• Impact

    How awesome is our Creator!

    Psalm 8 is part of the lectionary readings for the first Sunday after Pentecost, which is June 7th. Of the 150 psalms, only 34 do not have titles. For the hymns that have them, these superscriptions indicate such things (in various combinations) as the author, type of psalm, musical notations, liturgical notations, and historical context. According to the title of Psalm 8, David was the human author. The phrase, “for the director of music,” suggests that this song is from an early collection of hymns used in temple worship. It’s also possible that when the psalm was used in the Hebrew liturgy, the leader of the Levitical choir spoke it…

  • Impact

    God’s creation of Adam and Eve

    Genesis 2:18–25 Time: The dawn of human history Place: Eden   Lesson Aim: To recognize that God made us for relationships.   Introduction   Imagine the difference between automobiles in a new car showroom and a junkyard. In some ways, life is comparable to that. God, as it were, hands us the keys to a brand-new car and then says, “Here’s how to drive it and take care of it.” That’s what we find in Genesis 2, when all of life was brand new. We discover that God created Adam and Eve to be in a mutually loving and caring relationship with each another. It’s appropriate for us to wonder…

  • Impact

    God’ creation, as viewed through the prism of Psalm 104

    Psalm 104:5–9, 24–30 Time: Date unknown, though possibly written sometime before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Place: Judah    Lesson Aim: To learn to appreciate God more through His creation.    Introduction   Sir Robert Grant was acquainted with kings. His father was a member of the British Parliament and later became chairman of the East India Company. Following in his father’s footsteps, young Grant was elected to Parliament and then also became a director of the East India Company. In 1834, he was appointed governor of Bombay, and in that position, he became greatly loved. A medical college in India was named in his honor. Late in his…

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    Heartprints

    Tips for Teaching #1

    I want to share some tips that will hopefully help us better prepare our children for the difficulties of standing strong in the faith. Encourage children to ask the hard questions. If they aren’t asking, ask them! Teach them how to wrestle with the Word of God to find the answers. We tend to shy away from the questions that are hard to answer or maybe can’t really be answered. Learning that we can’t demand answers but must be humbly thankful for the revelations God gives is a hard lesson to teach and even harder to learn. I was recently talking with a woman who grew up in a Christian…

  • Engage

    The Origin of Evil

    When did evil and sin enter the world? In the Garden of Eden? And who created evil? Some blame God for temptation and evil by default since he created everything. But let’s rewind. In a galaxy far far away, God created all the angels all at once. And they lived in the stellar places amongst the stars. (Since this is just a blog post and not a seminary paper, I’ll let you verify those gems on your own. A good Systematic Theology text should suffice.)   Now because God only creates “good” and “very good,” he made each angel good, or what some would call “holy.” But Jude 1:6 says,…

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    God’s Big Story

    I cannot start watching a movie, reading a book, or hearing a news story from the middle or end. I’m confused about who the people are and what’s going on. It’s impossible to grasp the meaning of the climax with zero information about the beginning and middle.  The Bible is the same way. Knowing the story of Jesus doesn’t make nearly as much sense without understanding the bigger story. I have been taught to begin sharing the gospel with the fact that all are sinners—but how did that happen? And how does Jesus’s life and death help us understand the horrendous evil and darkness in the world?  In Joshua Chatraw's article…

  • Skull Carving
    Impact

    Rebellion and Exponential Evil

    “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment, and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly world, and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, having appointed them to serve as an example to future generations of the ungodly, and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men, (for while…

  • Engage

    Why Our Work Matters to God

                  “The Christian shoemaker does his duty, not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” — Martin Luther Work. It greets us at the dawn of each new day. Whether you serve in a church or para-church organization, business community, or at home, much of our life is consumed with work. It causes us to rise early and stay late. It compels us to do more, get better, grow stronger.   Occasionally, we sense the glory of work as God intended it. We feel as Eric Liddell did during his Olympic training when…

  • Heartprints

    Christian Parenting Mistakes- #1 Rules versus Relationship

    When teaching a group of missionaries’ children about our identity in Christ. I talked about God as our Father. I read to them the verses in Hebrews 12:5-11 NET Bible        "And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? ‘My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts. . .’ I talked about how God as creator is the expert about what is best for us. He says that for a parent to love their children well they must both train them in the ways…

  • Heartprints

    Learning about God Through Nature

    When the Old Testament talks of God’s glory, it often refers to a visible manifestation of God. For example, the stories of the tabernacle in Exodus or Ezekiel’s vision of the temple, both expressing God’s intent to dwell among men. But it’s also related to God’s self-disclosure through the world around us: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays his handiwork. Day after day it speaks out; night after night it reveals his greatness. There is no actual speech or word, nor is its voice literally heard. Yet its voice echoes throughout the earth” (Ps. 19:1–4a). Sometimes talking about God with smaller children gets tricky because we…