Our new habit of social distancing has made everyone even more aware of giving space to one another. In the garden, we have no such methodology, but even in a crowded garden bed, proper spacing must be maintained.
The surprising gift of two Veilchenblau roses last year was reason enough to rearrange the patio bed. These fragrant purple roses were perfect to go on my backyard trellis. There was one problem; we had a beautiful “Jude the Obscure” rose bush too close to one side of it already. Continue reading “Make some space!”
As a leader, the apostle Paul needed to address big yet simple questions. How do Christians prepare themselves for godly service? His first letter to Timothy reveals one of his solutions.
Given our hectic American lifestyle, we need a simple practical plan for embedding his solution into our daily routine. We need more than simply knowing what is helpful. Continue reading “Scripture – make it a daily habit”
As Paul was completing his third trip of proclaiming Jesus he was “hurrying to arrive in Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost” (Acts 20:16 NET). But he also wanted to see the elders of the congregation in Ephesus, with whom he had spent several years. Because the ship was docking in Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders to come to him. What follows is a very sad scene in Paul’s life.
Paul had a message to give them. This message was to encourage them to go on without his being around as well as a warning to them about being faithful to God. Continue reading “The importance of God’s word”
The weather forecast warned of high winds, so it was no surprise that the shrieking gusts persisted late into the evening. It only took two steps onto the back porch the next morning to see the portable shed, set up only a few months ago, was destroyed. It was upended, and its frame lay like a giant, dead, twisted spider in the tomato garden.
The various pots and garden tools, never as picturesque as the clay pot groupings in the garden magazines anyway, were now littered across the neighbor’s yard. Continue reading “The whole thing”
“I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23 NET)
As the time of Jesus’ betrayal approached, there were many things on his mind. Some of these we have recorded in John 13-16. In John 17 we find Jesus in prayer to the Father. In my opinion, this is one of the most revealing and comforting prayers that Jesus offered, as it reveals what was on his heart, and we find that he was concerned about his followers, even those in the far distant future. Continue reading “The need for unity”
“Now a large crowd of Judeans learned that Jesus was there, and so they came not only because of him but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus too, for on account of him many of the Jewish people from Jerusalem were going away and believing in Jesus” (John 12:9-11 NET).
As Jesus approached Jerusalem for his last Passover week, his situation was very different from previous Passovers. He had reached what we, today, would call “celebrity status.” As a result, wherever he was, he attracted large crowds. In fact, the Jewish people had been looking for him since they had arrived in Jerusalem (John 11:56). In addition to this, just a few months earlier he had been called to Bethany where he brought Lazarus back to life from the dead, even after he had been buried for four days (John 11:39). No wonder Jesus’ popularity had risen among the people! Continue reading “Get rid of the evidence”
What does God find in our hearts? Continue reading Bless your heart!
From man’s inability to change his life to God’s transformation spoken in a Word. Continue reading The deepest hopes of the human heart
Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief as I consider what happened to ancient Israel. These people were the beneficiaries of incredible blessings from God. But still they turned away from God to serve idols. How could such a thing happen? Continue reading Have You Not Heard?
March 5 was World Book Day, celebrated in various places with librarians’ enthusiastic support. To draw attention to the esteem people generally give to reading, a poll was conducted on the web site that promoted the day. Over 1,300 people participated in the survey. Continue reading "Have You Never Read?"