Category Archives: James R. Coggins

Treasures Old and New by James R. Coggins

In Luke 13, Jesus had been teaching a series of parables about the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven. He was talking to His followers, and He asked them,“Have you understood all these things?” When they said yes, Jesus told them … Continue reading

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Creative Writing Programs by James R. Coggins

An online discussion group raised an interesting issue for me. Is it possible to teach creative writing? There are certainly techniques all writers need to learn. But are creative writers born or made? What matters more, skill or talent? Here … Continue reading

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Whose Side? by James R. Coggins

At a morning church service, we sang a song about God being “for us.” The idea comes from Romans 8:31: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV) One of the pastors then told us to greet … Continue reading

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The Earth, Design, and Written Records by James R. Coggins

Today I will not be presenting a new blog (which, in the chaotic lull between Christmas and New Year’s, no one will have time to read anyway). Instead, for your reading pleasure, I offer some original poems. (Yippee!) Hey, they … Continue reading

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Who is Jesus? by James R. Coggins

We sometimes look at the various announcements of Jesus’ birth and gloss over the detailed statements of who Jesus is. Luke 1:26-38 tells the story of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary and telling her about the baby she would … Continue reading

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It is tough to write at Christmas by James R. Coggins

It is tough to write at Christmas. Christmas is the season of love and joy and peace. Everything that is written—a blog, a sermon, a story, a poem—must be filled with love and joy and peace. That is why we … Continue reading

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A Personal God by James R. Coggins

Luke 1:5-25 tells a story with cosmic significance. The priest Zechariah was performing temple service on behalf of all the Jewish people (and in a sense on behalf of all people). Gabriel, an angel, who stands in the presence of … Continue reading

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Writers and Editors by James R. Coggins

Writers write. Writers write because they can’t not write. They are so overflowing with ideas and stories that they just have to write them down and share them. If they don’t, they feel as if they will burst. I began … Continue reading

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Where is Jesus? by James R. Coggins

When they think about Jesus, many modern Christians picture Him walking the dusty roads of Palestine. Or they don’t think about the question of where He is at all. Early Christians were clear about where Jesus is. The apostles declared … Continue reading

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Sooley by James R. Coggins

I hate John Grisham. He is a master wordsmith. In his crisp, clear prose, he can describe in two sentences a complex situation that lesser writers would require two paragraphs or two pages to adequately portray. A recent example is … Continue reading

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God’s Purposes by James R. Coggins

Often the purposes of God are not seen until long afterward. The apostle Paul had been tremendously successful in preaching the gospel and starting churches across the Roman Empire. Then, when he decided to visit Jerusalem, he was immediately arrested … Continue reading

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A Fresh Take on Guardian Angels by James R. Coggins

Years ago, when I was editor of a denominational magazine, I began receiving article submissions from a man named Jerry Raaf. They were often unique, unexpected, even offbeat pieces, displaying out of the box thinking. I published some of them. … Continue reading

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A Splintered Reed by James R. Coggins

Three times in the Old Testament (2 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 36:5-6; Ezekiel 29:6-7), God compared Egypt to “a splintered reed.” Reeds are long, thick grasses that grow along the banks of rivers such as the Nile. Egypt is a dry … Continue reading

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Lying Lips by James R. Coggins

A mother confronts her son: “Did you write on the wall?” The boy replies, “No, Mom, my little brother did it.” The mother says, “But your little brother can’t spell.” “Oh.” ***** On another day, the mother confronts the same … Continue reading

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An Introduction for Modern Readers by James R. Coggins

A couple of generations ago, things were much different. Back then, most people in North America—whether believing Christians or not—had a basic understanding of the main teachings of Christianity. Today, the church exists in a culture that is largely disconnected … Continue reading

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