Month: August 2015
August 31, 2015
It was dark as I gathered around a battery-operated radio with a mother and her two children. We were silent as we strained to listen to the reports. We heard the word “levy,” but I didn’t fully understand what that meant at the time. Sections of the city were being listed, and I didn’t understand what that meant either until she gasped. She said, “That’s me. My house is gone.” She held her children, the only things she had left.
It was like this for days.
Every year until the child participates in confirmation, in the days leading up to the child’s baptismal anniversary I send a letter marking the occasion. I also include an age-appropriate gift, like a children’s book. I have found that this is a good way to keep before the family and the child the meaning of baptism and to remind the parents of the promise they made to God during the baptism to do all they can to raise their child in the faith.
August 30, 2015
When I came back to this story of Jacob wrestling the stranger at the River Jabbok, I saw something that I had never noticed before. That is, Jacob is like Prometheus, in the Greek myth. Prometheus stole the fire from heaven and brought it down to human beings so that we could be like gods.
August 27, 2015
But this isn’t just something Christ did that was different than how God had previously revealed himself. Rather, God, from the beginning, has been challenging our understandings of the way the world is.
August 26, 2015
He actually gives us the secret to happiness. As tempting as it would be to think that our happiness will come from getting what we want, or doing what we want, our having our needs or wants met, Paul turns that on its head.
August 23, 2015
The “I” pronoun has disappeared in favor of “us” and “we.” Instead of asserting his rights – rights he was born into and rights he earned – the disappearing “I” pronoun shows he is instead relinquishing them. A psalm that could be about his personal religion instead becomes a song about our collective faith.
August 20, 2015
It is the Prophet Isaiah who stood in the gap for 40 years declaring to a people that we might be in some miserable times but God is still mighty.
It’s hard sometimes to tell people who are dealing with hell, haters, and hypocrites that greater is coming. It’s hard sometimes to tell people who are dealing with problems, pains, and predicaments that greater is coming.
You can’t allow your misery to strangle out your miracle, strip you of your joy, or rob you of your future.
Because we serve a Mighty God even in miserable times.
August 17, 2015
According to Scripture, then, the post-deluge world is like Eden, but diminished; in contrast, the new heavens and new earth will be like Eden, but elevated.
August 15, 2015
Hear this: you will sprain your ankle. You will have difficulties. You will have trauma. But what Psalm 121 promises is that as you anchor yourself, not to your truth but to his, as you are not true to yourself but you are true to God, none of the bad things that happen to you has separating power between you and God. The Maker is the Protector…not necessarily in the immediate but always in the ultimate!
August 13, 2015
Both Wesley and Whitfield were tremendous preachers, who were fully capable of gathering great crowds. Many came to faith as a result of their preaching. Wesley, however, knew that consistent and intentional discipleship was essential if the Wesleyan movement were to survive. Whitfield neglected this, and as a result his people were like “a rope of sand.”