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Hinge Moments

Over the last year it seems that the world has been in a state of constant disruption as society evolves and reforms to fit the events that have transpired politically and economically. Many nations and individuals around the world have found themselves in a place of transition from the loss of employment, changing social interaction,Continue reading “Hinge Moments”

NRSV Gift & Award Bible

Over the last year I have been transitioning toward using the New Revised Standard Version translation of the Bible for my schoolwork and personal study times. As you could probably guess, the NRSV is an updated version of the RSV translation. Translators from a wide range of denominations around the world contributed to the development of theContinue reading “NRSV Gift & Award Bible”

Beloved Wretches

Jesus, in that last week of His earthly life – spent in Jerusalem – said and did many things before He was crucified. He told parables there, and one that perhaps had the most impact on the future was the one I just read a part of – in which Jesus compliments those He callsContinue reading “Beloved Wretches”

Words and Wisdom

Our scripture for this devotional is from a series of statements that Jesus made to His disciples soon after Palm Sunday, as they all entered Jerusalem. Jesus was talking to them about how, before the Second Coming arrived, some Christians would be persecuted or challenged for their faith. Jesus tonight calls such times of persecutionContinue reading “Words and Wisdom”

Who Created Christianity?

Who Created Christianity? Fresh Approaches to the Relationship Between Paul and Jesus is not only an excellent resource for the average individual who seeks a better scriptural understanding, but also an excellent resource for pastors and teachers seeking context when developing their sermons or lessons. It is difficult to browse the Religion or Christianity sections ofContinue reading “Who Created Christianity?”

Chasing Shadows

Recently, I read The Republic by Plato. Although it was written thousands of years ago, I was amazed at how the message was timeless in exposing the subjugation of humanity by society – and the need for freedom from this enslavement. According to Plato, a proper education through gymnastics (physical exercise) and poetry (study ofContinue reading “Chasing Shadows”

What Comes Next?

BOOK REVIEW: What Comes Next? Shaping the Future in an Ever-Changing World by Moody Publishers Over the last year of adjustments required due to COVID-19 precautions, forward-looking churches and businesses are reassessing their strategies and recognizing that there will likely never be a return back to the state of things before. Mindsets, habits, and lifestylesContinue reading “What Comes Next?”

Jesus, the True Vine

We’re going to talk about “Jesus the True Vine” which reminds me of vineyards, which reminds me of wine. I found recently some good jokes involving wine which for some reason are called “Dad Jokes about Wine” which I find kind of insulting, as if dads are the only ones who tell bad jokes. AsContinue reading “Jesus, the True Vine”

The Complete Jewish Study Bible

BOOK REVIEW: The Complete Jewish Study Bible from Hendrickson Publishing. I have been studying the relationship between and interdependence of the Old and New Testaments, so I was excited to come across The Complete Jewish Study Bible. The Complete Jewish Bible is a 1988 translation by David H. Stern that was recently updated in 2016. The Complete Jewish Study Bible makes useContinue reading “The Complete Jewish Study Bible”

Endurance

There was a time about eight years ago that, while I was studying the Bible, I noticed time after time that different New Testament authors kept mentioning one word – a Greek word translated usually into our word “endurance,” but sometimes translated into the word “perseverance” or the word “steadfastness.” I began to realize thatContinue reading “Endurance”

The Spiritual Side

Recently, I read a story on my online newspaper about one of my favorite NBA basketball players – Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been playing center for several years for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since I don’t live near Minnesota, I hadn’t heard that he had lost seven family members to COVID. At one point early onContinue reading “The Spiritual Side”

Unpredictable

If you are a reader of the Bible, have you ever compared the four gospels of Jesus Christ – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – and picked one of them as your favorite? Well, for me, I like different aspects of all of them: Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount is majestic…Luke, everContinue reading “Unpredictable”

Prayer – Changes Ahead

Prayer and fasting are two spiritual disciplines that are often linked. In Matthew 6:16-18 Jesus discusses fasting. I have always found it interesting that He said “When you fast,” not “If you fast.” That shows me it is an expected behavior for a Christian. Fasting demonstrates humility by acknowledging our dependence on God. It leadsContinue reading “Prayer – Changes Ahead”

How Long?

