“But Naboth said to Ahab, ‘The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you” (1 Kings 21:3 NKJV).
Real estate is considered to be one of the safest and best investments one can make. This is true not only in developed nations but worldwide. As the earth’s population increases dramatically, its available space remains fixed. Until oceans are filled or space is colonized, the land we see is all that we will have. That makes usable land highly sought after. In Bangladesh for example, land prices in even rural settings are comparable to costs in significant cities of the U.S. There is just not enough to go around, so demand is great. Continue reading “Heritage”
“Then the children of Israel did so and gathered, some more, some less. So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need” (Exodus 16:17-18 NKJV).
Over the years I have traveled in more than a score of countries and to five of the world’s seven continents. I am an unapologetic souvenir shopper and have brought back probably hundreds of carvings, boxes, shawls, art works, pieces of clothing, and other “doo-dads,” including at least a few things from everywhere I have been. Continue reading “Shrinkage”
“Since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. For though he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:3-6 NKJV).
I once had my email hacked while I was out of the country, then used to try to raise money fraudulently by writing to my home congregation in my name, saying I had an emergency and needed several thousand dollars to be sent to me immediately. Those in the church office recognized the appeal as false because, as one reported to me later, they asked, “Have you ever seen anything written by Mike with that many grammatical mistakes in it?” Maybe all that high school and college English had some value after all. Continue reading “Which is the real thing?”
“And the disciples came and said to him, ‘why do you speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matthew 13:10-11 NKJV).
Some time ago I took a series of pictures in the late afternoon as I was walking back across a field following some baptisms. Looking at those pictures now I find myself wondering just what it was that I was primarily trying to capture. Was it the setting sun, or the empty field? Perhaps it was simply the fading light at that special dusky time of day. Continue reading “Identifying the main point”
“Bear one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NKJV).
Some jobs are difficult if not impossible to do alone. Loading bundles of roofing tin and steel pieces intended for framing into a truck is one of those, at least if it is to be done by man-power alone. Things for which one is not strong enough can be easily managed by two or more working together. Continue reading “Bearing others’ burdens”
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21 NKJV).
As the world’s population increases and manufacture of goods continues to rise, the problem of where we put the garbage becomes a most pressing issue. The environment cannot continue to absorb millions of tons of waste annually without harm. Something major is going to have to be done, or else the earth will perish. Continue reading “Tossing the trash”
“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28 NKJV).
There are many standards by which worthiness or value might be measured. As applied to individuals, one thinks of physical attributes like strength, speed, intelligence, or beauty. Our societies also place a high priority on accomplishments and status. VIP (Very Important Person) honors go to those who hold high office, acquire great wealth, or possess rare and desirable attributes. Continue reading “Be fruitful”
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5 NKJV).
There are still many places in the world where there is little or no access to electricity. Even where some electrical power is available it is often insufficient to meet the demand. This results in power rationing, sometimes called “load-shedding” where it is practiced. People there may have periods ranging from an hour or so per day to more than half of the time. Continue reading “Light in the darkness”
“Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21 NKJV).
When is the last time someone came to your church and begged for a Bible? Most missionaries have people constantly asking for a Bible for themselves, or to give to a friend or family member. Preachers request large numbers for their church members and to give to new converts or special prospects. In most parts of the world, Bibles are in short supply and large demand. And the demand part is certainly as it should be.
Why do so many desire God’s word? Continue reading “Planting the Word”
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it – lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish'” (Luke 14:28-30 NKJV).
A congregation in the U.S. made a commitment to help a church in Asia with a building in which to meet for worship. It has been a little while since I was involved in constructing a church building there and costs have increased considerably during that period. I was very concerned, therefore, with developing a plan which could be finished with the fixed amount of funds that were available. I did considerable shopping and consulting before the final plans were drawn and construction began. The last thing I wanted was to run out of money, leaving a partially finished but still unusable building to deteriorate in bad weather. Continue reading “Counting the cost”