Are You STILL Wearing THAT?

It was an old suit, but I loved it! It had both sentimental value and the added benefit of actually fitting me! But my dear bride said it had to go! Sure, it had a few stains but I thought they were hard to see. Yes, there was a tear inside the jacket, but I was the only one who was going to see that. And, OK, so the pants were a…

The Whole Armor of God

I love this Armed Forces Motto: “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” Isn’t that great? In other words, when you put the time into preparing for battle, the more ready you are to face the fight. And what is true for physical fighting is also true for the spiritual battle each of us faces every day! What? You didn’t know this was going to be a…

Unsearchable Riches, An Eternal Purpose

I really like to write and I enjoy public speaking, but I had a hint of my tendency to wordiness when my first time in seminary produced a comment from one of my favorite professors. I had just finished a fairly intensive philosophy paper for his class and was really sweating the grade he would give me. Most everybody got their papers back quickly, but mine wasn’t in the first batch handed…

Hey, You Don’t Belong Here!

I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I had wandered into the wrong place. Everything about me screamed “he doesn’t belong here!” And it was confirmed when a waiter came to escort me out! There is nothing quite as cutting to anyone than to be made to feel unwelcome or unwanted. The stigma of being the “outsider” is a heavy burden to bear. This is especially true when all those “insiders” have their own…

The Head Over ALL Things

He told me “Never say ‘never.’” Of course, at the time I missed the humor in that contradictory command. But, still, there is wisdom there. Whenever I counsel couples or anyone having challenges in their relationships (aren’t we all?), I tell them “Avoid the words ‘always’ and ‘never.’” And that’s because those statements are “usually” untrue, and relationships never get healed in the middle of falsehood. But there are times when words…

The Foolishness of the Cross

“Until you have eradicated the evils in your heart, do not obey it, because the heart seeks to increase what it already has stored inside.”  St Mark the Ascetic, On the Spiritual Law We prideful humans can’t understand the power of this wisdom without the “foolishness” of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Look at our lesson today in 1 Corinthians 1:18-24: BRETHREN, the word of the cross is folly to those who are…

Consider Jesus

Ever thought about giving up? Yeah, I know. What time is it? I confess to struggling with this temptation all the time. And the temptation to give up seems to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; from small things to big things. Plus, it seems we live in a modern culture that celebrates and even encourages “giving up.” The “easy path” of abandoning that which is hard flows from the…

All Who Wander Aren’t Lost

Have you ever heard of the story of the donkey who saved a prophet’s life by talking to him? And you thought your dreams were strange! Seriously, this powerful story in the First Testament is worth your time! Read the whole story in Numbers 22. To make a long story short, Balaam is something of a prophet and some enemies of the Jews in the area want to hire him to curse…

The Whole World in One Word

“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones, after all.” So says the author of Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder. But life is so very often not simple. It’s complicated and difficult and filled with so many motivations all mixed together and hard to tease out the good from the bad. So, how do we live in this complicated world with the truth that…

A Selfless Liberty

You’ve seen the bumper sticker “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.” I confess I’ve seen them all over and my reaction to this altruistic admonition ranges (depending on my mood) from mild annoyance to a twinge of guilt. But rarely does this bumper sticker psychology move me to action. But, hey, that’s the weakness of a bumper sticker mindset! So, why is it so easy to be moved but never changed? Why do…