Why Duct Tape Isn’t a Surgical Tool

A heart patient lies on the operating table, chest shaved and dabbed with Mercurochrome, tubes protruding, machines humming. A donor across country has provided a heart for transplant, and the medic delivers the vital organ in a nondescript cooler.

Medical personnel hastily prep the organ and make final adjustments to ready the patient for surgery.

Suddenly the patient’s eyes open wide, and he shouts “No! You cannot have my heart. I will not take someone else’s!” And gives his own orders to the doctors.

Despite their best efforts, doctors are unable to persuade the patient that getting rid of his old heart and receiving a new one are in his best interest, and in fact, is the only thing that could save him. Knowing that the donor’s heart can’t be used elsewhere, and giving in to the patient’s irrational demands, the doctors place the heart on the patient’s chest, and affix it with duct tape.

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When the Birth of Jesus is Troubling

Many people object to the Christmas story because it is too fantastic, resembling something more like a child’s fantasy than a fundamental tenet of a world religion.

After all, in the story of Jesus’ birth you find angelic revelations to both men and women that occurring in waking moments and in dreams, supernatural speech loss, virgin birth, astronomical signs, and international intrigue.

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The Present You Won’t Re-Gift (unless you do)

If you haven’t already grown anxious trying to find the perfect gift for that loved one, or the least expensive thing that might pass for a gift to that one you don’t love so much, you probably will soon.

And if you haven’t grown anxious about finding the perfect gift for another, then you’ve grown anxious that another might give you an imperfect gift, and are practicing your gift-opening poker-face.

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6 Compelling Reasons for Christians to Join a Church

Membership in the local church is increasingly seen as optional for Christians. Some churches don’t practice membership at all.

There are two primary ideas associated with this idea of optional membership, both of which undermine¬† the local congregation. The first is the notion that a person’s spiritual health is not dependent on gathering with other believers. In this view, someone can be Christian without attending corporate worship or Bible study regularly with the same group of believers, or without attending at all. The second is the idea that even if a believer is attending in some fashion, he need not be formally joined to that congregation through membership. In other words, she doesn’t need to be on a list of “members” to satisfy the communal aspects of her faith.

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Faircloth’s Law of Batteries & Corollary, No. 1

The price of the battery is inversely proportional to the amount of sleep you lose replacing it in the smoke detector.

Corollary: The battery will always fail when the dark is scariest or the sleep deepest.

An Easy Aid to Remember What You Read

If you read a lot of nonfiction, you will surely have realized that remembering things you read is difficult.

Here’s one trick to aid in comprehension as well as memory:

Stop at regular intervals to write a short, one-sentence summary of your impression from what you’ve read. If you read from several sources at once, as I do (seven different books, as well as the Bible!), you are typically shifting from subject to subject, and the Sentence Summary will help keep thoughts organized and remember where they came from.

Want to take your Sentence Summary to the next level? Rather than write your summary on any scrap of paper that happens to be around, or on your hand, or on the end pages of your book, keep a journal with a section dedicated to your summaries.

Happy (and memorable) reading!

Lazy Faith is Lost Faith: if it’s saving, then it’s working

The book of James tells us that lazy faith is lost faith: “faith without works is useless.”

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the the person who has saving faith that works will be walking on water, raising the dead, or causing droughts.

Instead, faith that works does things that might be less dramatic, but no less miraculous: rejoicing despite suffering, controlling the tongue, purifying motives, avoiding prejudice, rescuing believers.

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Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart (Nashville: Broadman Holman, 2013)

The common understanding of salvation as “asking Jesus into your heart” is problematic for those who lack assurance that they “asked” enough or Jesus left, as well as for those who have a false sense of security, believing that because they “asked,” Jesus was obliged to enter and remain.

J.D. Greear addresses this issue, and hints that we are not left with either false insecurity or false security in his subtitle: How to know for sure you are saved.