The Soul Shaking Look of Jessus

You know the look; the soul stirring look; the look that dives deep inside of you. It is the look of a mother as she sees her child with their hand in the cookie jar after being told to wait until after supper. The look of that same mother when the child proceeds to deny they were taking a cookie. I heard of a mother in Belgium, whose glare was so intense that no matter where her children were sitting in church, if they were misbehaving, they could feel the heat of her look boring into them. Continue reading

Descending Darkness

Is there any moment when God is in danger of being defeated? Did you experience an almost visceral cry of “NO! Of course not!” here? We believe God is in control, don’t we? We believe that no matter how bad things may look, God is sovereign. The battle between good and evil is not a close call. It may be a close thing in the hearts of individuals, but in the grand stage of history it is already decided. God wins! But here is our dilemma: there are moments when the darkness seems to be bulging over with dark power; billowing with baneful purpose; disrupting the good. And this is on the stage of history. Continue reading

Crisis Prayer

We all face times of crisis in this life. How do we face those times without being overwhelmed? Some hold onto a belief that God will keep the crisis at bay or remove it or take us out of it. And sometimes I believe that is exactly what God does. But does he always? There are many people who make their way to our borders. We can debate all day long about the appropriate response. But can we see people in the midst of a crisis? A crisis that may not get better. Continue reading

Buckle Up

Buckle up, its going to be a bumpy ride. How many of you ran out to your car and buckled up? We know this is a saying. It is meant to warn of coming unpleasant bumpiness. Sometimes when we want to warn people that things are about to get dangerous, we may use language that is not at all meant to be literal. Hold on to your hats! And what if you don’t have a hat? Are those poor hatless slobs more likely to succumb to danger because they don’t have a hat to hold onto? Hunker down! Continue reading

After the Sifting

In the first two chapters of the book of Job, you see this discussion between God and Satan. God says, “Hey Satan, Have you considered my boy Job?” To which Satan responds with, “Of course he’s your boy. You have kept a fence of protection around him. Let me do some damage to the things and people around him, and he won’t be your boy anymore.” So, God said, “Okay, but don’t harm him.” So, Satan gets busy and in a very short amount of time, Job loses almost everything. All of his oxen and donkeys have been stolen by the Sabeans. All of his sheep have been consumed with fire. All of his camels have been taken by the Chaldeans. Continue reading

Remain Through

How many of you are just like me? Don’t panic. I mean in that I eat without the actual work that goes into producing food? I may complain about the higher prices that result from lean years, but that is not the same as experiencing those lean years in the midst of working a field. In the same way, I drink milk without twice a day milkings. I think that on some level we all enjoy the results of other people’s labors. But some will attempt this with relationships and that boys and girls does not work. Play on words intended. Continue reading

Greatest

Who is your example of great? As a chaplain at a youth correction center, I sometimes encounter young people who look up to drug dealers. Money and power seems to dance for them. They seem to be in control. One time I had invited a police officer to come talk to them. The discussion drifted toward their idea of great: money. Continue reading

Obedience or Disobediance

One of my professors once told us, “God can use your obedience or your disobedience to accomplish his will. It is better for you if he uses your obedience.” But if God knows if it will be obedience or disobedience in advance, is the stage set? Are we locked in? If God knows what will happen, does that make future events predetermined? Yeah, I think I’ve probably asked the same question in enough different ways now. Let’s look at an example. God told Habakkuk that he was going to rise up the Chaldeans (the Babylonians) to punish Israel. Continue reading

Longed With Longing

In the summer of 2021 my wife and I planned on going to Glacier National Park. There were many roadblocks along the way. Finding a place to stay that didn’t cost $300 a night was the first. We finally found an air B&B in Kalispell. Then we discovered that you had to have a pass to enter on the Going to the Sun Road and everything was sold out. More tickets would be open for purchase on the web cite a couple of days before we planned on going. Continue reading

Quiet Control

Sometimes it may feel as if God is not in control. Calm down. I know. This feeling is more about our perception than reality. But I am not talking about what we know; what we tell ourselves over and over again. I’m talking about how it feels. The forces of evil plot nefarious schemes. The gathering dark clouds seem to be gaining in force and strength. Continue reading