A Garden Carol

 

The garden was dead, to begin with. No doubt whatever about that. The bent black stalks of the Mexican Petunia stood up like crooked doornails, or like so many legs of a dozen giant spiders fallen on their backs. The icy shrouds of dead crinum leaves were draped gloomily across the ground.

Every chance to do something better in the garden was now dead, along with summer’s delicate  blooms.

This month I was visited in a real way by the ghost of gardens past. My ancient laptop’s operating system had to be updated, but there was not enough storage. That meant deleting the hundreds of garden photos. Continue reading “A Garden Carol”

Seeing and believing

“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples, therefore, said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe'” (John 20:24-25 NKJV).

Few proverbs are stated with more confidence than “Seeing is believing.” But is it really? Several years ago I read a statement from a noted author he knew of only one person who claimed to have seen a ghost. The interesting thing was that this person did not believe in ghosts, even after he had “seen” one. Obviously, he doubted the authenticity of his sighting and thought it must be explainable in some other way. Continue reading “Seeing and believing”

David’s last words

A person’s last words seem to be significant to people. The last words of Leonardo Da Vinci were reported to be: “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” Groucho Marx gave one last witty remark: “This is no way to live!” And the last words reported to have been spoken by Winston Churchill were: “I’m bored with it all” – and nine days late he died at the age of 90.

Contrast those last words with those of King David, as recorded in 2 Samuel 23
Continue reading “David’s last words”

The Bible recounts history

Sometimes popular opinion is built upon good reasoning and evidence. At other times it has upheld foolishness. Within the last 150 years some of these latter embarrassments have been: Belief in the theory of ether; The confident assertion that Urey’s and Miller’s amino acid synthesis of a few of the simplest essential amino acids confirmed the naturalistic feasibility of life arising from non-organic material. As subsequent evidence revealed, sometimes the minority or outsider opinion is correct.

What this suggests is that what “everybody knows to be true” cannot be a reliable standard. To discover what is most likely true requires examining the available evidence, and not merely absorbing popular ideas. When it comes to the Bible’s reliability, where does the evidence point? Here’s a brief sampling of what we know. Continue reading “The Bible recounts history”

5 gifts parents can give their children

1. LOVE. Because of love parents have compassion for their children, Psalm 103.13. They know how to give good gifts to their children: “Is there anyone among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7.9-11. The apostle Paul speaks of a father’s love for his children. “As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his own children” 1 Thessalonians 2.11. Parents must learn to die to themselves, to extinguish their own selfishness, so that they might love their children with true love. Continue reading “5 gifts parents can give their children”

Baby, it’s cold outside!

The chilly breath of the coming winter whispers into the gardener’s frostbitten ears about numerous garden chores yet to be done. Planting daffodils and crocuses, clearing away the scraggly remains of the perennials, and weeding around the newly sprouted Nigella. 

But it’s cold outside!

Even with an extra set of cotton gloves underneath my garden gloves, I might mistake my fingers for tasteless popsicles after a few minutes of work.

It’s cold outside! Good enough reason to stay indoors and go into semi-hibernation among the seed catalogs with a hot cup of echinacea tea.   Continue reading “Baby, it’s cold outside!”

God’s love endures forever

When we begin reading Psalm 136, we discover that this psalm is different from the rest. Just look at the first few verses:

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. He alone does great wonders. His faithful love endures forever” (Psalms 136:1-3 CSB). Continue reading “God’s love endures forever”

God exists

Living in a world where a chorus of competing voices would pull us toward opposing viewpoints on a great many topics, rather than avoiding such subjects, we would do well to consider the evidence. Regardless of the topic, in order to fairly explore a subject we will need to sidestep a host of logical fallacies such as sweeping generalizations, personal attack, appeal to fear as well as begging the question. Instead, we will need to focus upon: “What is the evidence?”

So, is it reasonable to conclude God exists? The Old and New Testaments announce that the world itself reveals truths about God and his existence (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20). Here are some initial brief excursions into some areas meriting further examination. Continue reading “God exists”

A profound loss

Well, it has happened: In the so-called “worship wars,” the advocates of contemporary worship have won. I can see it in your young people who now know none of the songs written more than twenty years ago. I see it when I lead a song in my college classes; they simply don’t know the old songs. Their faces fall, and they remain silent, motionless.

It’s not their fault. Continue reading “A profound loss”