A conversation with my mother before her death

By Glenda Williams — I recently found a note I had written about mother. She lived with us ten years before her death, and during that time I tried to keep records of things she said. This note pulled at my heart strings once again.

Mother woke me at 12:55 a.m. on that date. She hugged me close and asked, “Will you be all right without me?” Continue reading “A conversation with my mother before her death”

From why to what now

When disaster strikes, when sorrow overwhelms, when hardship envelops our lives, the first question we often ask is, “Why?”

We wonder why we or the ones we love have to endure pain. We question if God loves us or if we deserve it. We might even demand an answer from God.

Wanting to know why is understandable. Knowing why promises us satisfaction. But does God always tell us why? Continue reading “From why to what now”

Get and follow good advice

Where do you go for advice? Who do you listen to? When do you feel the greatest need for guidance?

You can find advice everywhere. Just ask your neighbor. Turn on any television channel. Walk into any bookstore or library. Websites abound with people telling you what to think or do or urging you how to feel.

But not all advice is good. Much of what people recommend you to do will actually get you into trouble. Continue reading “Get and follow good advice”

To him who is powerful

The glory of God unleashes praises. Several biblical writers break out in emotional moments of adoration to God for what he has done in Christ and for what he will still do for his people. The writers are not able to contain themselves before such goodness and grace. These exclamations have been called doxologies, which are often spontaneous expressions of praise to God, such as can be found in Romans 9.5, Ephesians 3.20-21, Revelation 5.13 and Jude 24-25. This term is not found in the Bible itself. Continue reading “To him who is powerful”

What do we see?

“As he passed by, he saw a man” (John 9:1 ESV).

It is not difficult to recruit people to go on a mission trip to Nepal. Everyone knows about “The Rooftop of the World,” the home of much of the Himalaya Mountains. We are all fascinated by mountains, and that fascination increases exponentially when Mt. Everest and other Himalayan peaks enter into the discussion. The scenery is awesome, the sense of adventure overwhelming. One returns from a visit to such places with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

But there is much more to this remote, densely populated nation than magnificent vistas. More than 30 million people inhabit its approximately 57,000 square miles (roughly 1/3 larger than the state of Tennessee). More than 90% of the population claim Hinduism or Buddhism as their religious faith. Taken together, these constitute the world’s largest current polytheistic and idolatrous religion. In the New Testament Paul spoke of his joy over those who turned “from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9). He regarded them as having escaped bondage to enjoy freedom in Christ Jesus. Continue reading “What do we see?”

Living for eternity

What are we doing with our lives? Are we so attached to our luxuries and our physical interests that we don’t have time for God? Are we living for our own pleasures or do we realise that the best is yet to come?

The apostle Paul wrote about this struggle between the physical and spiritual, but his emphasis was on the spiritual. For many, this might be difficult to comprehend because we are so attached to what is going on here and now. For Paul, the goal of life was to be ready for eternity. Continue reading “Living for eternity”

The glory of the church

In his book Family of God: A Study of the New Testament Church, Batsell Barrett Baxter’s first chapter is entitled, “The Glory of the Church.” It’s a fine title and a marvelous way to begin the subject. Brother Baxter gave eight reasons why the church is glorious: its origin, its foundation, its beginning, its relationship, its universality, its simplicity, and its destiny. It’s worth reading and appreciating.

His chapter needs no rewriting or revision. So allow me to take another tack that complements the points above. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, and the first of many problems he tackled was that of divisiveness. In the longest section of the letter (chapters 1-4), he wrote, Continue reading “The glory of the church”

Into your hands

Jesus was arrested and stood trial at night in violation of the Sanhedrin’s own rules. He had been beaten and slapped by the Temple’s soldiers. When Pilate received the case, the Jews changed the charge from blasphemy to treason because they knew the Romans would not crucify Jesus except for a violation of Roman law. He was judged innocent, yet he was scourged, mistreated and crucified.

After several hours on the cross, the Son of God neared the end of his life. As death drew near, he said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” (Luke 23:46 NET). Continue reading “Into your hands”

One minute late

Last Sunday, our time changed here in Brazil on the same date as in the US. That’s unusual. Usually, it occurs before, but was put off a few weeks because of the runoff presidential election last month. The US went off Daylight Savings Time, and Brazil, or much of it anyway, went on. So our time difference from Central Time, where most of our family members are, went, overnight, from two to fours hours.

They say that Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea of DST. Whatever caused this normally practical and good-ideas man to come up with this, we’ll never know. Must have been the same day he dreamed up the post office.

On Sunday Brazil held its country-wide National Exam, which also functions as a college-entrance exam. Some people missed getting in for the exam because we lost an hour. One girl was one minute late, after the gates had been closed, and missed her chance. When the gates close, no pleading will open them. Continue reading “One minute late”