When Fear Eclipses Faith

Good thoughts from my sweet wife!

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This is a confession.

Seems I’ve been doing this a lot lately, and the truth is, it is freeing.

I know that I am not alone on this one because I see it all over the internet and even on people’s faces.

Fear.

The eclipse.  Hurricanes of historic proportions.  The wildfires in the west. The earthquake in Mexico, and major earthquakes predicted for the United States.

People prophesying about the end times are using these events to point to an imminent conclusion of the world as we know it. Not just crazy, modern-day doomsday prophets, but conservative Christian leaders that are willing to publicly confess that they believe we are living in the “last days”. Prophecies that contend that it will happen very soon–even narrowing it down to months and weeks.

“Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels of heaven nor the Son—except the Father alone.”…

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Did God Really Say?

A disappointing conversation reminded me that some problems never fully go away.

I recently spoke to an older pastor. Now I love older pastors. They have some experience and wisdom from which I can benefit. And, they can make me feel young– a sensation that doesn’t happen as often as it once did!

But this conversation was not so edifying. It served more as a warning. In the course of our conversation he said that not all of the bible is God’s word. Some of it is, but some of it isn’t. Some of it, he felt, was just some cultural baggage Continue reading

Adopt a New Attitude

“Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

So much of behavior begins with attitude. If you have a wrong attitude it will likely result in wrong behavior. And, conversely, if your attitude is right you are likely to get to the right actions.

I’ve tried to teach this lesson to my children and now to my grandchildren. I am working to help my church see this. And, I’m especially trying to get myself to see this truth. Attitude matters.

Here are two important lessons I want to teach myself and others about attitudes. Both come from this beautiful verse found in Philippians 2:5, “Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.”

1.Your attitude is a decision. Attitudes, like actions, come out of your own choices. The bible tells us to “adopt” the attitude that Jesus has. I love the word “adoption”. Our family is in the process of adopting even now. Adopting a child means that a child who was once not part of your family now is part of your family. You choose to adopt a child and the status changes. Continue reading

The Curious Case of Demas

“Demas has deserted me.” 2 Timothy 4:10.

I am curious about this biblical character, Demas. His name is only mentioned three times in the New Testament. But there is intrigue and mystery and disappointment surrounding him. What happened? Where did it go wrong?

Demas is mentioned in Philemon 24. Paul mentions him along with other, more prominent names like Mark and Luke. He is one of those Paul calls a “coworker.” It suggests Demas traveled with Paul, shared the gospel with Paul and planted churches with Paul. It leads us to believe that he started well in ministry and made a valuable contribution to the kingdom of God.

Colossians 4:14 says, “Luke, the dearly loved physician, and Demas send you greetings.” It seems just a bit odd Continue reading

Not Obscure to Him

I’m finishing preaching a series of messages through the book of Colossians. What a great book of the bible! The last chapter tells the names of many who are obscure to all but the most ardent of bible scholars. There are mentions of people like Tychicus and Aristarchus and even the only mention of a man named Jesus who is called Justus. (Talk about a tough name to live up to!)

These verses, and other places with similar lists, remind us that the bible is filled with the names of people who are not so well-known. You may know about Paul and David and Moses, but perhaps not about Benaiah or Epaphras or Ehud the left-handed Benjaminite. Those names Continue reading

Personal Responsibility

“It isn’t my fault!” we say. “I’m not to blame!” we insist. So, we find someone or something to blame. We blame our parents, family, friends or enemies. How can we be responsible when our families were so dysfunctional, or our friends so persuasive, or our enemies so capable? We blame our circumstances. The job was too hard, the hill too steep and the sun was in our eyes.

But God is consistently insistent that we take personal responsibility for our actions. He doesn’t play the blame game. He doesn’t allow us to shirk or deflect. Christians are well served, therefore, to be honest about our failures and clear in who is responsible for our decisions.

Exodus 32 unfolds the intriguing story of Continue reading

Three Things I Want the Next Generation to Know

Great words form my sweet wife and well worth the read!

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“My people, hear my instruction;
listen to the words from my mouth. I will declare wise sayings;
I will speak mysteries from the past— things we have heard and known
and that our fathers have passed down to us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but will tell a future generation
the praiseworthy acts of the Lord,
his might, and the wondrous works
he has performed.”  Psalm 78:1-4

Thirty five years ago my life took a dramatic turn.

I married a man who loved the Lord and who had committed his life to serving Him in full-time in ministry.  Just days after we married, we left our home state of Illinois and moved to our first home, sight-unseen, to an apartment within walking distance of the seminary. Low paying jobs and full-time schooling meant that our time in Texas was difficult, but sweet.

And…

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