“But she said to them, ‘Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?'” (Ruth 1:18-19 NKJV). Continue reading “Call me Mara”
“‘Their camels will become plunder, and their many cattle for booty, and I will scatter to all the winds those who cut the corners of their hair; and I will bring their disaster from every side,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 49:32 NASV).
It is not news to many that people’s styles and habits differ from region to region, even in the same country. This is even truer as one gets further from home and in different nations and even continents. Continue reading Hairstyles and identity
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left” (Matthew 25:31-33 NKJV).
It is quite common when driving in the mountains of Nepal to round a curve and find the road filled with a flock of sheep or goats, or to a mixed group of both. Though usually the difference is apparent, sometimes it requires a second look or more to decide exactly what kind of animals one is seeing. Continue reading Sheep or goat?
“As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs that were there on the mountain. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar, and defiled it according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. Then he said, ‘What gravestone is this that I see?’ So the men of the city told him, ‘It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel.’ And he said, ‘Let him alone: let no one move his bones'” (2 Kings 23:16-18 NKJV).
In my travels to the south-western U.S. this summer I visited a small town in Oklahoma. One person there told me of various points of interest in the town, including the local cemetery. Its significance was emphasized by the statement, “there is parking in the cemetery for tourist buses.” Continue reading Whose gravestone is that?
“But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV).
The dream of flight has inspired humans throughout recorded history. From the mythical winged horse of the Greeks, to da Vinci’s drawings of flying machines, to the early pioneering efforts of the Wright brothers, both imagination and hard work were invested in that dream. Continue reading Fly like an eagle
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1 NKJV).
Some of our Khulna Bible College faculty had accompanied me to the local Police Station to meet the Officer in Charge and invite him to visit our campus. The policemen greeted us and offered tea and refreshments, including some pieces of fresh fruit. I normally peel fruit and fresh vegetables there as a health precaution, so I took out my pocket knife to peel an apple. The senior policeman looked surprised and asked me, “What are you doing with that?” Continue reading Liberty
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1 NKJV).
There is something special about a home-coming, whether it is after a long day at the office, a week’s vacation, or an extended absence of months or years. That special something is magnified if you are a particularly loyal citizen of your country and have been absent, and even more when your return coincides with events or memorials of special significance. Continue reading Coming home
“Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, ‘So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:2-3 NKJV).
Elijah is often considered the greatest of all the prophets of Israel. On the Mount of Transfiguration, he appeared with Moses and Jesus as the representative of the prophetic office (Mark 9:2-13). His challenge to the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel stands as one of the greatest exhibitions of faith and courage of all time (1 Kings 18:20-40). There he defeated and put to death 850 idolatrous prophets, establishing the Lord as the one true God. Continue reading No good deed
“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand” (Revelation 6:15-17 NKJV).
It is difficult to imagine a greater disaster than the one which occurred in Nepal, April 25, 2015. The nation was ravaged by a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale which shook the world’s highest mountain ranges, the Himalayas. Thousands died, tens of thousands suffered serious injury, and the damage to land, structure, and infrastructure amounts to many billions of dollars. Governments and relief agencies estimate the recovery process will take ten years or longer. Continue reading Let the mountains fall on us
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21 NKJV).
Recent tragedies in Nepal have caused me to think more seriously about the way I take my leave of people at the end of trips. One never knows when a visit will prove to be the last one he or she is ever going to be able to make. One or both of the persons who are parting may not live to come together again. And we rarely know when that will be the case. Continue reading Last words