It was January, 1985. I was among a group of seminary students who were farther along in their studies than me. I was able to take this little “January-Course” (or “J Course” as it was called) because, unlike other first-year students, I had already studied Greek. This J-Term class was about “religion and drama.” WeContinue reading “Joining God in the Whole Life Journey”
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”
BOOK REVIEW: LOVE IS THE WAY: Holding on to Hope in Troubled Times I became a fan of Bishop Michael Curry last year when I came across his The Way of Love podcast one morning while out walking my dog as an escape from the cabin-fever of Florida’s COVID-19 quarantine. Bishop Curry’s calm discussions regarding the troubles facingContinue reading “Love is the Way – Book Review”
Today marks a worldwide observance among the majority of Christians, called Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Lenten season that culminates in Easter Sunday. Irenaeus of Lyons was one early Church leader who wrote about the observance of Lent as it existed in the second century. Socrates and many others wrote of the ChristianContinue reading “Ash Wednesday and Justice”
Well, here we are in the middle of another month of this long COVID season. I was just on the phone the other day with a couple to wish the husband – they are a fine couple – a “Happy Birthday!” When I asked them how they were doing, the wife said with a littleContinue reading “Fleeing in Courage”
As Valentine’s Day approached this this year, I was thinking back that Gloria and I shared 49 Valentine’s Days. But what struck me was that I do not recall a single gift she ever gave me in celebration of our love on this day. That is not to say she didn’t give me anything, IContinue reading “The Greatest of These…”
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”
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”
Nehemiah was a great Jewish leader. He was originally a member of one of those Jewish families still exiled from home many years after the Jews were forced to go live in Babylon around 587 B.C. From 444 B.C. to 432 B.C., Nehemiah served, under the Persian Emperor, as governor of Judah. He was anContinue reading “Hope Around the Corner”
Sometimes when we read scripture we come across a passage that may seem to be out of place, or contrary to another scripture that we have read. In Matthew 5:7, 9:13 and Romans 12:1 we have such passages. They seem to be contradictory, but upon a closer study they support each other and create aContinue reading “Mercy? Sacrifice? Or Both?”
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”
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?”
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”
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”
I want to start off by asking a question of you. Have you ever heard – or said – or both – this statement? “Well, I can forgive…but I can never forget!!” I have never said it, but I have THOUGHT it. You know, there is a lot of things we do to each otherContinue reading “The Vicious Circle”
“The Bible is God’s letter to you,” and similar statements are common to hear in a variety of churches. I remember hearing this repeatedly while growing up in the Midwest. While the sentiment may be well-intentioned, it promotes a false understand of the object and intent of Scripture. It results in misunderstandings, and just plainContinue reading “The Bible: It’s Not About You”
Well, Happy New Year! I guess… I say “I guess” NOT, for the moment, because we are still having to live through a pandemic – though there’s that…. I say “I guess” this time because I have always thought that the placement of when the new year begins is rather arbitrary. After all, later thisContinue reading “Happy New Year! [I Guess]”
In recent days, I have had several encounters that caused me to think about success. Some people are recognized as being successful during their lifetimes. Others may be recognized as a success only after they have passed on. Still others may be regarded by the world as failures. Our goal should be to be aContinue reading “What is a Successful Christian?”
Who doesn’t like rewards? We get reward points when shopping, my auto insurer gives me reward points for safe driving, we use a particular credit card due to the rewards offered, we get frequent flier miles for flying on an airline. If we do well at our job, we are recognized and rewarded. Volunteers toContinue reading “What Reward Do You Want?”
It is very common in Florida to see people standing on the corner of nearly every stop light of a busy intersection holding the stereotypical cardboard sign and asking for money. Two of my favorite places in Tampa, Ybor City and the Riverwalk, are especially crowded at various points during the day with folks sittingContinue reading “2021: Seeing the Invisible”
Let me right away bring you back to a time when I was a new pastor in the summer of 1988. I was wet behind the ears and looked so young I looked like I was in high school. My first church was very small and located in a small town in central Illinois. IContinue reading “The 1988 Prophecy”
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”
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.
