A university lectureship director once told a young person who would be socializing with other presenters, “They don’t know who you are. Tell them about yourself.”
How would we behave at that social event? Would following the director’s advice be an example of prideful self-promotion, or might it just be sophisticated pragmatism, or even something else? Continue reading “What can God do with humble selfless obedience?”
The request was unusual. “I am working on a college assignment regarding the role of women in the church. Would you have any resources?” After lending her some books, I began to reflect upon the phrase, “neither male nor female” (Galatians 3:28). Disputes, some heated, others congenial, have swirled around those words.
I believe a simple story can assist everyone to accurately understand, agree upon, and draw application for today. OK, I concede this is too optimistic since people value different goals. Nevertheless, if we place priority upon an authored-centered meaning, as opposed to a reader-centered one, “neither male nor female” is rather straightforward.
Continue reading “Neither male nor female once again”
We can master the technique the first time. We complain about how busy we are, while smiling on the inside how important this makes us feel. Unfortunately, such a self-esteem quick fix comes at a price. Continue reading “Take a break”
What is gopher wood or tahas skin? I don’t know. Truth is, I don’t care. Do you?
Yet, long ago people did know. In fact, from these misty linguistic shadows of the past arises an opportunity for spiritual self-reflection. Continue reading “Gopher wood, tahas skins & Burger King”
Is it easy to agree upon societal policies? Just consider our nation’s tensions on a number of hot button issues.
What if a nation were to attempt to conform to an even higher standard then human notions of justice and compassion? What if it sought to function as God’s holy nation, a kingdom of priests? How should such a country handle accidents, crime, property issues, worship and immorality? Continue reading “The small print on giant speakers”
From the burning bush on Mt. Sinai where a barefoot Moses stood, to God’s presence descending as fire upon Mt. Sinai’s peak where Israel assembled in its shadows, God revealed something of himself. When God draws near we can learn a lot. Ultimately, God’s actions invite us into an unexpected response. Continue reading “God came near”
How confident are we? Are we masters of the grill, gifted at our professions or perhaps certain of our flair for gab? Yet, who among us has not experienced an unexpected curve ball? The dinner turned out disappointing. A work project did not go well. We stood speechless.
What we expected slipped between our fingers. In such instances we discover our earlier confidence did not deliver. Just because we felt confident did not guarantee the results.
So what about really important things, like heaven? Can we surpass mere confidence to know for certain we are God’s forgiven people? Yes we can!
I imagine joyous exclamations: “by faith” and “by grace!” To be sure, these principles are intrinsically involved. Yet, throughout scripture a more fundamental principle exists.
Continue reading “Surpassing confidence. Possessing God’s approval.”
Excitement refuses to be contained. Just try to keep a grandmother with a new grandchild quiet. From exciting experiences to the joy of new acquisitions, we want to share with others whatever thrills our hearts. Moses was no exception. Continue reading “Just can’t contain it”
Would it surprise us to learn that within the New Testament’s original language, the label “believer” (pistos) is rather rare? I did not expect this. Did you? Or how surprised would we be if we discovered that perhaps the most common usage of believer today differs from what the New Testament meant by believer?
Continue reading “Believer surprises”
Embedded within scripture we discover reflections or parallels often separated by hundreds and sometimes more than a thousand years. For me, these mirror images reveal God’s handiwork, mind and authorship. Continue reading “Mirror images: God at work through history”