Painfully Normal

In 43 BC Gaius Octavius was one of the triumvirate – three men set up to rule the world following the assassination of Julius Caesar. By 27 BC the Senate gave him the title of Augustus and effectively handed rule of Rome into his hands. I’m not sure that they had much of a choice. In the years between those two dates, Octavius orchestrated a series of military and political moves that cemented peace in Rome and his status as Savior of Rome. He knew how to grab and wield power and the Empire gratefully worshiped him. Continue reading

Hope Rises

You and I live in the morning times. We roll out of bed, full of thoughts of yesterday; thoughts of what has been done; thoughts of what had been started and left unfinished. Hopefully, we also face the morning with thoughts of what can be done; thoughts full of hope and anticipation. We live in the “in between” times. We are full of the awareness of what God has done. We revel in the story of the Christ; of God in the flesh; of the teachings and examples; of complete submission to the gospel plan; of the cross, the grave, and the right hand of God. God has burst into our world and accomplished salvation. Continue reading

The Hand of God

A significant word or phrase overused can become insignificant. If everything is “awesome” then nothing really is and the word has lost its way – its meaning and its power. The word can now be applied to a butterfly when originally it meant drop you to your knees with fearful awe. In the same way, it is appropriate to see God working all around us. Continue reading

The Tale of Two Ladies

This is the tale of two women; two women who discovered that God had miraculously made them mothers; mothers of a son who would serve with significance. Both of these women broke out in song praising God for being the kind of God who had blessed them in their personal insignificance; the kind of God who brings the high and mighty to their knees and lifts the lowly up to undreamed of heights. Continue reading

Leaping

In November of 2017 my son had an infection that had morphed into a flesh eating bacteria. We discovered on the way down, that emergency surgery was going to be a thing. The surgery was successful, but there would be a long road of recovery. My wife made the decision to stay down and provide wound care for our son. Continue reading

Average and Yes

Our mistake is that we think that God would surely choose the truly important people to carry out his will. You know, the Spiritual Superstars. The A listers of holiness. Surely he would not choose a teenage girl from a poor little dusty village to be the mother of the Messiah. And if this village was the place, well, surely he would call upon the most important person; a holy woman all full of wisdom and spiritual aptitude. Continue reading

Hidden Blessings

Sometimes the blessings of God are hidden. Sometimes I think God does this on purpose, hoping we will spend time and effort seeking – kind of like a treasure hunt. I think Jesus may have said something about a treasure hidden in a field. And sometimes we simply cannot see the blessings because our expectations have blinded us. Kind of like Wyle E. Coyote, who is so focused on eating the Road Runner that he completely misses the other possible food sources all around him. Continue reading

The Movement of God

The focus of the Story is the movement of God. Ah, but within that movement there is also the tale of those whom God chooses to move through. This is not about salvation. This is about who God chooses to accomplish his will; to carry the message of God to kings; to lead the people to freedom. What about them stands out? Why Moses as opposed to all the other Israelites born under the whip of Egypt? Why do we know the tale of Elijah and not the stories of the 7,000 who had not bowed their knees to Baal? Continue reading

The Story

Some stories are important and need to be told over and over again. The significance is life-changing; life-affirming; life-warning. There is something hauntingly beautiful in the story of Corrie Ten Boom. It is the story of one family risking everything to help Jewish people escape the horrors of the Nazi machine which had invaded the Netherlands. Continue reading

The Physician

Why do you go to the doctor? It is time for my annual checkup. I’m not super motivated. I feel fine. I mean, other than the occasional aches and pains that comes along with getting older. I have felt a little light headed lately, but you know what, I’m fine. I have a friend who told me that as long as they don’t go to the doctor they will not be told that something is wrong. There is a logic here that I can identify with. Just so you know, I know that it is flawed logic. Continue reading