First, a story to share: once there were three men – a priest, a doctor, and an economist, out golfing. The group golfing just in front of them was playing REALLY slowly, so of course the three men were getting impatient. It soon got to the point that, in their eyes, they just HAD toContinue reading “How Long?”

Be The Light

Many of you, like me, have prayed for our nation and our world in recent months. And there is nothing wrong with praying for our land. II Chronicles 7:14 is often cited in these prayers. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turnContinue reading “Be The Light”

Love Gives True Victory

When you’re driving late at night without the benefit of lights lining the highways, what do you do? You use your high beam headlights, so you can see more of your surroundings. Common courtesy dictates that we return to our normal headlights when we see a car approaching in the opposite direction. Right? But, haveContinue reading “Love Gives True Victory”

God of the Minutiae

One of Jesus’ commands to us was simply “Follow Me.” When we follow Him, we are his disciples.  Billy Graham once said that being a disciple means we want to learn from Him. We do this through studying the Bible, listening to others teach from it, and making the Bible part of your life everyContinue reading “God of the Minutiae”

Our Christmas Crosses

Well, you know the Christmas routine: get the gifts – especially first get the gifts that you have to send early enough to make it to your relatives in time…get out the Christmas cards…read the cards others send to you…get the tree up…decorate, decorate, decorate…wrap, wrap, wrap the gifts…see the lights put up by your town or city…maybe listen to some of those songs on the radio, and so on and so forth.

Peace at Christmas

Christmas Eve is without a doubt my favorite night of the year. But probably not for the reasons you may be thinking. Ever since I can remember, the Christmas greeting of “Peace on Earth,” resonated with me. Early on, to me that meant a cessation of hostilities. A world without war. A world where peopleContinue reading “Peace at Christmas”

Deliver Us

It amazes me how much of familiar scripture passages I often read and move on, failing to  probe the depths of what the passage is saying. There is a phrase in The Lord’s Prayer that has recently caught my attention in that regard. Matthew 6:13 records Jesus as saying “And lead us not into temptation,Continue reading “Deliver Us”

Scapegoating

Greetings! I am Pastor David Hewitt of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Carmel, Indiana, and I welcome you to our latest “Boost from the Bible,” where we delve into the depths of scripture, always finding God’s wisdom and love in this COVID time. Let us begin! Do you know the story in the bookContinue reading “Scapegoating”

I Can Do…

As we approach the close of 2020, I feel that I am safe in saying that everyone of us had some unfulfilled plans or dreams for the year. I personally missed out of two bucket list items that I had long been anticipating. We may breathe a sigh of relief as the calendar turns fromContinue reading “I Can Do…”

The Escape Room

Greetings! I am Pastor David Hewitt of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Carmel, Indiana, and I welcome you to our latest “Boost from the Bible,” where we gather together to delve into the depths of scripture, always finding there God’s wisdom and love in this COVID time. Let us begin! Just a few nightsContinue reading “The Escape Room”

Stormy Seas

Greetings! I am Pastor David Hewitt of King of Glory Lutheran Church in Carmel, Indiana, and I welcome you to our latest “Boost from the Bible,” where we gather together to delve into the depths of scripture, always finding there God’s wisdom and love in this COVID time. Let us begin! I am a LutheranContinue reading “Stormy Seas”

Times of Crisis

I was six years old during in the Spring of 1970, finishing 2nd grade, when I first heard, on our morning radio at breakfast, a different kind of pop song. It was slow and majestic, and sounded like it belonged more in a church than on a secular radio station. In fact, one day that SpringContinue reading “Times of Crisis”

My Father, the Gardener

I was on a walk with my husband the other day, and as we rounded the street corner, I saw one of our near-neighbors clearing up detritus in his front landscaping in preparation for the coming spring. I saw the most beautiful plant next to his concrete steps—dynamic violet, philodendron-like leaves in an expansive bouquetContinue reading “My Father, the Gardener”

Flesh and Spirit

Greetings! I am Pastor David Hewitt and I welcome you to our latest “Boost from the Bible,” when we gather together to delve into the depths of scripture, always finding there God’s wisdom and love in this covid time. Let us begin! Fires on the West Coast, taking some lives and forcing people to loseContinue reading “Flesh and Spirit”

What is Infinity?

