Suffering Is Necessary in Order to See Glory
Beyond being a book of facts, people, events, and doctrine, the Bible is book that paints for us a very clear picture of the glory of suffering.
Our Greatest Work
As we continue to emerge from a long season of uncertainty and isolation, we eagerly look ahead and begin envisioning new goals and even new dreams. How do we find re-energizing purpose in our everyday life, regardless of circumstances?
Autonomy Gone Amuck
autonomy (ô-tŏn’ə-mē) n., 1. Quality or state of being self-governed 2. Self-directing freedom and especially moral independence The first definition seems to be in line with biblical principles (self-controlled and responsible). However, the second definition seems to be how our culture defines autonomy. The culture’s definition echoes the repeated phrase in Judges, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud 21:25). The book of Judges displays the chaotic and evil outcome of everyone doing right in their own eyes…autonomy gone amuck! Several contemporary thinkers aid in discerning the issues involving autonomy. Philip Rieff(1922-2006) wrote of the triumph of the therapeutic self which is defined as when “the…
Our Power Source
Difficult days of uncertainty and depletion lead to the question: What’s your power source? Consider light bulbs. Without a power source, they’re merely glass and metal without purpose. Once connected to their power source, they shine…
The Last Mile of Life
Everyone faces life and death crossroads. And everyone’s experiences differ. This year in particular has impacted many of us as we or a loved one walk the last mile of life. Today my emotions remain raw while this season of incredible loss for me and my family wears on. I don’t have facts and figures to try to make sense of it all. Instead, I’d like to share a few thoughts from my heart.
Running Towards Giants
All my life I have heard the story of David and Goliath preached with an emphasis on personal application. "Defeating Your Giants" or "Five Stones of Faith That Lead to Victory" -These typical homilies are focused on encouraging believers to slay impossible giants in their own lives. However, I believe it is time to take a fresh look at this age-old passage. I had the privilege to hear Bob Sjogren, president of UnveilinGLORY ministries, speak and he suggested something quite strange. While Goliath is usually presented as a stumbling block best avoided, Bob suggests that we run towards our giants in the name of God’s glory. Personal giants are…
Pods, Aliens, and the Incarnation
There is a moment in the 1985 sci-fi movie Cocoon that has haunted me for 25 years now. Senior citizens discover that the water in the pool they’ve been swimming in has a marvelously rejuvenating effect on them. Aliens have stashed the cocoon pods of their cohorts in the bottom of the pool of a rented house, awaiting return to the mother ship. These aliens are light-filled, radiant creatures who cover themselves in human skin to pass as one of us. The moment in the film that has stayed with me all this time is when the lead alien, played by Brian Dennehy, checks his human disguise in the mirror.…
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…
The Birth of Christmas: The son of god and The Son of God
The year was 4 BC, and much of Galilee was in turmoil. Caesar Augustus, the son of god, had ordered a census for tax purposes, and some in Israel had to go to their home communities to comply. So it was that an unknown couple, Joseph and Mary, from an obscure town called Nazareth of Galilee had to go to a small village named Bethlehem nearly 100 miles away. To complicate things even more, Mary was pregnant and about to deliver her firstborn son, Jesus. Caesar Augustus, Gaius Julius Octavius, was one of the greatest leaders in history. A brilliant administrator, a talented team builder, aware of his…
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…