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”
At this time of year, the word “Believe” is a frequently used word. We are told to “Just Believe,” but people don’t always state what to believe in. The movie “The Polar Express” is about believing. It is one of my favorite Christmas movies and I try to watch it every year. It is aContinue reading “Where are Your Beliefs?”
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”
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! Monty Python, the veryContinue reading “The Simple Meaning of Life”
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”
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…”
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”
What is reality? Although it is defined as “the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them” that doesn’t capture all we need to know about this word. I readily acknowledge that some people are living in a dream world, escaped from reality.Continue reading “Our Reality vs. God’s Reality”
In an earlier blog we discussed Godly Waiting. We are told in numerous places in the Bible to wait. (https://wonderfullyplagued.com/2020/10/19/godly-waiting/} A related concept is preparation. We may anticipate an event, completion of a task, taking a vacation, or any one of a host of activities. If we want to fully experience the event we mustContinue reading “Are You Prepared?”
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”
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”
Steven Curtis Chapman sings “My redeemer is faithful and true. Everything He has said He will do.” What marvelous assurance! There is an old saying “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” But you know what? It doesn’t matter if we believe it or not. God said it. That settles it. Period. EndContinue reading “God is Faithful. Are We?”
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”
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”
Welcome to our 24th “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! Today’s Boost from the Bible will focus on the first half of Psalm 103, written by David: 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, blessContinue reading “Life in the Place of the Dead”
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?”
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”
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 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?”
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: Burn It All Down”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
Grace and peace to you, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen. How ironic it is that, in our gospel lesson today in these COVID times, there’s a controversy over washing hands! Now, some may think that the Pharisees had every right to enforce upon Christ’s disciples theContinue reading “Hand Washing Religiously”
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”
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”
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”
I look forward to the day when I no longer have faith or hope. One of my favorite Christian artists is Andrew Peterson. He is an immensely talented individual as a musician, song writer, and author. His tshoughts are deep but he writes in a very transparent manner. I was recently listening to some ofContinue reading “No More Faith, No More Hope”
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”
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”
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”
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?”
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”
A brilliant friend of mine who happens to have the same name as me, said (more or less), ‘You can feel close to God when you’re stressed, tired, or distracted. Sometimes, I think people don’t realize that the times when we feel we can’t “fit” Jesus into our lives are the times we need himContinue reading “Mourn with Those Who Mourn”
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”
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”
‘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”
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”
Happy Thursday, friends! Yes, that was probably a little too chipper for me also, but I meant it with the full ‘Here, here!’ of this coffee in my hand. I woke up this morning thinking about Lydia, a woman to whom Paul spoke in Phillipi. If you’re not familiar with the story: We set sailContinue reading “Judge tenderly—of Me”
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”
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.
When I first started showing symptoms of the coronavirus, I didn’t think I had it. There was the sore throat, weird sinus issues, fatigue, followed by worse fatigue, then headaches. I never had a fever, so I waited over a week to get tested. It wasn’t until I lost my senses of taste and smellContinue reading “Still Surprised by Joy”
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!”
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.
It is one of my earliest memories. I was maybe 3 years old, and my mother and my grandmother were probably sick of me. I was always asking questions, and they had things to do, there at my grandparents’ house. So, before they went downstairs to do the laundry and talk, my mother and grandmotherContinue reading “Demons (Boosts from the Bible #13)”
“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”
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”
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”
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”
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.
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.
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?”
Remember, the Holy Spirit DROVE Jesus into the desert for 40 days. Where is the Spirit driving US – not only these forty days…but the many MORE days that follow?
Welcome to “Boosts from the Bible,” our spiritual devotion that delves into the depths of the Holy Scriptures, in order to receive a boost of God’s wisdom and love…a boost of God’s hope and peace during this weird time. As we continue during this strange time, I have been praying and wondering just HOW some of ourContinue reading “Boosts from the Bible #9 (The Good Samaritan)”
Peace. Such a simple word. We use it on numerous occasions, with many meanings. We may meet someone on the street and carry on a short conversation. As we depart, we may wish them “peace.” When two nations have been waging war and cease hostilities, we say there is peace. We may dwell on theContinue reading “The World’s Peace – Or God’s?”
