Good for you?

Tomatoes….poison or panacea? The Solanum family includes deadly nightshade, along with peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. I once had a neighbor in Iowa who told me to use deadly nightshade in my cooking. She did it all the time! She pointed to the plant growing under our deck — the one the USDA was warning about sickening the local livestock — and urged me not to “waste it.”

Her native China may have a plant that looked similar, or maybe she built up an immunity to it, along with her Caucasian husband and their lovely, healthy son. Or maybe deadly nightshade (Belladonna) is not as poisonous as we once thought. I really didn’t have the inclination to try it! Continue reading “Good for you?”

Heritage

“But Naboth said to Ahab, ‘The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you” (1 Kings 21:3 NKJV).

Real estate is considered to be one of the safest and best investments one can make. This is true not only in developed nations but worldwide. As the earth’s population increases dramatically, its available space remains fixed. Until oceans are filled or space is colonized, the land we see is all that we will have. That makes usable land highly sought after. In Bangladesh for example, land prices in even rural settings are comparable to costs in significant cities of the U.S. There is just not enough to go around, so demand is great. Continue reading “Heritage”

Do we want to be wise?

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding” (Psalm 111:10 ESV).

Wisdom. What so many people desire, yet do they understand how to get wisdom? In fact, what is wisdom?

Many confuse wisdom with knowledge. Knowledge is the gaining of facts and information. Just because we know some things does not mean that we have wisdom. We can have knowledge without wisdom. Continue reading “Do we want to be wise?”

The problem with building legacies & just about everything else

In the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, a young child exclaimed what everyone else in the crowd was thinking, “the king isn’t wearing anything at all!” Similarly, I have to believe that in spite of an apparent silence, many people perceive how Christian leaders struggle with profound spiritual temptations when they pursue leaving a legacy.

Whether it be a business, the university, the church or simply managing our own homes, a problem arises with legacy building and just about everything else. Matters of the heart will steer our course. When someone is in a leadership position, the consequences become amplified.

Continue reading “The problem with building legacies & just about everything else”

Bad romance advice

The Wise Man found four things mysterious to him: the way of a snake on a rock, a ship in the seas, an eagle in the sky, and most baffling of all, “the way of a man with a maid” (Proverbs 30:19). If this relationship mystified Solomon we might be forgiven for being a little perplexed ourselves!

Because I teach at a college, I am around a lot of young people interested in some kind of romantic attachment (though some might not admit it, I know that they are). Sometimes I offer the following bad romantic advice: Continue reading “Bad romance advice”

Salvation comes by knowledge

It is impossible to do the will of God without knowing the will of God. Salvation comes by knowledge of how to be forgiven of sin. “You will make his people know that they will be saved. They will be saved by having their sins forgiven” Luke 1.77 ICB. God’s grace and peace come to us and are multiplied for us “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” 2 Peter 1.2.

Salvation does not happen automatically, like the sun rising and setting. So we must put ourselves to the task of learning what salvation is all about. The gospel must be learned, Colossians 1.7. We must “be wise by understanding what the Lord’s will is” Ephesians 5.17.

We ought to ask such questions as these: Continue reading “Salvation comes by knowledge”

Shrinkage

“Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need” (Exodus 16:17-18 NKJV).

Over the years I have traveled in more than a score of countries and to five of the world’s seven continents. I am an unapologetic souvenir shopper and have brought back probably hundreds of carvings, boxes, shawls, art works, pieces of clothing, and other “doo-dads,” including at least a few things from everywhere I have been. Continue reading “Shrinkage”

Praise our magnificent God!

“Praise the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are magnificent. You are robed in splendor and majesty. He covers himself with light as if it were a garment. He stretches out the skies like a tent curtain, and lays the beams of the upper rooms of his palace on the rain clouds. He makes the clouds his chariot, and travels along on the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:1-3 NET).

What a wonderful description of God! He is magnificent, robed in splendour and majesty, wearing light as if it were a garment, living and travelling in a place outside of our earth. How appropriate that John, in his first letter, would remind us that “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Light, that which dispels the darkness of sin, is not only what God “wears” but it is what God is. Continue reading “Praise our magnificent God!”

Good news: how we can receive Jesus

If we wish to know how to respond to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we need to look at stories where Christians taught non-Christians how to respond to Jesus. We should not expect letters written to Christians and which address concerns of the church to communicate what a non-Christian needs to know in order to become a disciple. Continue reading “Good news: how we can receive Jesus”

Then write something better

Here is a conversation I ran across about a year ago:

“Why aren’t more Christians reading and sharing articles written by members of the church?” To which another person wrote, “We will when you write something worthwhile.”

I will admit that there are some articles on the Internet by our fellowship that are either poorly written or are tactless in tone. Writing good stuff, in any format, is the result of hard work, numerous revisions and prayer. Good writing is no accident. I would add that it is important that the writer cares about the church and cares about the lost. There is far too much ranting and wrath spewed by those who are supposed to be God’s children. Continue reading “Then write something better”