Cypress & Myrtles

italy-677650_1920In “Thorny Things” we looked at different kinds of Thorns in our lives that hinder our growth and frustrate our work. This time, I would like to take a closer look at the promise found in that same passage of Scripture:

You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” (Isaiah 55:12-13) Continue reading “Cypress & Myrtles”

Prophets and Pharisees Part 5 of 5: Is it About Me or Them?

discussion-2884020_1920The Golden Rule in Scripture teaches us to treat others as we would have them treat us (Matthew 7:12). Unfortunately, the contemporary refrain seems to be either “Do to others before they can do to me,” or “Treat others as they treat me.” We often justify our actions like kindergartners, “He touched me first,” or “She did it too.” Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 5 of 5: Is it About Me or Them?”

Prophets and Pharisees Part 4 of 5: Why Do I Feel Compelled to Convey this Message?

workplace-1245776_1920The original Mickey Mouse Club television show used to have a segment about proverbs. (For the record, I watched the reruns) I still remember the song, “Proverbs, proverbs they’re so true, proverbs tell us what to do. Proverbs help us all to be better Mouseketeers.” Believe it or not, there was a time when Disney actually thought the Bible was a good thing. Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 4 of 5: Why Do I Feel Compelled to Convey this Message?”

Prophets and Pharisees Part 2 of 5: Is this Kingdom or is this personal?

architecture-3171675_1920In Part 1, “Is it About God or is it About Me?”, we looked at how true prophets must always be concerned that their message is in line with God’s heart and purposes. As people of God, it is incumbent upon us to put God and His Kingdom first instead of ourselves. What does He want? How does it want it accomplished? To be truly effective, we need to die to ourselves, so that Jesus can come alive through us. Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 2 of 5: Is this Kingdom or is this personal?”

Prophets and Pharisees Part 1 of 5: Is it About God or is it About Me?

church-957981_1920The line between being Prophetic and Pharisaical is so thin that it is often crossed without us even being aware. It is easy to feel so passionately about something that our emotions – or the devil – trick us into believing we are carrying out a righteous mission when, in truth, we have become self-righteous like the Pharisees of old. Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 1 of 5: Is it About God or is it About Me?”

Creative Theology

hands-3457909_1920In my work in the Corporate world, we sometimes use the expression “Creative Accounting” to describe bookkeeping that is less-than up-right and honest. A similar thing is happening throughout the Christian world in the arena of Biblical truth. I am saddened by the number of preachers, teachers and others who play loose with God’s Word in efforts to attract crowds or assuage their own guilty consciences. Continue reading “Creative Theology”

From The Call to the Commission and Beyond

study-862994_1920Henry David Thoreau observed, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” While I differ greatly from many of Thoreau’s Transcendentalism-informed conclusions, this observation is noteworthy. It is apparent that many of us do indeed lose sight of our hopes and dreams as we age and are bombarded by the many unexpected challenges life brings, and the surprising speed by which time passes. Continue reading “From The Call to the Commission and Beyond”

A Few Lessons From Billy Graham

billy-graham-393749_1920Many people inside and outside the church feel a great sense of loss with the passing of, perhaps, the greatest Evangelist since the Apostle Paul. Even at the age of 99 – and long past his active ministry days – his loss is still deeply felt by millions around the world.

I believe it is only appropriate to take a break from our series to briefly honor this man who has impacted so many. Though days could be spent reminiscing all that he was and all that he accomplished, I have narrowed the list down to seven things that all of us would do well to imitate. Continue reading “A Few Lessons From Billy Graham”

Fast Forward 2018 – Jesus Judo Part 5: Patience & Wrath

FFp4After our brief excursion into Love Land last week in preparation for Valentine’s day, we continue our discipleship training in the area of “overcoming evil with good.”[1] (aka Jesus Judo). So far, we have studied four of the seven virtues and deadly sins recognized by the Church for over a millennium and a half. We have considered Chastity & Lust, Temperance & Gluttony, Charity & Greed, and Diligence & Sloth. Today is all about Patience and Wrath. Continue reading “Fast Forward 2018 – Jesus Judo Part 5: Patience & Wrath”

Sinner to Saint in 30 Minutes or Less

Close up of a young african sportsman adjusting smartwatchA quick survey of the societal landscape provides mounting evidence that we are living in a post-Christian culture. Every day a virtual flood of secularism, atheism, humanism, hedonism, and a plethora of other “isms” assault our spiritual immune systems and work to infect us, our families and our churches.

Dr. Pete Sulack says, “Germs don’t make you sick, weakened immune systems make you sick.” The same can be said about culture. Culture cannot infect us if our spiritual immune system is strong. If it is weak, however, there are a vast number of ways we find ourselves in spiritual decline. Continue reading “Sinner to Saint in 30 Minutes or Less”