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One of my favorite words is next. The word next points to the future, but not too far into the future. Next is near-future. “So, what’s next?” someone might ask after your new novel has been published or your kitchen renovation is done, assuming that next will shortly follow now. When we ask what’s next, we often mean next in time. Our use of the word next is hopeful—t...

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life application

The Sower

Having grown up on a farm and spent long days in the fields, I have always resonated with the images of fields and crops in Jesus’ parables. As a boy I watched my father plow, fertilize, and plant the fields in the spring; monitor and pray for them throughout the summer; and harvest them in the fall. Some years the harvest was thin; other years the barn and silo were overflowing. How my father prepared the soil—picking stones off t...

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