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.
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?”
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.
Now to the Fire and Brimstone Preachers that you might have bumped into, this is a cockamamie set of verses. For them, being a Christian is something only a few people can pull off, and, in their eyes, it probably isn’t you.
As Christians, we hold a dual citizenship. We have citizenship in an earthly country. I am a citizen of the United States. Proudly so. Notice that I did not say I am an American Citizen. There are two continents with the word “America” in their name. If I am an American citizen it is assumedContinue reading “Is Jesus an American?”
We are called to GIVE comfort, but also it helps to RECEIVE comfort – and we can always receive comfort from God. Paul, in our reading, called God “the Father of all mercies and the God of all consolation.” But sometimes it’s hard identifying with the Creator of the Universe, which is one reason why God sent His Son so that we may trust in God more by trusting in this amazing Jesus that we read about.
All of us have experienced what we call “The dark night of the soul.” Times when we feel like there’s no way out. Times when we don’t think things will ever be better. We are stuck in a rut of hard times, one bad thing happening after another. We wonder “Where is God?” And justContinue reading “Joy Comes”
Do we see God has an ENDURING presence, or an “and-does-nothing” presence? Do we feel God’s love is steadfast or shaky? Are we sure that forever is in our future, or is forever just a belief we held in the past?
Mirrors have a purpose. We use them to get ready for work, for an evening out, to make sure clothes fit right, straighten up our hair a little, or just to make sure we don’t have cilantro stuck in our teeth after eating at a Mexican restaurant. When we take a moment to look into a mirror, it is to see a picture of ourselves and make necessary changes. It would be completely pointless to gaze into a mirror, notice our shirt is buttoned incorrectly, then just leave it and continue with our day. That would completely negate the purpose of the mirror.
Frankly, you and I had, in our lives, a great many things we were taking for granted before COVID-19 showed up. Every winter we took the latest flu epidemic in stride, as we traveled hither and yon and, though our economy has had its rough spots, kept getting stronger and stronger as the stock market kept going higher and higher. What does God have to say about these times? Well, let’s look further into Psalm 46.
Growing up in an Appalachian region, I frequently heard the term “out of kilter.” When someone is described as being out of kilter, something is wrong in their life. Kilter is defined as being in the proper state or condition. Thus, if we are out of kilter, something is wrong. As Christians, we are usuallyContinue reading “Are You “Out of Kilter?””
We often find it hard to pray in the tough times. Sometimes we don’t know the right words and are afraid we haven’t spent enough time in prayer against the virus and for others, as well as for ourselves.
Prayer. As Christians, it is something we practice, something we believe in, something that has great power. We pray because we know that God hears our prayers and wants to answer them. Prayer unlocks potential. Anyone who knows me, knows that I believe in and practice prayer. When someone asks me to pray for themContinue reading “Useless Prayers”
I read an article a few days ago profiling the reaction of the little town to one of their own having the coronavirus. At that point, against the governor of that state’s recommendations, that church was holding a physical worship service though taking some precautions. One woman there told an interviewer: “I feel like the Lord is going to protect us. He’s not going to let anything happen to us in church.”
I wear a mask. I don’t like them, they cause my glasses to fog up, they create issues with my hearing aids, they make it difficult to breathe. Legally I can claim a medical condition to exempt me. I’m not even sure how effective they are. So why do I wear one? In I Corinthians,Continue reading “Would Paul Wear a Mask?”
Poverty creates a sense of hopelessness whereby parents may feel forced to send their children away with a stranger who promises a better life, or where a young girl feels like she must turn to someone in the sex industry to make money, or where a man feels as if he must enter a country illegally in order to provide for his wife and children, or where a parent is unable to adequately care for a child who is then snatched up and sold to become a soldier.
It was like all of the proverbial hinges of the shallowness of the American Church industry were finally rusting and falling off. I was excited that, maybe… finally… my fellow Christians would realize that so much more hope and freedom lies beyond the door of these media-thirsty parody leaders.
A man turned around in a store and called my daughter a “bitch.”