Good Chaos

Let’s say that your country is at war. There is much at stake. If the enemy wins – and they most certainly will win because they are stronger and have superior weaponry – they will show no mercy. Fields will be burned; innocents will be slain; and the living will be subjected to cruel treatment unimaginable. Word comes from the battlefront. Continue reading

Praise for the Wilderness

Most of the time, when I am in prison conducting a Bible study, there is conversation before the study begins. This conversation will often include complaints about prison life. One gentleman is particularly negative and views prison management, or management wherever it is found, as the spawn of Satan. Continue reading

Coloring God

It is hard to describe a sunset; to illustrate the feelings that well up inside of us as colors splash across the horizon. We may be able to name the colors in the rainbow, especially if we have memorized the acrostic, but does that explain why we get so excited to see one? It is more than colors arching across the sky. Continue reading

God’s Hand

God is a storm. God is an earthquake. God is a volcanic eruption. There are forces out there that are beyond our control. Some time ago we watched as one hundred mile down drafts turned the city we lived in into a war zone. Huge limbs tore away, and proud trees toppled. And it was so random. None of our trees were effected and yet across the street a massive tree was down in the driveway. The power that can break limbs as thick as a person; Continue reading

Travel On

The movie “The Queen of Katwe” is the true story about a young girl named Phiona who lives in the largest slum in the world. There is a saying, “Once in Katwe always in Katwe”. The poverty is oppressive; slowly crushing the life out of those caught in its press. Most people in Katwe are barely existing; clinging to slim hope of ever knowing anything different. Continue reading

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