The infinity of God is something we accept but often fail to examine just what that means. Definitionally, it means that God is unlimited in time or space. The dictionary defines infinite as “limitless or endless in space, extent, or size; impossible to measure or calculate.” But from a practical standpoint, what does that meanContinue reading “What is Infinity?”

As the World Gives

One of the phrases I’ve heard thrown around—not frivolously—by people during the election process, months dealing with Covid-19, the tumultuousness of protests against police brutality, and racist policies are the words’ trauma’ or ‘traumatized.’ I thought about how trauma may keep Christians or the hurting from attending church services, feeling integrated into the Church proper,Continue reading “As the World Gives”

An Opportunity

Welcome to our 23rd “Boost from the Bible,” as we delve into the depths of God’s Word to find sustenance during this strange, COVID time. Let us begin! The biblical passage that we will be reviewing is Psalm 27, a fairly short psalm. As I begin, I would like you to please recall your feelings duringContinue reading “An Opportunity”

Zealous or Jealous?

Zealous and jealous are two concepts frequently encountered in the Bible. Generally we regard jealousy as a negative emotion. If that is the case, why is God said to be a jealous God? Zealous is usually seen in a more positive light, but we know it can be overdone. As it turns out both wordsContinue reading “Zealous or Jealous?”

Brought to our Knees

Welcome to our 22nd “Boost from the Bible,” as we delve into the depths of God’s Word to find sustenance during this strange, COVID time. Let us begin! Picture this: Christ and His disciples are getting closer and closer to the end – closer to that time when, as Jesus had just recently prophesied, He wouldContinue reading “Brought to our Knees”

Seeing Ghosts

Welcome to our 21st “Boost from the Bible,” where we delve into the depths of God’s Word in order to find sustenance during this strange, COVID time. Let us begin! Okay, imagine you are one of Christ’s original 12 disciples. And you witness, in a great miracle – Jesus feeding thousands – 5,000 men, plus thousandsContinue reading “Seeing Ghosts”

God IS With Us

One thing that I like to do during my prayer and devotional times is to reflect and pray the names of God. Herbert Gabhart wrote a book The Name Above Every Name in which he wrote a devotional on every name of Jesus. There are enough devotionals to provide one every day for a year.Continue reading “God IS With Us”

Album Cover: Status Quo

Thom Daugherty, former lead guitarist for The Elms and The Band Perry, released his first full -length solo album today: Westfield. My children and I have been a fan of his guitar work for years, and recently I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate on some music with him. We were reflecting on how, when we were younger, weContinue reading “Album Cover: Status Quo”

Forbid Them Not

A few days ago, after spending the first half of my day homeschooling my seven-year-old daughter, I sat down to work on my graduate work, literature magazine editing, and some backlogged instructional sessions for my church. I hadn’t eaten, so I absent-mindedly opened a can of SpaghettiOs and a disappointingly bland jar of all-natural peanutContinue reading “Forbid Them Not”

No Fear in Love

One of the most important concepts that we find in God’s Word is the concept that “fear” is a feeling that is a great opponent of faith and of love. We know that “do not fear” and “do not be afraid” are phrases that occur a lot and are sent from God or God’s agentsContinue reading “No Fear in Love”

Godly Waiting

WAIT! That’s what God often calls us to do. God told Moses He was going to use him to save his people. It happened 40 years later. Paul met Christ and was called to preach. His first sermon was years later. Isaiah 40:31 tells us to wait, and makes promises. “Yet those who wait forContinue reading “Godly Waiting”

