“Clean Monday” Here We Come!

I was sitting right next to it! And then it went off! And I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was an alarm that let you know when someone was “breaking into the house.” I didn’t realize I was that close when they were going to test it and it scared me to death. But I guess that’s what an alarm is supposed to do: get your attention. Nowadays, though, most…

Fallen Angels

Hollywood loves getting it wrong. The more I see of movies about angels or demons or the “supernatural” the more I see just why serious theological wisdom is absolutely vital to clear thinking and wise living. It seems every time a movie about these subjects comes out everything is flat and mundane and lacking any mystery at all. Hell and heaven are created in the image of man instead of the much…

Truly Human

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I can really see that. The other day my daughter had the same reaction and facial expression I have when I’m frustrated. The moment made me smile, then cringe, then pray “Lord, help me be a better example to my children!” The whole of the Christian life is all about imitation. If we can internalize imitating Christ in all things, we become…

Why Is “In The Flesh” Non-Negotiable?

Who is Jesus Christ? There are so many answers to that question, and I guess the human race has been preoccupied with this question since the Lord came in the first place. But, we learn today that how we answer this question is a great deal more important than we may realize! Look at our Lesson today in 2 John 1:1-13: The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love…

Give Us Barabbas

“Free advice is worth every penny you pay for it!” With that, the old man proceeded to share with me some pearls of wisdom that I remember to this day. Isn’t it funny how much we already know? I mean the truth is I pretty much know how I should live and what decisions are best and what decisions are destructive to my life. In fact, it was a bit of a revelation to me…

You Are Beloved

I love the word “Beloved.” It’s the kind of word that bears an “antique” feel of sophistication and dignity, as well as expressing a sense of connection and intimacy that keeps it from being “stuffy” or “arrogant.” To be considered “beloved” by someone else is the heart’s cry of most humans! I want to be “beloved” and to have a “beloved.” I bet you do too. Look at our Gospel Lesson today…

He Cannot Sin

“You sinner!” The preacher thundered from the pulpit in our small Pentecostal church, and, as a 10-year-old boy, he had me convinced. Yep, I was a sinner and I needed to be saved. So, that’s what I did. In fact, every time there was a chance to be “saved” I took it! (I still do!) Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never sin again? But what if our idea of what sin really…

The Lord has Need of It

It’s a paradox. A paradox is a concept that we humans, especially we humans shaped and formed by post-Enlightenment secularism, have a hard time grasping. Paradox makes us uncomfortable. It feels like a “problem” to be “solved.” That’s why we humans stumble over paradox. You know what I mean, don’t you? It’s like what Jesus said when He taught that to save your life, you must lose it, and to be a leader, you…

Children, Young Men, Fathers, Everybody!

“I wish I were older!” Those were my words to my mother when I was a teenager and longed for the “freedom” of being an adult! If I only knew then what I know now! Bills, taxes, responsibilities, ugh! Can I take it back and go back to being a teenager again, please?!? Well, of course, I can’t. At least I shouldn’t. But too many in today’s culture really have refused to…

We Deceive Ourselves

I’m my own worst enemy. The reason for this is that my ability to either delude myself or to overreact is so “normal” to me that it is really hard to be objective about my struggles by myself. I’m either too hard on myself or too easy on myself! Learning this opened my eyes to the wisdom of the Timeless Faith in encouraging me to have a regular confessor and to see…