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Special Features

The Parable of the Birds
When I was growing up in church, we didn't celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmastime because we weren't sure... (read more)

Related Articles: It's Still Christmas | Dancing for Immanuel

Good News for Christmas
We love stories around Christmas time, don't we? And so did Bob. He was thirty-five years old and working for ... (read more)

Related Articles: The Weather when Jesus Came | Christmas is About

Your Invitation to a Year with Jesus
Dear Friend, I am inviting you to spend this next year getting to know Me more completely through daily time together in... (read more)

Related Articles: Drawing Nearer | Beyond the Sacred Page

Older Articles from 'Special Features'

A Call Has Been Made on My Life
People have asked for ways to help Kent and Amber Brantley. Here is one family approved way to help.... (read more)
Sometimes There Are No Answers
When a dream you have had for years, maybe a lifetime, begins to fade and you realize it is probably not going to come true, you ask the questions; but there are no... (read more)
A Saved Life
The door to the classroom slowly opened. Long boney fingers clung to the door as an unknown person entered. She carefully shuffled her feet as... (read more)
Easter Clothes
When I was a kid I didn't like Easter Sunday. At least not the church part. It was one time a year my brother and I were expected to get "dressed up" for church. We'd shine our... (read more)
More than a Gamble over Clothes
The soldiers on Jesus' crucifixion detail cast lots and gambled for his clothes as he bled and died on the cross. The crowd mocked Jesus. And he slowly died in unspeakable agony... (read more)
Sweet Redemption
Boston preacher Dr. S. D. Gordon took a rusted and battered birdcage to his pulpit one Easter Sunday and left his audience to wonder until he was... (read more)
Broken Things
Many of us are broken at one time or another. We are sometimes broken in spirit, sometimes broken in body, sometimes broken in relationships and sometimes... (read more)
Life Among the Outcasts
I read a book over the recent holiday break that I am requiring of students in one of my classes. It says several things most of us desperately need to... (read more)
Worship Is a Lifestyle
Worship is a Lifestyle, not just a once a week on Sunday deal we make with God! "If you will not worship God seven days a week, you will not worship Him... (read more)
Who Can We Trust?
Rumors circulated for weeks about a well-known college football coach at a prominent university — will he be fired or would he not be... (read more)
Losing the Hidden Weight in 2014
I know, it's resolution time. As the Yew Year begins, I am choosing to lose some weight — not body weight, as important as that is, I am going to lose some... (read more)
A Gift Worth Re-gifting?
Re-gifting has become a fairly common occurrence this time of year. I heard John Orberg tell about taking a gift he and his bride received for their wedding and... (read more)
Be Careful with this Gift!
Some gifts are dangerous. For instance, if you gave the Captain America soft shield to your young superhero, retrieve it... (read more)
That Star?
So in case you were wondering, an astrophysicist at Notre Dame University is pretty sure he can tell you what the star that Matthew says announced... (read more)
Exchanging Your Christmas Dream for a Bigger One
Something unusual happened while waiting in line to board WestJet flights in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario. We're told it happened on "A Night Before Christmas."... (read more)
I doubt if any of you know Madeline Rackley, but I hope all of us can imagine ourselves in her shoes for a few minutes. We are standing in Judge Jim Coronado's courtroom... (read more)
Silence at Christmas to Listen
If you're looking for a special Christmas present for a music enthusiast on your list you might check out a cool headphone company called ... (read more)
Black Friday approaches. We're probably used to that part of Thanksgiving by now. (It's interesting that I just called it a "part of Thanksgiving," isn't... (read more)
The Rabbi's Nudge about Thanksgiving
"Are you thankful?" That's the question a friend of mine and I ask when we are about to eat a meal in a public restaurant. I call it an "abstract" — a very... (read more)
This Treasure Is up for Grabs
As a kid, I loved trips to the dump, the local mountain of smelly, gooey, garbage and treasure. After waiting in line and paying our fee, Jack backed up to the appointed... (read more)
Illness, My Teacher
I'm not a very good patient. I am impatient with the time wasted. There is so much that needs to be done and yet I lie here watching the day slip... (read more)
Blessed Assurance
