God loves numbers. He counts the number of hairs on each human head. In fact, he likes numbers so much, he makes things uncountable by human means. The stars cannot be numbered. And who can count the grains of sand in the sea or all the drops in the oceans of the world?
But God knows. “He counts the number of the stars; he names all of them” Psalm 147.4. So he not only counts them, but names them all. Continue reading “God loves numbers”
Is all life on earth the result of an accident that caused an accident?
Instead of an accident, consider the design of the eye. Scientists believe they understand how vision works by comparing the eye to a camera and how it focuses an image on the retina. But, what happens after the image arrives on the retina? Science doesn’t know how that “message” is transported to the brain and how that message is recreated there. Continue reading “Obey the giver of life”
“Therefore we must progress beyond the elementary instructions about Christ and move on to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, teaching about ritual washings, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:1-2 NET).
I’m sure if we were to draw up a “list” of the basic teachings about Jesus that all of these would be on our list. Sure, some of these would be, but I am confident that most of us would be unfamiliar with at least a few of them. What are these “elementary instructions about Christ” that we need to move beyond in order to become mature Christians? Continue reading “Back to basics”
Fear destroys. Fear is Satan’s tool. Faith is God’s weapon. Paul would warn us that if we think we are standing firm, we need to be diligent that we do not stumble.
Paul would also remind us to learn from Israel’s history. Look beyond just reading the story of God opening the Red Sea. Imagine standing with those Israelites. Only then, will we be more prepared to heed’s Paul’s warning in facing our life situations.
Continue reading “Oh for a greater faith”
We have all been stung by criticism. It hits us blindside, a wallop seemingly out of nowhere. Perhaps we assumed that all was well, that our hard efforts were appreciated, and then it came: someone suspects our motives, someone takes work that was profoundly meaningful to us and tore it to shreds.
We stumble outside, sit on the steps and try to take it all in. Were they right? Did we truly, deeply wrong others? Continue reading “Responding to criticism”
The Jews and Samaritans didn’t like each other.
The animosity was historical. The Assyrians took about 27,000 people captive from the Northern Kingdom of Israel. There were many Israelites left in the land and they intermarried with colonists placed there by the Assyrians. Those people identified themselves as “Samaritans.”
After the Persian King Cyrus allowed a fraction of Judah to leave Babylon, the Samaritans opposed the rebuilding of the Temple. Samaritans also opposed Nehemiah’s construction of the walls around Jerusalem. Continue reading “Jesus’ words”
The orchids in Jamaica cover the most dilapidated of structures, so resplendent in their breathtaking glory that the countryside appears to be a paradise. Here in Tennessee, the plants that grow with such vigor are mostly flowerless weeds.
As a teen bride, I breathed a wish as I gently caressed these magnificent flowers that I could grow them one day. To date, I have now managed to preside over the short lives and untimely deaths of a few orchids. None have survived my black thumb in a non-tropical climate. Continue reading “What we need”
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5 NKJV).
As our party traveled by foot to a remote village in the middle hills of Nepal we came to a pool in a river where two men were washing something that I first took to be clothes or at least rags of some kind. As we got closer, however, I realized they were washing out the intestines of an animal that they had slaughtered. Continue reading “God is good”
Can you imagine what it was like for Cleopas and his friend as they walked home from Jerusalem on the Sunday after Passover? Both men were disciples of Jesus, yet their teacher had been executed over the weekend. As they began the two-hour walk back to their village they began discussing what had happened that holiday weekend.
The discussion they had became quite emotional and possibly even heated. And then a stranger joined them and asked, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?” (Luke 24:17 CSB). They stopped walking and looked sad and discouraged. Continue reading “Their hearts burned within them”
Certain phrases or expressions immediately set a context for us. “Once upon a time …” “On August 12th, 1984 …” “Mix one cup of milk into three cups of flour …” Yet, how proficient are we when reading biblical metaphors for conquest and blessing? Continue reading “Biblical language for conquest and blessing: do we recognize it?”