Perceiving

Let’s say you are driving and you are cut off by a maniacal driver weaving in and out, speeding through downtown traffic. Are you tempted to yell and call names? A little honesty please. What if in that moment, God spoke to you and said, “I understand my child, that his driving is scary, but his little girl is deathly ill and in a panic he is driving her to the hospital.” Do you see things differently? Are you all of a sudden rooting for this crazed driver whom you were, only moments before, ready to curse? Our sight gets in the way of our perception. What we see colors our perception; and often in unhealthy ways. Continue reading

Backward Motion

Wax on, wax off. Anybody get the reference? This is an “how old are you” test. The line comes from the original “The Karate Kid” movie. Okay, so there is this high school young man played by Ralph Maccio who moves to Southern California and runs afoul of the rich kid bully. You gotta hate those rich kid bullies. Wait! That doesn’t seem right. Continue reading

Relevent Rituals

Some things are important enough to remember. But not just for you. You want your children and their children to remember. God things are like that. And these things require more than telling of tales. They demand symbols; rituals. Many in the Christian community think of the word ritual almost as a filthy word. They say things like, “Well, that’s just ritualistic.” Well, yes it is. And that, my friends is not a bad thing. I know we can do crazy, stifling things with ritual, but ritual can be healthy. And God communicates in rituals. Continue reading

Us and Them

Us and them! How do you react to that phrase? Our society wants to do away with any language that smacks of divisions. But here’s the thing; you can’t. There are groups. I have some friends who are members of the Lion’s Club. I am not. I am not an “us” when it comes to the Lion’s Club. I’m a “them”. But they don’t hate me because I am a “them” and I don’t hate them because they are an “us”. I could be an “us” any time I wanted. Continue reading

Devestating Presence

When I started this series of articles I mentioned that the Presence of Yahweh is not always pleasant. Sometimes the Presence is terrifying. God will not be tamed. He will not conform to our pre-conceived ideas of justice and love. It is not our job to give God an image makeover. It is also not our job to ignore the difficult passages of Scripture. Continue reading

Keep This Word

For a moment try not to think about the horribleness of the tenth mighty act. Try to imagine what this event meant to the Israelites; what it communicated to them. Imagine the alternative. God is aware of their suffering; of their crying out in despair when their children are cast into the depths of the Nile; of their fear, bitterness and hatred broiling inside of them. God is aware and able to bring it to an end. But what if he didn’t? Continue reading

Let the Symbol Slay You

Symbols are important, but only if you honor the meaning of the symbol. Some people wear a ring; a symbol of their devotion and unending commitment and love to their spouse, without a thought to what that ring symbolizes. In this case, the ring means absolutely nothing. It holds no power and no meaning. Continue reading

One More

One more. This could be a statement of intended indulgence; just one more bite to jam into an already bulging stomach; just one more drink before I give it up for good; just one more . . . But it can also be a heart wrenching acknowledgment that one more thing must happen to make the horror end. And the one more thing may just be a horror itself. Continue reading

Unshakeable

In the movie “Young Lions” Marlon Brando plays a German during World War II. At the beginning of the movie, before the war broke out, he expresses his belief to an American woman that Hitler is changing things for the better; the economy is improving; the job market is breathing again; the people are waking up to a joy that had long been dormant. She, of course cannot understand. She hasn’t watched her family go hungry with hope dwindling by a thread. So, when the world is swept up into war, Brando’s character is a Nazi officer. Continue reading