Wickedness is a Raging Fire

Wickedness is a raging fire. It is a self-absorbed flame licking up all in its path. It is a self-destructive flame feeding on itself. Have you heard about a controlled burn? The problem with a controlled burn is that it can easily become an uncontrollable conflagration. Wickedness cannot be controlled. What I mean by that is that you cannot play around with it; practicing just a little wickedness here and there. It will never be the subject of a controlled experiment or a controlled burn. My guess is that most people do not set their foot on the path of wickedness thinking, “let it burn me up along with everyone around me.” They probably thought they could manage it; that it would be a controlled burn.

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Choosing the Lie

In the movie the Matrix, the one who ends up betraying Morpheus and everyone else, does so because he wants to be plugged back into the lie. The truth is too stark; too real. He knows that, in reality he will be in a pod and plugged into the Matrix; that he won’t really be walking around and working; that the food will not be real. But he doesn’t care. He wants to live the lie. Continue reading

Failed Discipline

Discipline, when done well, is all about relationship. My wife watches our grandchildren. In the process of the day, there are moments when she tells them “NO!” or scolds them. They often respond with tears. And in that moment of hurting, the person they want most, is their Grandma. They may not fully understand that they are longing for the relationship to be strong; to thrive. But I am confident that their running into the arms of their Grandma is all about relationship. Continue reading

A Bound up Testimony

Proclaiming a word from God should not be easy. I am not a prophet in the Old Testament sense of the word. Hebrews 1:1-2 makes it pretty clear that in times past God spoke through the prophets but now he speaks through the son – through Jesus. So, the men and women of God who were given a “Thus says Yahweh” message relevant to specific realities are no longer the means of communication. Continue reading

Conspiracy

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe there are conspiracies out there. I just don’t see them everywhere. And there is an important truth about conspiracies. Not all conspiracies are bad. Oh, to be sure, plenty are. Evil forces will join forces and lay traps in an attempt to advance their own means. They conspire against others because they hate or because they care more about themselves. But there are good conspiracies as well. No really! Continue reading

Gentle Waters

There once was a farmer who lived south of a dam. After a couple of dry years, this farmer decided that the corps of engineers was too slow in releasing water. His land was suffering after all. They didn’t release near enough water and they waited too long to release what little they did. Those stingy corps of engineers folk don’t really know what they’re doing. Continue reading

Fear and Trust

The other day, my wife and I took our grandchildren to Fort Lincoln State Park. One of the things in this park to see is an On-the-Slant Village. It is a replica of how the Mandan Native Americans used to live. The dwelling places were mounds constructed with wood and covered with earth. Our grandson was a little hesitant to enter. Continue reading

Get Used To It

We don’t like to be inconvenienced. Well, it is more than that really. We expect life to be fair. And we want a God who will orchestrate everything to our liking and wealth and well-being. Well? Don’t we? So, if there is a message in the Bible that says, “Hey, life is hard, get used to it” we want to tweak it to mean something else. Surely, Jesus meant the opposite when he said that if we follow him we will be hated; persecuted; crucified; die. Continue reading

Enough

Just for argument’s sake, let’s say you don’t like the president of the United States. Not as a person necessarily, but as a president. And let’s say with every new day and new policy you are shouting out “ENOUGH!” You feel like you are being wearied to exhaustion. And just to be clear I am speaking of any president; whoever may be president. Continue reading

Stay the Course

A few years ago, Cindy and I were hiking up to Lake Serene in Washington State. This was a long hike that meandered up several feet in elevation. Can you say, “switchbacks” boys and girls? Sure, I knew you could. As we were hiking, people coming back down kept telling us, “Its not far now.” And as we hiked and hiked and heard over and over again, “Its not far now,” we questioned whether or not we should just turn back. But we didn’t. We stayed the course. We believed that Lake Serene was really up there . . . somewhere. Continue reading