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The Lost Sheep

Many of us are familiar with the Parable Of The Lost Sheep (Luke 15). It's the one where the shepherd celebrates when he finds the one little lost sheep. The obvious point in the story is that we're so important, God will come after us to bring us home. But there is a deeper message too in the parable that is often overlooked. It's quite relevant in today's "self-saving" culture. The parable is directed at a group of first century, self-righteous … [Read more...]

The Man With No Name

He packed a few things, slipped on his sandals, and set off on another journey. He stepped out into the busy street and let the sunlight hit his face. He was instantly recognized. A wealthy young man ran up to him and fell at his feet. Panting, he asked, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Indeed. What must one "do"? Jesus responded. "Why do you call me good? Do you know what 'good' is, son? I appreciate your enthusiasm, but do you … [Read more...]

Taking The Step of Life

I was watching my 4-year-old learn how to swim. Her older siblings were enthusiastically offering suggestions as they splashed around our little 3-foot-deep pool. Despite her desire to learn, she  resisted. Why? She was not willing to leave her comfort zone. She just loved to walk around and splash. To plunge her body forward was out of her bounds. This plunge forward into the unknown is what philosophers, theologians, and the like have discussed for ages. … [Read more...]

Why God Ignores Some Prayers

Many cry out to God with all their heart. They are truly suffering. Their prayer concerns could be health related, dashed hopes, struggles with work, a relationship, money - or all the above. We carry so much pain, suffering, and misery. The weight of it all can crush us. Why doesn't God answer, help, or alleviate the suffering? To get at this, let's clarify one area of prayer - our prayer agenda. We bring our own agenda to God in our prayers.  In other … [Read more...]

Do You “Believe” In God?

Do you believe in God? It's a common question. It's most often answered in the affirmative - although who or what that god is takes a variety of forms. There is a difference between belief in God, and faith in God. It's a difference often not recognized in the Judeo-Christian worldview. Belief that God exists can easily be made through any number of rational arguments. Faith in God (Jesus in particular), leaves one with their knees buckling on one hand and … [Read more...]

The Powerful Ramifications of History

I've been brushing up on my history - in particular Christian history. The developments of the early church, and the challenges it faced were incredible. We tend to forget the struggles to get the teachings of Jesus straight. It's not like they could just Google stuff. Yet, the church held itself together for better or worse. One teaching that tends to get distorted to this day is Augustine's (354 - 430) teaching on grace. That is, we're saved by grace … [Read more...]

A Conversation With The Devil

In the video below, Craig Groeschel does a great job interviewing the devil about his thoughts on the church. It's done in a humorous way and packed with truth. It's similar to C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, highlighting the work of demonic forces in our midst. Now, many don't believe in demonic forces, arguing that it's all myth and/or religious superstition. However, few can deny that despite our best efforts we tend to tear each other down rather than … [Read more...]

Listening To God

I was taking a moment to pray the other day when a friend popped into my head. So I started to pray for them. I followed the thought, or rather drifted off with thoughts. They didn't entirely feel like my own. And then God prompted me, telling me to go and do what I was thinking. Sound weird? It is. It's weird because we're uncomfortable even talking about God let alone listen to what He (the Creator of the universe) might have to say to us. Perhaps … [Read more...]

Understanding The Last Supper

Understanding the Last Supper can be confusing as there are quite a few opinions on it, and a very broad range of ideas. The last supper, of course, was the Passover meal that Jesus celebrated with his disciples the night he was betrayed. In the Old Testament, the Passover is when the Angel of Death "passed over" those who had marked their homes with the blood of a lamb. The Passover was the defining moment for the Israelites - it was their birth as a … [Read more...]

Do You Know Your History

There's an article in the WSJ that argues that the Bible should be taught in public schools. I happen to agree. Now, my kids are unschooled, so I don't have a lot of skin in this fight except to say that if one does not have a basic understanding of the Bible, they don't know their history. So much of what we do - education, government, hospitals, justice, morality, language, idioms and more - come from the Bible, and the people who follow the God it … [Read more...]