While there have been too many theories flying around the past few weeks to keep track, I am surprised by what I haven’t heard. Is it possible that Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser may be honestly lying? Continue reading “Kavanaugh & Ford: Truthful Fiction?”
In the aftermath of Florence, emotions are wildly fluid and, at least for the moment, many here in the Carolinas are reflecting on the experience. Like most things in life, perspective is key, and there is no lack of differing ones.
Practically everyone in my general geography has lost something. The most devastated have lost loved ones to the tragic effects or consequences of the storm. A one-year-old died when his mother couldn’t hold on after her car was swept up in flood waters. A mother and her infant were killed, and the father hospitalized, when a tree crushed their home. Another man died while trying to convert to generator power. Over 35 human deaths have been attributed to the storm so far.
In addition to human life, the estimated loss of farm animals is currently estimated to be over 3.4 million. That means a lot less chicken, pork and beef for America’s tables. Crops were lost and refrigerated food in stores, restaurants and homes was lost due to power outages.
Many have lost nearly everything as flood waters rose in their homes, cars and businesses. Many churches, including ours, has suffered damage from the torrential winds and rain. Continue reading “Lessons from Florence”
Born and raised in a perfect storm of loss, hatred, racism, and pain, JP was a poster child for the case against injustice. He had every reason to hate and precious few reasons to trust anyone. His life was on a collision course that would echo repercussions around the world.
During the hot summer of 1930 on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, JP was pushed into this world. He would quickly experience racism, class envy, bootlegging, gambling, frequent fighting and more. The family was rough and tough; but some might argue it was the only way to survive the times and the geography. Continue reading “Reconciliation: Is it Really Possible?”
In “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”
Through the Prophet Isaiah, God promised to deliver His beloved, but rebellious people, Israel from their sins and resulting punishment. He let them know that the future He had in mind for them was far above and beyond anything they could comprehend:
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)
Everybody has a least one. That person who knows exactly how to make you feel worthless and hopeless. Whether you live in Indiana or India every society somehow finds a way to produce this kind of person. They use words, actions and even gestures to cut you to the very core of your being.
For Hannah, that person was Peninnah. In modern lingo, they would have been called Sister Wives. They were married to the same man, but there was a huge and culturally embarrassing difference – Peninnah had children but Hannah did not. Continue reading “Dealing with Your Peninnah”
The 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?”
In 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. In Part 2 we asked “Is this Kingdom or is this Personal?” When we speak or write, are we advancing God’s agenda and mission or our own? Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 3 of 5: Is My Attitude In Line With God’s Heart?”
In 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?”