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”
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?”
Ancient peoples believed each god’s influence was limited to a particular sphere. Remember how the Syrians wanted to battle Israel in the plains because they thought Yahweh was a God of the hills (1 Kings 20:23)? The Egyptians were no exception. Their pantheon had a plethora of gods: a sun god, a Nile god and so forth.
Yahweh taught that he is different. Continue reading “What can your God do?”
“Don’t touch the stove!” What parent has not said this to a child? What child has not responded, “but why?” As humans, we want to know the reason. So what happens when our curiosity encounters silence? Continue reading “When curiosity encounters silence”
We have all heard someone say something like, “Faith was easier for people in the Bible because of the miracles. Why then did they struggle with unfaithfulness?”
Imagine the thrill of standing on the shore watching God’s power split open the sea. Yet, when you wake up the next morning what kind of a day is it? The miraculous is a memory. What confronts you are tangible problems. The stomach becomes hungry. We would call it an ordinary day. Continue reading “The day after God has acted”
Who is this God who invites us to profoundly reorder our lives to their very core? After all, the call to discipleship is the invitation to radically align our allegiances, beliefs, values and behaviors according to God’s character and word.
By revisiting the stories of Moses and the Israelites, we can learn something about this God who desires to transform us. Continue reading “The God who calls”
When our lives become embroiled in turmoil and crisis, quite naturally our thoughts can turn toward complaining. “Lord, I did not pursue a godless lifestyle. I have obediently exalted you in my life. Yet, I am suffering!”
What comes next might be conscious or subconscious. Regardless, God confronted it in Jeremiah’s life. Like him, our thoughts might turn inward accompanied by a lingering doubt. God also desires to confront this within our lives. In grace, God provided him and us with a guiding path forward. Continue reading “The doubt behind the complaining”
On this icy morning in south Texas, a mission team is scheduled to board an airplane in Austin to begin their trip to Brazil. I do not yet know if their flight will be cancelled due to the inclement weather. Reflecting upon the work they are about to undertake reminds me of our own stories in Brazil. Stories people can’t make up. Stories filled with God’s grace, mercy and work. Continue reading “God’s love, grace and faithfulness still at work”
A documentary style TV series recently reminded me about the cartoon He-Man. As you may remember, prince Adam would proclaim the words, “By the power of grayskull” while holding his sword aloft. Lightning would energize him, transforming him into He-man as he cried out, “I have the power.”
Apparently the creators of He-man were trying to appeal to the typical 10 year old boy whose sociological position had left him powerless longing for more. The He-man fantasy invited youths to fill this void by imagining their own powerfulness in shaping their world.
For me, the clash between He-man’s mantra versus Peter’s and John’s answer to the question, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” (Acts 4:7) could not be more stark. Jesus’ way is so counter-intuitive to our world. Continue reading “By the power of …”
What makes for a really great life? Can everyone access it? Or is it built upon limited resources available to the privileged few?
According to Jesus, the truly blessed life lies within reach of all people. Why? Because it arises out of what we already possess, namely our ability to choose how we will act. Here’s a partial list:
Continue reading “More blessed”