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    The Beginning of the Beginning

    How does watching old seminary class lectures on the Gospels sound to you? To my husband and me, it sounds like Date Night. (Not sure if you got the memo, but nerds rule the world.) And right out of the gate starting with Matthew Chapter 1, the Bible wastes no time slapping us in our faces. Matthew Ch. 1 is a genealogy written for Jewish readers. We Americans don’t get excited over genealogies. But family trees matter in many old world cultures. (My husband’s aunt knows her family tree going nine generations back.) And the genealogy in Matthew Chapter 1 matters because it culminates in Jesus’s birth. (Matthew 1:1-16). In…

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    Jeffrey Dahmer–Our Brother in Christ?

    Jeffrey Dahmer was arguably one of the most heinous serial killers of our time; he mercilessly drugged, strangled and raped, dismembered and cannibalized at least 17 men. When convicted in 1991, no punishment seemed befitting regarding the magnitude of his deplorable crimes.  Nevertheless, he was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment. However, yesterday, I found out that this vile creature was dipped in the cleansing water of God's Grace as he was believed to have put his faith in Jesus Christ. He was baptized by Roy Ratcliff in 1994 and upon hearing this news, my knee-jerk reaction was stomach turning.  A beast of a man, such as Jeffrey Dahmer,…

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    Betraying God is like sleeping on a volcano

    Remember when someone you loved broke your heart–maybe in elementary school,  high school, college, or as an adult? All of us have felt the agony of betrayal. Did you know God can relate? Every time one of His own rebels, God experiences heartbreak and righteous jealousy.   Not the paranoia, distrust, unhealthy smothering and possessiveness we observe in sick human relationships, but an insistence that we reserve our highest devotion exclusively for Him.   How do I know? Because God reveals it in a love story in His Love Letter to you–the Bible. Imagine yourself sitting at God's feet while He tells you a true story about one of His…

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    Living Life with Others

      I recently attended a convention that inadvertently brought me much needed rest. For the first time—ever—I traveled away from my husband and kids for more than two days. I chose, over the course of my family’s life, not to stay away from them for over forty-eight hours at a time. Call me crazy, but I don’t regret it. Not. One. Bit.   It’s now almost twenty-six years since I looked into the eyes of my beloved and I answered with the words, “I do” until death do us part. Dinner, a movie, and a baby or three later, I found myself holding children. Good ones, too.    When the…

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    The Outrageous Nature of God’s Grace

    The contemporary cultural climate in the global north (as well throughout the majority world) has called for a long-overdue, renewed interest in the notion of "equity." After all, there is a legitimate concern for promoting fairness and justice, along with integrity and respect, among all people, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status (a point made recently by Professors Darrell Bock and Ramesh Richard in an opinion piece at the Washington Post religion blog).   On the one hand, it is important to champion the cause of people being treated unfairly. On the other hand, we can quickly find ourselves consumed with comparing our lives to others. In turn, Satan…

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    From Zenith to Zero

    I appreciate Bill Lawrence’s recent blog post here at Bible.org titled, ‘The Giants Are Going and the Pygmies Must Take Over’. I especially welcomed his grounded, theologically astute observation that, “No leader, man or woman, makes himself or herself a giant.”   Lawrence’s piece brought to mind a 2010 journal article I wrote for Conspectus titled, “From zenith to zero: a historical-theological analysis of the demise of the kingdom of David and Solomon.” In that essay, I made modified use of Jim Collins’ study titled, How the Mighty Have Fallen. My intent was to leverage the conceptual framework Collins put forward to assess the collapse of the Davidic-Solomonic kingdom.  …