Simple Faith

Becoming a Christian is easy. That does not make Christianity shallow, there are great depths to Christianity and the mysteries of God. What does it take to be a Christian? A Google search will yield endless results and lists – none of which seem to be the same. Acts 16:31 reads, in part (NASB). “BelieveContinue reading “Simple Faith”

Ambassadors in Chains

You may remember that Jesus once proclaimed, even before He died on the cross, that if people wanted to believe in Him and follow Him they should “deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Me.” What does that mean during this virus situation? Well, one piece of what this saying means is found inContinue reading “Ambassadors in Chains”

The Sick Heart

Following God doesn’t mean rainbows and white picket fences and big houses. It hurts to be what you are making me. I can’t see my future—who will take advantage of me when I’m vulnerable? I do not know the minds of men—who will see what I am and set boundaries with mockery as the plumbContinue reading “The Sick Heart”

Choose the Good Portion

Everyone feels the oppressive atmosphere of an uncertain and prolonged future battling Covid-19. We watch in horror the ripening Civil Rights unrest, which expanded from American to global protests. We witness the maltreatment of refugees, natural disasters overtaking the West and South, and we have a formula for one very exhausting world. Many oddities haveContinue reading “Choose the Good Portion”

Our Legacy

I know you have heard of David, of “David and Goliath,” who later became “King David of Israel.” But have you heard of David’s great-grandmother, Ruth? A whole book in the Old Testament is devoted to her life, and it is Ruth’s story today that is our “Boost from the Bible” for this week. BackContinue reading “Our Legacy”

Drawing Near

Let’s get to it—do you ever pray and pray and pray and get no answer, and then you try to figure out why and some people tell you to repent because God can’t hear you? Or to wait? Or that silence means ‘no’? Or that you’re not praying in God’s will but for your selfishContinue reading “Drawing Near”

A Leap of Faith?

All of us want to know what the future holds. People turn to fortune tellers, Ouiji boards, astrology, psychics, and other things in an effort to predict the future. As Christians, we know these are futile. When faced with a decision, we struggle with which way we should go. We pray about it, we evaluateContinue reading “A Leap of Faith?”

Other Plans

Do you know of the TV journalist Ted Koppel?  Many may not, these days. Ted Koppel is retired now, but for many years his 30-minute late night TV News show, Nightline, was watched by many. Ted Koppel’s life reads like an advertisement for the truth of the saying, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making otherContinue reading “Other Plans”

God’s Injustice

I have always been attracted to the minor prophets. Since they only had one message to proclaim, it must have been an important one. Not to diminish the importance of other prophets such as Jeremiah or Ezekiel, we might call the minor prophets “one-hit wonders” to use a baseball term. What we see recorded aboutContinue reading “God’s Injustice”

The Rock

Though George Thomas was a future UNION General in the Civil War, he was born and raised in the South – in southern Virginia, to be exact. There, Thomas and his family – his widowed mother and sisters – owned some slaves. In the Spring of 1861, after Fort Sumter in South Carolina had beenContinue reading “The Rock”

To the Faint of Heart

‘I’m prepared for school.’ My 7-year-old daughter stares at me. ‘I’m ready for school, mom. How many minutes?’ I’m not prepared for her school. Oh, I have the books and the supplies and the lesson—but I am not prepared. I’m tired, I’m only halfway through this French press of glorious black coffee, and I’m resistantContinue reading “To the Faint of Heart”

Post-COVID Hope

As we contemplate the post-COVID word, one has to wonder what it will be like. Let me say that I am neither a theologian nor a medical professional . I do hold a doctorate, but not in the medical field. As someone once said, I’m not the kind of doctor that does anybody any good.Continue reading “Post-COVID Hope”

In the Image of God

We are made in God’s image, his likeness. At creation, God said the earth was good. Upon creation of man and woman, he decreed it very good. What does it mean to be created in His image? It is not a physical resemblance. Although our children may have a physical resemblance to us, people willContinue reading “In the Image of God”

