God Provides AFTER the Test

“But I don’t understand!” How many times have I said these very words concerning something I was going through in my life? If I had a nickel for every time I said this or heard this, especially from my children, I’d be very wealthy. And I really don’t understand why God does what He does; why He allows what He allows, and why He doesn’t do what I think is obvious He…

Let’s Make A Deal

“So, now we’re negotiating.” It was a great moment. We had been going back and forth for a while and finally had agreed on a course of action and all that was left to do was determine the details. You see, it had become clear to me that we were not really on the same page about the general vision and direction we wanted the ministry to go and, if we were…

God Changes Your Name

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, sure, but the name “rose” captures that smell perfectly, doesn’t it? You see, names matter. They aren’t merely random labels we attach to things, places, and persons. That kind of thinking has gotten us in deep trouble as a society! No, it is no mistake that one of the first jobs God gave Adam was to “name” things! Names reveal (or…

Believing IS Doing!

There’s a prevailing notion that the mere granting of mental assent is believing. But is that really true? Is that really enough to actually believe? Does simply saying you think something is true mean you truly believe it? I know we live in a society that likes to reduce life to “manageable” sizes. We want to reduce achievement to “imagine the possibilities.” We want “positive thinking” to replace the hard work of…

Where Are Your Holy Places?

  The concept of “holy space” takes a beating in our modern society that values egalitarianism above hierarchy. But without one place being set aside as “holy” we lose the ability to see the “holy” in every place! In our Scripture Lesson today we read how God promised Abram (later his name would be changed to “Abraham”) the land of Israel for his people. Look at Genesis 13:12-18: Abram dwelt in the…

Sweet Words And Distant Hearts

We live in an age where “marvelous” and “wonderful” have been tamed. We hear these words and immediately get excited about the “good” things happening! But this definition that “marvelous” and “wonderful” always mean “pleasant” and “positive” things is a reflection of our own shallow age. Through centuries of human existence, these words have also conveyed dread and fear. A “Marvel” and something that causes “wonder” can flow equally (and usually more…

The Cornerstone

In ancient architecture, the cornerstone was the first stone laid in the foundation of a building and its importance was both practical and irreplaceable. It was by the cornerstone that the whole building was oriented. The cornerstone was the stone that all other stones in the building was referenced to and oriented toward. In other words, as the cornerstone was so was the whole structure. Hmm, I guess we should pay attention…

The Walking Dead

Isn’t it amazing that we humans all share some similar fears no matter what culture we come from. Most cultures have horror stories about zombies and vampires and ghosts. Why is that? I’ll tell you why. We humans are aware enough of our own existence that we fear mortality, but we also fear the unknown. And look, our common fears show up in our stories about the dead surviving to haunt the…

Cursed With Eternal Life

They even have a name for it; it’s thanatophobia. Of course it’s based on the Greek word for death – Θανατος and φοβος – literally the fear of death. It can become so bad in a person that they are terrified of dying every waking moment. Horrible! And yet, we live in such a death-denying culture we even comment at funeral homes “Doesn’t he look good?” We have sanitized death to the point that…

Same Stuff, Different Day

SSDD! You know, “same stuff, different day.” That’s the way a buddy of mine would answer as we started our workday at a factory where I worked after school in my teenage years. He had been with this company for many years and had had the same job in the factory refurbishing water meters. It was monotonous work. Same stuff, different day. We can start feeling like this in our everyday lives…