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Author Archive | Dr. Steve McSwain

How Do You Define Faith?

Define Faith Today I was asked, “How do you define faith?” I’m not sure you can. Isn’t it a little like trying to define God? Whatever you say about God is either wrong or woefully insufficient. Which is why, even when the New Testament writer says, “God is love,” (1 John 4:8) he is both […]

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Why Christianity Needs Heretics

Christianity needs heretics and, anyone who knows Christian history, knows this religion, as indeed all religions, has had its share of them. In fact, virtually every denomination was birthed out of what was labeled heresy by the “orthodox” at that time.

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Life Purpose…The Purpose of Your Life

Your life purpose! Can you say with certainty what IS the purpose of your life? Oh, I suppose you can and people do… All the time. But is it real? Or, are they just deceiving themselves? I, for one, cannot say with certainty — not with absolute certainty what my life purpose is: Over the […]

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Real Fear…and, the “Other” Kind

Real Fear (and, the Other Kind) There are two kinds of fear…real fear and…well…the other kind. Real fear is familiar to everyone. It’s the body’s natural reaction to a threat. It’s the immediate and natural physical reaction to anything, or anyone, that threatens your life… It’s what you feel when you slam on your brakes, […]

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Judge Not…

Judge Not…” said Jesus. Therein lies our problem. You judge in another what you deny may also be in you.

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On the Meaning of Faith…

The Meaning of Faith Faith: What is faith? Content? Doctrines of our church? The stuff you believe? The stuff we believe? What the Church believes? What our church believes? Your beliefs? Their beliefs? Our beliefs? Which is it? Maybe none of the above. Faith may be less about “content” and more about “conduct”? Not as […]

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Forgive Yourself

Forgive Yourself Forgive yourself. Hm. That’s not what we normally talk about, is it? It’s usually about asking for forgiveness or seeking someone else’s forgiveness. And then, there’s that sticky problem of what you are to do when you say to someone, “I have wronged you. I am sorry. Please forgive me,” and they don’t? […]

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Peace of Mind? How Will I Ever Find It?

Stress is caused, is it not, by the internal dialogue – the incessant mental noise – that expresses itself in words and attitudes such as, “This should not be happening.” Peace of Mind I wrestle with this almost daily. There are many things that come into my life that are unwanted. Do you ever have […]

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Life is a Puzzle, Isn’t It?

Pam, my spouse, loves puzzles. This is one of her latest. I’m pretty sure she got this one to put together alongside Charlie and Mason, two of our grandchildren. As you can see, it is assembled enough now to tell it’s a picture of the ocean and its varied sea creatures. I don’t have much […]

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Live by Faith…But How?

Live By Faith But how? The 6th century Greek philosopher named Xenophanes wrote: “If horses had gods, they would look like horses.” Explains why I grew up thinking of God as this big dude (a bigger and unlimited version of me) in the sky who was neither limited nor weak like I am but who […]

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Snowflake in Winter

Snowflake in Winter Want to bring yourself instantly into the Eternal Presence? And, there remain? Forever? Do this… At the very moment a thought of God pops into your head… At the precise instant a sensation comes over you that is nothing short of sacred…like that feeling you might get at opening the shades on […]

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Storms: Navigating Life’s Storms

I’m thinking about those times in life when the doubts of faith are many and the difficulties of life are manifold. Thank God, on the sailing journey of life, those times are few. Do you remember that time when Simon Peter and the other disciples were sailing on the Sea of Galilee (Matt 14)? Suddenly, […]

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Follow Jesus: Three Reasons to Do So

Why follow Jesus? Or, what does it mean to follow Jesus? This morning, I opened the Gospel of John to the sixth chapter, desiring to read and reflect on what has become my favorite Gospel account of the life of Jesus. I did not get very far in the text, however, before I stumbled over […]

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Knowing God: How to Know God

Knowing God: Is it Possible? There is no religious belief that, once you know it or say you believe it, will magically unlock the door to God. So, I would advise you to remember this: the impulse you feel to know God…that impulse IS God.  But, having said that, don’t get too attached even to […]

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Spiritual Growth: How Does It Happen?

For your faith to remain vital you must question it, then affirm it, and then let it die. Spiritual Growth Then, you repeat the process. Do not be discouraged by this cycle of birth and death. Every death makes possible the birth of something grander, even more glorious. Death and resurrection is only a one […]

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