Change is Inevitable
When these kinds of changes come, we will feel like a ship tossed on a raging ocean of emotions, doubts, and fears, unless we have an anchor for our soul and a safe harbor to sail into for a respite from the storm. Jesus is that safe place for all of us.
Trust and Obey
The joy and challenges of parenthood lend themselves to many life lessons. At this stage in the parenting game, at least for our family, it provides a lens through which to see so much of myself and the average human experience. It is not uncommon for me to give directions to my eldest son. My directions are typically strategic, so they are given step by step so that I don’t overwhelm the poor lad with too many tasks. Time and again I have been disappointed with the results when he is given too many steps at once! I have learned that when directions are given in small pieces there is…
Loving Well in a Blame-shifting Culture
In a home full of young children, among the most common things I hear in the house is why the other sibling is most definitely responsible for wrong doing. Most recently, my eldest son ran up quickly behind my middle son for a sneak attack, smacked him on the bottom and sent him flying further then was intended. I heard the raucous just in time to see my middle son chasing my eldest son with lightning speed, armed with a heavy school backpack, which successfully gave a retribution blow to the fleeing child. Needless to say, as I approached the angry middle son first who had just hauled off and…
Should Christians Burn Sage?
Smudging, the burning of bundled sage, is an indigenous practice that has been around for centuries. Various people groups throughout history have used this for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. The indigenous beauty blogger, Bianca Millar, says she and her husband burn sage along with other herbs to “thank the Creator for the new day and send up our prayers.” Burning sage is also used by herbalists or alternative healers. Claretha Yeager, an Acupuncturist and reiki master based in Chicago says she frequently uses smudging—or burning sage—to help rid her patients of negative emotions. She claims that sage smoke unburdens people of their negative energy to feel better. Burning sage has …
Does God Prefer Elephants or Donkeys?
I remember a pastor making jokes from the pulpit about Christians who were democrats. According to him being a republican was akin to being a Christian. I laughed nervously as the congregation nodded in agreement. But this just didn’t sit right with me. How could man, being finite and flawed suppose that the will of God was fully represented by either side of the political spectrum? The idea that we can fit the God of the universe into our political system is counter to the very nature of God. Isaiah 55:8-9 summarizes the transcendence of God, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares…
Christians and the “you do you” Culture
“You do You” is a pervasive saying in the culture today. It is particularly popular on social media and definitely popular in a culture where we are asked to make decisions daily that are unusual or unprecedented. Here are some examples. “I’m not planning on wearing a mask in public, but you do you.” “I chose life and I will be having my baby, but you do you.” “My child is encouraged to choose whatever gender he/she wants to be, but you do you.” What I think people are really saying is, “I have made up my mind about the right thing to do in this situation. I will not…
The story of King Josiah is nestled in the overlooked chronicles of Israel’s rulers. In the 18th year of Josiah’s reign the King decreed a simple rehabilitation project of the temple grounds that turned into a sweeping overhaul of Israel’s religious practices and worldview. During the construction, they happened upon a forgotten scroll. The law of the Lord. 2 Kings 22:8 tells us that the Israelites, “found the scroll of the law in the Lord’s temple.” The Law was the foundational word of God that connected the people to the God of the Covenant. It was held in such high esteem. Children would be instructed in the law, memorizing it…
Work in Heaven?
As Labor Day approaches, most Americans anticipate a well-deserved day off work. For many of us, the daily grind has become just that––a complete grind––and we regularly count down the days to weekends, holidays, vacations, and even retirement (5,406 days for me). But what if work isn’t supposed to be a grind? And what if our work doesn’t end with our time on earth? Have you ever considered what the Bible reveals about work in heaven? We know that the Bible represents one continuous story from Genesis through Revelation, and God’s story starts in a Garden (Gen 1–2) and ends in a City (Rev 21–22). This Garden to the City…
GOD’S KINGDOM OBJECT LESSON
God has a kingdom. Jesus came to herald the coming of that kingdom, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” Luke 4:43 Net Bible. When Jesus sends out the seventy, He tells them to say, “The kingdom of God has come upon you!” Luke 10:9b Net Bible. Interestingly in that same passage Jesus makes this comment as well, “The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Net Bible. Do you…
Teaching Children to Respect Another’s Culture: A Look into Islam
Media coverage and conversations are everywhere about the President’s order to suspend visa entry into the U.S. from seven countries that have predominately Muslim populations. Our children are watching and listening. Unless we are proactive they will become afraid. Fear is one of Satan’s greatest tools for chaos. Throughout the Bible we are command to “fear not.” Fear of the unknown drives many to act in unwise and unkind ways. Knowledge based on facts can help us trust God and free us to treat others with kindness. As parents/teachers/Christian leaders we need to be examples. Let's teach our children to respect all people. Let's alleviate fear by teaching respectfully about…