• Engage

    Ending Well

    Several years ago, I had a neighbor whose father died and soon afterwards her dog died. When the father died, I never acknowledged his death in anyway to my neighbor. However, when the dog died, I expressed my condolences to her. At the time, I thought it was odd that I did not acknowledge the father’s death, but did the dog’s death. I remember thinking, “I put more emphasis on the dog dying than I did the father dying which seems odd.” Part of this misplaced value was my inability to know how to interact with the death of a human.  Death is an integral part of life. We all…

  • Engage

    Unanswered Prayers

    When someone dies, we struggle with the “why”. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? Why didn’t God answer the prayers of everyone else? Why was this life cut short? As Easter approaches and we solemnly remember the Last Supper and the gruesome events that unfolded, the “why” questions of the disciples are laid bare. Jesus was taken by force from the garden. He was tried for false crimes, beaten to the edge of life, and brutally hung on a cross to die in agony and ridicule. His disciples and followers watched it all. They had grown up in the Jewish tradition of prayer. And Jesus, their esteemed rabbi, taught them…

  • resurrection
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    What Difference Does the Resurrection Make?

    What difference does the resurrection make—in our lives? It’s the most important event in all of human history. Where’s the “so what” for today? I meditated on this question for weeks, eventually creating a list too long for this blog post. So let me share my favorites. All pain and suffering will be redeemed and resolved. I’ve lived in a body with a disability since I got polio at eight months old and was paralyzed from the waist down. I got some use of my left leg and hip back, but I had to wear a steel and leather brace for the first several years of my life. Every step…

  • Graveyward B/W
    Impact

    The Clarity of Death

    “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). My father died recently. He was always sharp, quick with a pun or a play on words, an accountant by trade who worked until he was seventy-seven years old. He was a student of the Bible for almost sixty years. He did a lot of reading, writing, and “sparring” (personal debating) over the years, quoting folks like Barnhouse and Spurgeon in the process. But dementia overtook him these last few years. He could no longer…

  • Impact

    Jesus, the eternal King

    Title:Jesus, the eternal King Aim: To recognize that Jesus is the eternal King of heaven and earth. Scripture: Revelation 1:1–20   The apostle’s opening greeting, Revelation 1:1–8   John began his book by stating that it is a “revelation” (Rev. 1:1). The apostle used the Greek noun, apokalypsis, to describe the nature of what he was about to convey. For this reason, scholars have also called his work the Apocalypse, that is, an unveiling or disclosure of truths about God’s universal judgment and the introduction of a new era.    John stated that God the Father gave the message to His Son, and Jesus the Messiah in turn used an angel to make…

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    Better to Have Loved & Lost?

    Think about a time when you wholeheartedly loved someone and felt adored by them. As you think about that person––spouse, parent, boyfriend or girlfriend, sibling, child––how would you describe that love? What emotions or feelings come to mind? I think of: expectation, joy, excitement, purpose, belonging, peace, contentment, hope. As human beings, we cannot live healthy, abundant, prolonged lives without love. We are created to love. We long for love. We will do crazy things to show our love. But at some point in our lives, we will all lose love. What then? ·  A husband sits silently, mourning the end of 50 years with his beloved bride. ·  A…

  • Heartprints

    A Deeper Look at Suffering

    No one escapes suffering. NO ONE! Suffering entered our world with the first sin.  Choosing a sinful desire over God’s will resulted in suffering.   With sin came death. Death, by definition, is separation, ultimately the separation of God and man. We often focus on the separation of soul and body. Because of sin we suffer all kinds of separation. Daily we face the ugliness of disease, divorce, dysfunctional families, and of course the possibilities of tragic accidents.  There is just no way to truly prepare our hearts for the depth of suffering we may encounter. The journey from birth to death can be a long suffering. There are countless ways…

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    Let My Tears Flow

    This month I am thankful to have guest blogger, Marnie Legaspi, instruct us on how to appropriately minister to those who grieve.  “Sister, I have cancer.” My stomach dropped. My body felt numb. My brain whirled with worst case scenarios. I tried to be brave. Every fiber in my being wanted to believe my thirty-eight year old brother was playing some kind of cruel joke. Who jokes about cancer, though? No one. The carcinoma that grew inside my big brother’s body advanced quickly, ravaging him within a mere six months. As I literally watched the tumors grow and protrude through his skin, my grief often came hard and fast leaving…

  • Heartprints

    Change of Seasons or a Change of Heart?

      Did you ever wonder why God created the sun to rise in the East? Is it coincidence that Jesus rose in the Middle East to save the world from the darkness of sin? “The true light, who gives light to everyone . . . was in the world, . . . but the world did not recognize him. . . We saw his glory—the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.” John 1:9,10,14 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them…

  • Poison Corrosive
    Impact

    A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

    “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). The word “infamy” is defined by Dictionary.com as “extremely bad reputation, public reproach, or strong condemnation as the result of a shameful, criminal, or outrageous act”. Thus one year ago today, June 26th, 2015, the day the Supreme Court of the United States declared that homosexuals had a Constitutional right to marry, is a date of infamy. The Court based their decision upon… well… upon philosophic talk that was devoid of wisdom. After all, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7, NIV 1984). The word “fools” describes…