Monthly Archives November 2014

It’s Part of the Job Description

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By Mark Vermilion

Back in the eighties, I worked as a part-time sports writer for a local newspaper as I paid my way through college. Most of the time, I covered local high-school and college basketball and football games, but sometimes I got to cover major NCAA and pro sports events.

One of my best assignments was covering a Chicago Bears football game just a few months before Bears’ running back Walter Payton broke the NFL career rushing record. I interviewed Payton for a sidebar article I wrote to accompany the game article. It focused on the factors that had contributed to Payton’s success.

I felt a little awkward and nervous as I took my place with a few other reporters and stood next to Payton at his locker while he finished dressing...

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When God Doesn’t Make Sense (Giving Up on God Part 2)

Young man thinking

By Mark Vermilion

I trust God. I’ve learned that he’s trustworthy. But as I shared in Part 1, I don’t always understand him and the things he does. I have doubts at times. And I have questions. Lots of questions.

Maybe you do, too.

In Part 1, I shared that suffering is an evidence that God loves us. But I don’t understand why God allows so much suffering in people’s lives all over the world. (Does he have to love us so much?) I’ve heard a number of very smart people take their best stab at it, but their explanations seem thin to me. Some of them sound like they’ve appointed themselves as God’s public-relations rep, trying to spin a negative into a positive.

And I don’t understand why God allows evil people to prosper with wealth and health while some of his most committe...

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Disappointed in God (Giving Up on God Part 1)

Two friends

By Mark Vermilion

“My friends, do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

Not long ago, I talked with a friend (we’ll call him Jason) who had given up on God.

I asked him why.

Jason told me that he had given up on God–if there even is a God–because God had given up on him.

I asked him how he knew that.

Jason told me that God hadn’t been answering his prayers. He told me that his life was full of hardship, and God didn’t seem to care. He said God seemed distant. He told me that it’s a whole lot easier to give up on God than to have faith in Him.

He was shocked when I agreed. (Well, I sorta agreed.)

And Jason was further shocked when I told him that I had been on the brink of giving up many times...

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A Two-Hour Adoption

People on Plane

By Mark Vermilion

On a flight from Denver to Dallas a few months ago, I sat next to Kenny, a high-school junior from Westminster, Colorado. Kenny was very talkative, and I soon found out he was on his first-ever flight.

He was a little nervous, which was probably at least part of the reason why he was so talkative.

He passionately spoke about his love for Harry Potter books and movies—as well as popular dystopian books and movies like The Hunger Games and Divergent (his favorite). I soon realized that I would have to steer the conversation if we were going to talk about anything other than popular books and movies.

I did, and over the next 30 minutes or so, I learned that Kenny lived with his mother and older sister...

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