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I’ve always had a pretty good relationship with non-Christians and have been able to have conversations with them about spirituality and Christianity that a lot of people generally can’t. So, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d share my secrets with you.

Here is my definitive guide to dealing with non-Christians.

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Last Christmas I was standing in the lobby (foyer?) of a mega-church. This particular church had as, mega-churches often do, an impressive display that was changed with the season or sermon series.

This one was particularly impressive. It was a triptych of sorts. On one side, there was a nativity scene, complete with wise men and shepherds (together at the same time? I know. I wrote them   a strongly worded e-mail). On the opposite side was a Christmas tree covered in ornaments with pictures of kids they were sponsoring.

And in the middle, larger than either of the other sides, was a 20 foot tall cross.

This year I’ve seen friends post on facebook that “Jesus was born to die.” I read a blog recently that said, “Bethlehem only happened so Calvary could happen.” I listened to a sermon that imagined the first Christmas Eve as Jesus saying goodbye to his father and preparing for the cross (it ignored the fact that Jesus had been in Mary’s womb for 9 months since he wasn’t just God wearing a mansuit and it ignored the fact that he wasn’t going to die for another 33 years).

It seems that we are eager to turn Christmas into Good Friday.

I want to be upfront about where I stand on this: I hate it.

It is a lie, it is bad theology, and believing it is damaging you.

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I’ve written a lot about meditation. In fact, I think I may have written about it more than any other single topic.

And there’s good reason for that. Of all the ways to experience God, it has been the most profound for me. Even when I have no desire to worship, study, or teach, meditation always seems welcoming. Its comforting to me. I don’t have to prove anything. I just sit and be.

Maybe it’s the lazy man’s worship.  Or maybe the introvert’s worship. That’s probably what I like about it.

Beyond that meditation has a ton of physical and mental benefits. Meditation can:

  • Lower stress
  • Reduce risk of stress for teenagers and pregnant women
  • Help you sleep
  • Improve your memory
  • Help you focus

(Here’s a great explanation of what happens to our brains when we meditate.)

These health benefits can come from any form of meditation, but I’m encouraging forms of meditation that are specifically Christian. There are a few reasons I practice this specific kind of meditation.

So here’s why I meditate (and why you should too).

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Thanksgiving is in two days. If you haven’t already, go move your turkey from the freezer to the fridge. Seriously, go, this will still be here when you get back.

Thanksgiving conjures up images of construction paper headdresses and pilgrim hats, football, cornucopias, and giant balloons in parades.

But most commonly it brings to mind this.

Norman Rockell  |  Freedom From Want
Norman Rockell | Freedom From Want

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C.S. Lewis, one of the most influential Christians of the 20th century, died 50 years ago today.

During his life, Lewis wrote more than 50 books, the most famous of which are probably The Chronicles of Narnia. Earlier this year, I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to my four year old and was struck by  how effectively Lewis communicates complex theological and philosophical ideas through children’s fantasy. It’s because of this that these books are so well loved.

Lewis isn’t without his critics, though, and there are several passages in The Chronicles of Narnia that have raised some eyebrows. Martyn Lloyd-Jones even questioned Lewis’ Christianity based on an expression of the atonement found in The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe.

But its hard to dismiss an intellect like Lewis’ without further investigation. So in honor of his life and work, let’s defend some of the things you might not want your kids to read in The Chronicles of Narnia.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

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Do you know how many English translations of the Bible there are?

It’s hard to say, exactly. Estimates range from 100-900.

When I worked with students I often had the joy of watching them get their first Bible. Kids (and parents) would say to me, “There are so many different kinds, which one should I get?”

Maybe you have the same question.

Ultimately, only you can know which Bible translation is best for you, but to help you out, here are 4 questions you should ask when picking a Bible translation.
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These days the term “Spiritual Formation” is thrown around a lot. It is used just enough that we all feel like we should already know what it means and so nobody asks. But most of us really only have a small understanding of what is meant when people say Spiritual Formation.

So what is Spiritual Formation?

For Christians, it is the process of being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

But what does that mean?

In Matthew 22, a man asks Jesus what is the most important law.

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

According to Jesus, directing all of your heart, soul, and mind towards the divine is the most important thing for you to do.

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