As my mother neared the end of her life, her comments sometimes bordered on the comical, but most of the time they were painfully serious. I had to... (read more)
Practice the Wine of Kindness
Weddings and wine. They've been married for centuries and yet some Christians would be more than happy if they'd get a divorce. Let's face it: what would... (read more)
God's Redeeming Love!
No matter the way "I love you" is written or spoken in another language, the meaning is the same: "I care. I value you. I appreciate you. I desire... (read more)
Fighting Terror
A few years ago I attended a conference in London regarding the Muslim world in transition. I presented a paper there and chaired a session. One of... (read more)
Help? "We Need Your Help!" That's the cry of thousands of believers. Their cry is real. Their cry is urgent. Their cry is often hidden by the reports on the news... (read more)
You Were Born to be You!
Who am I? What was I created to be and to do? Why am I here? Do I have a purpose? Does God have a plan for my life? Questions some of us struggle with from time... (read more)
So Glad God Doesn't Require a Smartphone
My cellphone contract is up. So, I am a candidate for a new smartphone. A week of shopping has made me wonder: am I smart enough... (read more)
I've Been Wanting to Talk to You
If it's possible to like someone you have never met, I really, really like Dan Smith. Dan is an Austin, Texas, businessman who developed a... (read more)
He had no reason to hope for a miracle, really. It might have been nothing more than eczema, or ringworm, or any number of skin diseases that today we treat ... (read more)
Influence: Not a Church Word!
Contrary to what you've heard, if you really want to influence someone for Jesus, your first step is not taking... (read more)
When Did God Change?
The year was 1978. My father had a Ford Station Wagon that was green, with brown paneling on the side. In those days, station wagons were made with a backseat ... (read more)
You'd Do It All Again
Oskar Schindler had his share of less-than-noteworthy characteristics. He was a womanizer and a heavy drinker. He bribed officials and was a member... (read more)
Check Your Assumptions
The unsubscribe notice dropped into my inbox. It wasn't a total surprise, people change email addresses and change their minds, but this time God nudged me to ask... (read more)
What's Keeping You from Joining the Party
Charles Dickens once called this the "greatest short story ever written." You may know it as The Prodigal Son. That's unfortunate because "son" is singular... (read more)
A Light to Bring You Safely Home
One of my favorite children's messages is about lighthouses. "It is a dark and stormy night." (The room becomes dark.) "Lightning flashes across... (read more)
Protective Covering?
For the life of my two mobile devices (iPhone and iPad) I have had protective covers on both. I was afraid the beautiful clear glass would get... (read more)
Stop by the Lobby and See My Underwear!
Lovine Beth Johnson was a small-town girl from Ashby, Minnesota. William Overton Huckaby, Jr., was a small-town boy from Columbia... (read more)
In Need of a Transplant
Patricia Winters was tired. She just wanted to be a good mother, but could barely make it through the day. Cardiomyopathy had left her winded ... (read more)
It's just a little Thing... not Really!
Have you noticed that much of life is made of events or happenings or opportunities or things that might fall into a classification of a very little thing, but not ... (read more)
Getting It Wrong
Have you ever done something and realized (sometimes immediately) that you made the wrong decision? Most probably you have... I think it is... (read more)
Prayer: Warrior or Weakling?
When I was a kid most summers we'd go for a week or two to visit my grandparents in Pocahontas, Arkansas. My brother and I would go into ... (read more)
Knowing Your Role in the Game of Life
Andre didn't have a clue what to do. Andre was from Bulgaria and had never seen softball before. Before he knew what... (read more)
A Cry from the Hills of Judea
It was deathly quiet now. An eerie darkness had settled over the scene. The once shouting crowd now cowered... (read more)
Standing on the Edge of a new Adventure
I just finished downloading pictures from our last sailing adventure. There is always a story or a metaphor of a story in each one I keep. Sure, I look for light... (read more)
Looking for Jesus at Christmas
The Birmingham City Council of Birmingham, England, is looking for Jesus. As their Christmas Market opened for... (read more)
Stealth Listening
From the corner chair in Starbucks I can see lots of life, but I can hear more than I can see. I love to sit in that chair, it gives me opportunities to practice... (read more)

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