Sabbath Thread

You’ve seen the cartoons where someone or something pulls on a thread and everything unravels. Like that one thread holds everything together; whether it be a sweater or the very fabric of the universe. One strand rules them all. Ah, a Lord of the Rings reference. But kind of like that. There are threads in the Bible; concepts that run through, intertwining and holding things together. Love is like that. Continue reading

All Aglow

You tell your friends about this amazing movie; a movie that moved you in significant ways. Maybe it gave you a different perspective on the suffering of the oppressed. Your friends go to see the movie and you excitedly ask them how it was. They respond with an “ehh, it was okay.” What? How can they not feel the significance? Continue reading

Intensifying the Rules

So, your newly licensed teenager is asking to borrow the family car. They have been responsible; they have passed the test; they seem generally trustworthy. You go over some ground rules – like obeying those inconvenient signs that want you to drive 25 miles an hour within residential areas along with all manner of driving laws. Operating a vehicle comes with a huge responsibility. And on their maiden trip into the brave new world of being a license bearing driver, they drive where you told them not to drive and receive a ticket for ignoring those annoying speed limit signs. Continue reading

More Than Fair

Has it ever hit you? You deserve death! Okay, most of us walk around believing that we are descent people; somehow deserving life. O sure, we’ll give lip service to grace. We know – because it is found throughout the Bible – that we are saved because God is gracious. But deserving of death? We say it, but I’m not sure we feel it. I may lie on occasion, but I haven’t killed anyone. I might rationalize away the whole obeying the laws of the land or giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar thing, but I haven’t tortured anyone. Continue reading

The Face of God

In Stephen King’s short story “The Jaunt” a family is preparing to travel to another planet via teleportation. Everyone will be administered a drug that will render them completely unconscious. The reason: they had discovered that every person, without fail, who made the trip while awake arrived in the other location completely insane, and most were catatonic. This family has a precocious twelve year old boy who is curious and sincerely believes himself smart enough to handle whatever it is that causes ordinary people to go insane. Continue reading

With or Without You

Imagine there was this man who was completely underappreciated within his family. His wife barely acknowledged his presence. His children refused to listen and lived in a constant state of rebellion. Both trampled over his presence as if they were in a grape stomping party. So, one day he calls his family together and informs them that he quit; that he was out of there; that he was done being a part of this family. Continue reading

Hope and Regret

He hurt her, he knew. He tore out her heart, it was true. After the tears dried up, she walked away with a clear message still ringing in his ears, “Leave me alone! I don’t want to have anything to do with you!” He knew he would have to respect her wishes or all hope would be completely lost. It was barely limping along as it was. But there was a weak, pale hope; a hope he clung to with everything he had. Continue reading

The Weight of Sin

Sometimes I wonder if we have somehow lost a sense of the seriousness of sin. Or maybe it is that our concept of grace has made sin too light a thing to be bothered with or worried over. We often view the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee praying in the temple to defend our view. On the one hand we don’t want to be like the Pharisee patting ourselves on the back for how wonderful we are. Continue reading

Ah Consequences Again

I heard this mother yelling at her children, “If you don’t get in here this instant I will spank you!” The children kept playing. She yelled, “I mean it!” The children kept playing. And low and behold those children never did get a spanking.Whatever your views are on spanking, you can probably see that threatening any consequence without follow through is futile. It trains the exact opposite of what you are attempting. And imposed consequences are necessary for training. Continue reading