Showing posts from March, 2016


Question Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.. 1 Peter 5:8-9a The other morning my granddaughters were watching a cartoon while I made them breakfast. As I walked into the den to get them I heard a line from the show that stayed with me. A character of a young boy is speaking to what I gathered was some kind of evil genius. “Why would we want to do something that would lead to our own destruction?” The boy asked in response to a request I hadn't heard. The request was not important. The answer was what stuck with me. Why would anyone want to do anything that would lead to his or her own destruction? It's an excellent question and the more I thought about it the more I wonder why we don't ask that question of the evil in our own lives, that being that attempts to steal our joy, ruin our families, demolish friendships, churches, anything th

Friday or Sunday

  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. Acts 2:24 It is the day after Easter. We've just been through the sadness of Good Friday and the victory of Easter Sunday. This year I attended two Good Friday services, one at my daughter's church, one at my own. At my daughter's church the pastor said, more than once, “Yes, today is Friday but Sunday is coming.” Later that evening at my own church our pastor led a Tenebrae service. During that service it gets progressively darker, a reminder that the world, was without the Light of Jesus for that time between Friday and Sunday. We left that service in reverent and frankly sad, silence. We're just visualizing but what would it have been like to actually be there? We wonder about that as we approach our cars, our lives, noise. As I thought about the readings we'd just heard, the increasing darkness, I thought of the statemen

Suffering, Neat and Sort of Clean

For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted. He is able to aid those who are tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. Mark 8:31 There it is again, that nasty word, suffering. Oh how we love gentle Jesus meek and mild. We also love righteously indignant Jesus turning tables over and calling things as he sees them. (Mark 11:12-19, Matthew 23) It is easy for us to look at and talk about miraculous, loving, strong Jesus but what reaction do you have to the garden and the Cross? Certainly I can’t speak for anyone else, although when I have confessed my feelings relating to the suffering Jesus, I have encountered similar reactions in others. Still, I do not presume to know how everyone reacts to the events in the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry or the events that led to His death. I


  “ This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:23a, 24 In the Quest study Bible there is a margin note that says “Interpersonal chaos would result from unrestricted, random and casual pairings. The cohesiveness that the family unit offers society would dissolve. To provide a solid basis for the family, God set up this lifetime commitment and relationship between a man and a woman. God intended that the fullest and most satisfying expression of two becoming one flesh would be found in the marital covenant.” I am often accused of being narrow minded when it comes to marriage. I hear a lot of “not everyone has to be married.” True, I would not argue with that. Marriage is not for everyone. However, that does not mean that it is okay to enter into a pseudo marriage. That logic covers someone who chooses to remain single. It is not the ar


  Do not judge others or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1 There is a song I sing in my head when I'm tempted to put on my Judge Judy robe and bang my gavel at the actions of another person. The song is by the late Rich Mullins and is called “Brother's Keeper.” On being our brother's keeper, the chorus says, “I won't despise him for his weakness. I won't regard him for his strength.” Sounds great right? It is. We should love people, just love them. Based on? That's where the rub comes in. Think of your very best friend. Why do you love that person? Now, your worst enemy. Why do you despise that person? Hm.... I bet you just thought of some strengths and weaknesses didn't you? Don't feel that I'm judging you, I do the same thing. Ask me to describe my friend Mary and I'll tell you she is amazingly loyal. She is fun and beyond that she's funny, as in she has a great sense of humor. She's beautiful, physically, all tha

Conformity...or Not

  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 The other day found myself fervently praying, not for the first time, to be different. It is one of my heart's deepest desire to make a difference for Jesus. It's not about fame or recognition. It's about not looking like everyone else, even those who claim to be Christian but live in ways that prove otherwise. I want to be different, to stand out, to be a bit odd but in a good way. There I was, praying it again and wondering just how I'd even know if that were happening, considering I live much of my life feeling like a square peg in a round hole. That's when I realized just how amusing my prayer must be to my Father in heaven. For years, years, I spent too much time, effort and prayer trying to fit in, worrying about being diff


  Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:4-5 There are many writings and teachings about the power of positive thinking. Some people will tell you that those teachings are less than faithful, that it's a mind game. I don't believe that. Our attitudes, our thoughts, are very important. A positive attitude, a smile, a cheerful approach, those things do tend to make even the hard times a bit easier to bear. Recently I saw a television show that included a young woman with an incredibly sunny attitude. As they did a flashback segment we saw her dealing with adversity, turning around the most humiliating moments as if they were nothing. In other words as life handed her lemons, no, make that, as life threw lemons at her head, most often leaving a big mark and sometimes causing her to fall on her behind, she continually jumped up, dusted herself off and made the best of things. I