Abraham Lincoln & Serpents

As I have said before in this “Boosts” series, I am a student in the study of the American Civil War, and of President Abraham Lincoln. No occupants of the White House before or since have had to deal with quite the level of stress and challenge that Abraham and Mary Lincoln faced during the Civil War. Our country was almost lost due to the secession of the southern states; the chattel slavery of black Americans was almost doomed to last eternally in the South; the allied nations during World War 1 and World War 2, would not have access to what was called “the arsenal of democracy” – a United States of America – to give them aid that was necessary in the fight against tyranny in both wars.

New Year’s Eve (Boosts from the Bible #14)

It was just the two of us. Now that we were in our fifties, my wife Diane and I were going through our usual difficulties on New Year’s Eve: trying to stay awake to midnight. What seems ironic to me is that as the clock ticked away, I turned to Diane and said, “Good riddance to 2019. The year 2020 just HAS to be better!”

Surprised by Joy

I’m terrible about establishing desirable habits or changing negative ones, but I was reasonably successful about a year ago with an endeavor. I forget who told me about it—I’m so sorry—but I was reading Anna Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

We Receive to Give

“Hey, dad, can I take Pike down to the mailbox?” COVID-19 aside, Kacie and I travel a lot, so we love having a townhome. My ten-year-old, Samuel, loves being old enough to walk down to the mailbox in the mornings – with our very protective Dutch Shepherd, Pike. It makes him feel big. I didn’tContinue reading “We Receive to Give”

Powerful Prayer

If we want something done we often seek someone with an “In.” Want to change something in your city, who do we know that knows the Mayor? Access to someone in power is the world’s way of getting things done. Guess what? We have that kind of access to God. You might say “Why pray?Continue reading “Powerful Prayer”

Slow Down

When I was nine years old in the third grade at a Christian school, we often memorized assigned Bible verses in class as part of our weekly curriculum. One particularly drab weekday—I say this because I wanted to go outside to recess, and lunch that day was grilled cheese, my favorite, and oh, wouldn’t 11:45Continue reading “Slow Down”

Finishing Well

What enables us to finish well in life? The answer is Jesus. He gets us. He understands us. Why? Jesus was all man – he could touch people, he spoke with an accent, he could blend into a crowd. Yet he was all God – he could heal, he spoke with authority, he could changeContinue reading “Finishing Well”

Boosts from the Bible #12 (Sidelined)

Have you ever had a time in your life where things changed for you dramatically, practically overnight? Certainly these times are kind of like that, but I mean when things changed personally…just for you – for you and no one else around you at the time.

Boosts from the Bible #11 (Abraham)

Some may be tempted to react to all of these (as yet) hard to answer questions by deciding, once you see the sun rise through your bedroom window, to turn over in your bed, and pull the covers over your head.

What, Me Worry?

Starting in the mid-1950’s and well into the current century, a fictional character by the name of Alfred E. Neuman graced the covers of MAD Magazine. His image became a national icon, along with his well known phrase, “What, Me Worry?”  Neuman’s line could well be adopted by Christians, as there is an abundance ofContinue reading “What, Me Worry?”

Boosts from the Bible #8 (The Story of Joseph)

Now here’s the thing. We can feel cursed, and lose hope, but God does not want us to lose hope! God has a deep plan going on here, just as God had a deep plan with Joseph. Let us keep faith with God just as Joseph kept faith with God.

Is God Always Good?

There is a popular saying in Christian circles that goes “God is good all the time.” This is certainly true. Scripture is full of references to God’s goodness. It is not in His nature to be not good. We may think of ourselves as good people but, if you’re like me (and I know youContinue reading “Is God Always Good?”

Boosts from the Bible #7 (1 Kings 19:9-13)

No one really knows what it’s like to be completely isolated until one has to go through it. Isolation is especially aggravating when it is not your choice to do so – when you are forced to be alone.

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