A young lady on a volleyball team is diagnosed with cancer. And when the treatment makes her hair fall out, every one of her teammates goes and gets their heads shaved. There is something beautiful here isn’t there? There was absolutely no physical reason for these young ladies to become inexplicably bald. But there is an emotional reason; a spiritual identifying with; a resounding statement: “we are you – you are us – we belong to each other.” And doesn’t it tug at us when we see similar stories on the news? Continue reading

Good News Exposed

What do you do when the good news causes bad; when the truth of God’s word gets you into trouble? I have a friend who, years ago, as a preacher, was told by the elders that he could no longer preach that Jesus is God. You see there was this family with lots of money. It often comes down to this doesn’t it? Anyway, this family with money didn’t believe that Jesus is God so they told the elders that my friend needed to quit and desist or they would quit giving money to the church. Well the elders were afraid of losing a sizeable contribution, so they ordered my friend to tone down his Jesus is God lessons. Continue reading

Salvation and Judgement

Once there was this restaurant owner. His business was floundering. And here’s why; his employees were lazy. But the owner didn’t want to make anyone feel bad. So, he gave his employees a hug and told them things like, “Good job!” or “Look at you doing nothing all day! We’re lucky to have you.” As a result, his employees felt secure in their laziness and he was forced to go out of business. And here is a difficult truth for you: salvation and judgment walk hand in hand. Continue reading

Practical Fruit Bearing

The word of God is not intended to merely be a collection of theological statements to be debated by the spiritual elite. As I was trying to figure out where to begin with this week’s article, I was listening to “Like a Match” by Toby Mac. The chorus is “If it’s real we gotta show it. Cause if it’s not, they sure gonna know it.” And then it hit me. That’s what I’m trying to say. The message of God is intended to be lived, not merely talked about. Continue reading

The Magic Amulet Option

Several years ago I received a call from a gentleman with whom I had minimal contact. He wanted his teenage children to be baptized. I had enough contact to know what this was about. You see, some people view baptism as some kind of magic amulet. You get yourself dunked in the water, you say the “I do” and “POOF!” you’re solid man. Continue reading

Brain Paths

Picture your brain as a massive city. Pay particular attention to the roads. There are quiet, little used paths – the lights are low and there is not much activity there. These paths are in a state of disrepair, all full of potholes and bumps. There are also busy interstates and traffic bustles and much activity lights up these super highways. They are smooth with use and they are repaired as soon as there is a hint of a problem. Continue reading

In the Things of God

If you were married to a police officer, it maybe shouldn’t be a surprise if she sometimes works late due to an emergency situation. It’s not like you can just bail on an active situation; calling a time out during a shoot out so that you can go home. And if you were married to a fire fighter, you probably shouldn’t be surprised if sometimes fighting fires lasted longer than the work day. It is not like a fire is going to cooperate with allotted time constraints. Continue reading

Baby God

Have you ever contemplated God as a baby? We sometimes leap over this part of incarnation. We often fail to imagine the significance. God could have decided to burst on the scene as a fully grown adult. This would have even added to the mystery. But it would mean that God would have failed to experienced something of humanity. Continue reading

Anna the Prophetess

The fact of the matter is that women were devalued in Jesus’ day. The young men were taught to read so that they could read Torah. Women, well, women were not going to be discussing deep theological issues. They were going to be too busy preparing meals and having male children. Why would they need to learn to read. The courts in the temple were designed to keep women further from the presence of God than the men – a design that is not found in the Old Testament by the way. Continue reading