My Thoughts

What is the Worth of Our Religion?

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If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. ~James 1:26

It is hard to read the book of James and not feel deep conviction over the ways we fall short of God’s glory. Even James himself said that we all stumble in many ways (James 3:2), and this truth really comes into focus when we read his letter. I often joke that if James was alive today and simply read his letter during the sermon time, many churches would accuse him of not being Gospel-centered enough. How does this imperative-driven book provoke us to think more holistically about Gospel-centeredness? Read the rest of this entry »

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Marbury Life Update!

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Hello friends!

The Marbury family has a few life updates, and a number of you have asked for some details. I figured instead of answering the same questions over and over, I could direct you to a central place to find out. So, I put together a list of “frequently asked questions” about the Marbury life update. These might not satisfy all of your curiosity, but at least you will be a little more informed about what the Lord is doing in our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

When I’m Too Full to Love God

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Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die. . . give me neither poverty nor riches. . . lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. ~Proverbs 30:7-9

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Who is God? Is God good? What is goodness? Why do I not feel God? I have gotten these kinds of questions a lot over the years as friends and acquaintances sometimes feel disconnected from God. They are struggling with doubts and boredom, and they are unsure how to deal with them.  They go through the motions of prayer, reading Scripture, and nothing seems to stoke the flames of worship. Is there really a point in praying? I don’t really feel anything afterwards. Church isn’t really doing anything for me. There are moments when our faith can feel dried up. Read the rest of this entry »

Eyes Set on Eternity

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But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you ~ 1 Peter 3:15

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I work in an organization that helps the under-served. The neighbors in this community are dealing with lack of jobs, reliable transportation, education opportunities, access to healthy food options, and more. There are several things that need development in this community. I have a friend who has been a skeptic for years. Religion and God rub him the wrong way, but we get to have some interesting conversations about life and its meaning. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Celebrate Black History?

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The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. ~Genesis 2:15

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A pastor friend once told me that his church does not celebrate black history month because they do not want to single out any particular culture in their worship service. (He said this while we sat in his church’s sanctuary with an American flag flying high in the corner.) I have had several friends over the years express uneasiness about observing black history month. The most frequent objection I have heard is, “we don’t celebrate white history, so why celebrate other people?” Varying degrees of sensitivity fuel that question. Why single out one culture if we do not do that during the rest of the year? Read the rest of this entry »