Can’t We All Just Get Along? 3 Quick Observations From A Peacemaker!
If you know me, I’m a peacemaker and I really don't care for confrontation so when I hear about protests going on about Trump’s victory I’m a little troubled by it. I thought for blogging purposes I would share 3 quick observations of what I believe is challenging for a person like me who asks the question – can’t we all just get along? It appears that the losing team is throwing a hissy fit. I may be wrong but it seems to me that the protesters are simply throwing a big hissy fit about losing. In life, when we lose we can be sore losers or…
Diversity: Can Any Good Thing Come Out of Nazareth?
Standing in Nazareth's Basilica of the Annunciation, I gazed up at mosaics from all over the world. These works depicted the Virgin Mary with Jesus, and in each case Jesus bore the ethnic identity of the predominate group in the gifting country. That is, the art from Ecuador showed Jesus as Ecuadorian; the work from Japan, as Japanese; and the one from Thailand, as Thai. The baby Jesus from Slovenia even had red hair. The mosaics’ creators made these localized images to remind viewers that Jesus is “one of us”—which he is. Yet so many artists have depicted Jesus as white for so long with such far-reaching influence that many…
No Greater Love, Teaching our Children Unity
I had a conversation with a friend last week about candy. It went something like this. “Do you remember Chick-O-Sticks? “Oh yea! I loved those!” “What about that candy bar that was so hard it almost pulled your teeth out?” “Oh! You mean, Bit-Of-Honey?” “No, it was some kind of caramel candy bar.” “Oh yea, what was that called?” “I don’t know. What were those called? Now that’s going to drive me crazy trying to remember!” We talked about our favorite candy and how we remembered the packaging on some but, it was the type of candy on the inside that generated the memory. It was such a sweet…
Where is our Hope?
Injustice. Anger. Murder. Mourning. (Repeat.) It seems the newsfeeds do not change—same story, just different day and different city. Additional protests lead to counter protests: #BlackLivesMatter, #WhiteLivesMatter, #AllLivesMatter. Confusion and anger fuels more anger. I read and watch social media posts and videos from various viewpoints. It disappoints me that many posts are full of blame, anger, should-haves, and could-haves. And so the cycle continues… Injustice. Anger. Murder. Mourning. (Repeat) Blame and anger are normal stages in the grief process. But it seems many people stay in those stages and never move forward. Why? They want justice. They want vengeance. Many simply want change, change for the better. And so…
United in Spirit
Struggling with unity in your church? In this article, a portion of the epistle (i.e., letter) written to the church at Philippi by the Apostle Paul, a church with a lack of unity, is explored for the cure.
Pope Francis and the FedEx Cup
Pope Francis was the news this past week. I must say it has been a long time since the national media devoted so much uninterrupted time to hear and even affirm various messages from a person of faith. In our skeptical age it was refreshing. For a person of faith it was encouraging to see the cross lifted high and Jesus and the power of the gospel exalted. Observing the multitudes at various venues I am reminded of Ecc 3:11 how “God has set eternity in the hearts of every person.” Blaise Pascal said it well that “there is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man.” This…
Clear Summer Days
Ah, the first weeks of summer vacation—a blissful time in the life of a mother and her children. Kids have finally finished the school year and moms have hung their chauffeur hats for a while. The Monday morning rush has come to a halt, the emails from school have completely ceased and at the end of the day, mothers across the country can finally stop asking, “Did you finish your homework? Did you study for your test?” The beginning of summer brings such sweet hopes. It gives mothers and children an opportunity to commit their time to each other. Mothers make endless promises of fun and the kids—especially teens—realize they…
2014–Time for a Respectful Compelling Christian Voice
In 2013 too many Christians and conservatives have asserted their views with well-meaning but hostile, combative rhetoric. I've engaged in some myself as I observe my Christian heritage slipping away. But I'm praying that in 2014 new Christian voices will be characterized by a more respectful, compelling style that invites engagement, even when we disagree. Will a different communication style woo desperate people to Christ in the long run? I believe it will. I'm not advocating that we abandon our principles. In fact, I believe we need to stop trying to be so relevant and begin living a lifestyle that looks radically different from our neighbors. But that lifestyle…
Philippians and the Big Story
For this post I’m delighted to have as my guest Dr. Lynn H. Cohick, author and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. I require Dr. Cohick’s terrific work, Women in the World of the Earliest Christians, for students in my Role of Women in Ministry class at DTS. Today Zondervan released her latest book, a work on Philippians in The Story of God Bible Commentary series. I'm enthusiastic about this new series because of its emphasis on narrative. Before we talk specifically about your writing on the book of Philippians, what can you tell us about this new The Story of God Bible Commentary? The commentary…
An impossible dream?
Living God’s way in our chaotic world sometimes seems like an impossible dream. Yet Micah the prophet summarized God’s intents this way: “He has told you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord really wants from you: He wants you to promote justice, to be faithful, and to live obediently before your God.” Micah 6:8 NET. Or, from the NIV, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Our country is embroiled today in divisive debates about what it “looks like” to act justly, love…