lightstock_169269_medium_user_2406554

Can we understand the Bible?

Women often complain that the man they’re with does not communicate. “He must be the strong silent type,” they will say. “I wish he would talk. He talks all day at work, but he doesn’t talk with me.”

Of course, if a man (or a woman, for that matter), wants his partner to do something in a certain way, he might consider using actual words to communicate this. Continue reading “Can we understand the Bible?”

what-is-sin

Does sin really exist?

“Man, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20).

Most of us can identify with Charlie Brown. We set some goal: “This time, I’m going to kick that football!” then somebody pulls the ball away at the last second, and we fall flat on our back. But there was one man in the Bible who set his sights high, and got even more than he asked for. That was because his goal was to encounter Jesus. Continue reading “Does sin really exist?”

bored76

Why blessings and boredom may not coexist

The Guardian newspaper ran a story about the rampant boredom people feel in our age. /1 We’ve changed as a result of technology and it isn’t for the better.

With the internet, games and smartphones at our fingertips, one would think boredom would be obsolete. Earlier generations would be mystified at being bored while on something as grand as the internet.

It’s certainly inconceivable to many of us who have books to fill our time. Bookworms are never bored.

Continue reading “Why blessings and boredom may not coexist”

IMG_1372

Death, taxes, and blueberries

How can you put a price on fresh blueberries from your own garden? And yet, a local nursery specializing in native plants does just that. And it’s quite high — the Yard Boy said it was $35.00.

As he and I stood over the dead stick that is now sticking up out of the ground chiding us with its barrenness, we wondered why we would spend so much money. Worse yet, we neglected to put sulfur on these plants as they grew weaker and weaker over the past year. The leaves were showing signs of needing more acidity in the soil, but we just never got around to applying it. One is still alive and putting out blossoms, the other is beyond hope. Continue reading “Death, taxes, and blueberries”

Fat Mans Squeeze

Strive to enter

Rock City, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, has a winding trail around (or through) many limestone outcroppings. One of those is “Fat Man’s Squeeze.”

In the past, when I weighed much more than now, I’ve had my troubles getting through the squeeze. While it might be possible for a severely overweight person to get through the narrow corridor of rock, it would not be comfortable.

There are many people who think salvation is as easy as going to the grocery store for a dozen eggs. “Have you got saved?” they ask. It’s almost as if “getting saved” is as easy as getting something to eat at a fast-food place. Jesus Christ never described it that way. Continue reading “Strive to enter”

Wind in the trees

Give the winds a mighty voice

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 NKJV).

For the past couple of months I have been in Bangladesh. It was spring here when we arrived, and is now officially summer. As elsewhere, spring is a time of moderate weather and, generally, some wind or breeze. Those breezes typically lessen as summer arrives. Continue reading “Give the winds a mighty voice”

Road sign against blue sky

Once saved

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4,5).

I had a conversation about Calvinism recently with a young person. We were speaking of a couple that had left the church for a community church that taught Calvinism. My young friend observed, insightfully I thought, that they like the teaching because they assume that they were among those destined to be saved. Continue reading “Once saved”

Orchestra

What happens when we ignore the Composer?

“Be cleansed” (Luke 5:13).

Behold the impact of Jesus’ words:

  • Jesus said, “Be still!” and the storm stopped immediately (Mark 4:39)
  • Jesus said, “Be cleansed,” and the leper was cured instantly (Luke 5:13).
  • Jesus said, “Come forth,” and Lazarus walked out promptly (John 11:43).
  • Jesus said, “Come out” and demons fled fearfully (Luke 4:35-36).
  • Jesus said, “Let there be” (Genesis 1:3,6,14) and the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, sprang into existence from nothing, unhesitatingly (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:6; John 1:3).

Continue reading “What happens when we ignore the Composer?”