The pages of the gospels are filled with examples of Jesus’ kindness. The pages of our newspapers betray that, as a people, we are not very kind at all.
In Mark chapter five, when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter, he said something very kind to him. He said, “Do not be afraid any longer” (Mark 5:36 NASB). Those words echo across the centuries to us, bringing Jesus’ kindness to us still. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. Oh, that we would replace the fear in our hearts with his words! Continue reading “Jesus is there; don’t be afraid”
“And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him” (Isa 8:17 NASB).
As we have driven through the streets of Kathmandu on this trip we have often passed extremely long lines of cars and motorcycles waiting their turn at the gas pumps (or as they say here, the petrol pumps). Disgruntled minority parties are staging sit-ins at the border crossing points with India and trucks of petroleum products, food, and other necessities are being held back from entering the country. Continue reading “What are we waiting for?”
A moment frozen in time. An expression of exuberance and excitement captured within pixels. From slick magazines to rectangles rendered in millions of colors upon a computer screen, snapshots exist in many forms and we know all about them.
However, there is much more to the snapshot than meets the eye. By its very nature, it must distort, not reflect, reality. Look deeper.
Continue reading “The deceitful snapshot”
“Out of the depths I call you, O Lord!” (Psalm 130:1)
Do you remember when the unfortunate Nebuchadnezzar was struck with madness, becoming like a beast of the field? The king recalls at the end of his ordeal: “At the end of the days I … lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me” (Daniel 4:34). It has been said that of all the creatures on earth, only humans can look up. Even in the depths of despair or sin, we can if we choose, look up to heaven. Continue reading “Out of the depths!”
We arrived in my parents’ city last Tuesday, from Brazil. We went directly to the hospital, where my dad had worked for 34 years. Where I was born and, at 17, had undergone surgery. Where my grandfather gave up his last breath, missing the age of 100 by a month. Continue reading “How to pray when a loved one faces death”
Who likes being ordered around? If anybody is used to ordering others, it’s the rich. In the church of God, however, the rich have to take some orders. Continue reading “Command the rich”
Enduring incredibly difficult situations is nothing new. Yet, one seems insufferable. Trying to live without hope.
It is when life seems darkest, we need to remember who our God is. God is not limited by what is possible for us.
Continue reading “Hope”
“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know'” (Ezekiel 37:1-3 NKJV).
Has the world ever seemed to be in worse crisis than it is right now? Admittedly our perspective is narrow and our experience is limited. One cannot really compare different eras and millennia objectively because we simply don’t have all the necessary information. Continue reading “God knows”
A constantly complaining person is like a car with four flat tires. They’re stuck in misery while the rest of the world moves on with their lives.
Negativity shapes our worldview so we see the worst in everything and that takes us to the next step of permanent victimhood. Continue reading “Lessons from a recovering complainer”
Editor’s note: This was written 2014 November 9 and translated from the Portuguese for Forthright Magazine.
The low clouds moved like a gigantic river, slow and muddy, on this early Sunday morning, about 7 o’clock, promising to dump rain upon us, as I drank coffee and ate a fresh piece of toast in the padaria on the hill behind our house in Urbanova. The clouds reminded me of a memorable boat ride in the middle of the Amazon River, minus the tropical heat and scorching sun of the green jungle. This Sunday morning, it was pleasant to sit at the table outside, taking in the hills being occupied by housing construction. Not so many years ago, I taught my sons to drive on those asphalted streets and empty lots that gave the impression of abandonment. Today, the area is building up faster than the clock of time. Continue reading “Sunday morning breakfast in Urbanova”