertime. I won't be indulging in cocktails beforehand, or much of the dancing at the end. I attend our reunions because I value relationships. It takes effort to establish and maintain good relationships...

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My Sabbatical

Four years ago, the elders of Living Streams suggested to me that I take a sabbatical. The idea sounded interesting to me at the time, but I wasn't sure how practical it would be for me to be away from our church for three months. I didn't want Living Streams to lose people or momentum. I was basically too insecure to take our elders up on their gracious ...

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