Texas is a state of wire fences. If one wants to learn how to construct a barbed-wire fence, Texas is the place to go. In Texas, they call the fence wire, “bobwar.” There are different fences to keep different kinds of animals. There are fences for horses and cattle, which (I’m told) is the easiest to build, and there are specific fences for sheep, goats and hogs.
Palestine was not a country of fences. Shepherds kept flocks usually in a walled enclosure at night. The enclosure didn’t have a door. So, the shepherd laid down across the opening, forcing wolves to attack him to get to the sheep. Continue reading “The Prince of Peace is the door”
Randomly grab part of a child’s hot air balloon mobile and you are likely to hold a collapsed tangled mess. However, if you pick up that same mobile using the center string securing the upper most support, the entire mobile falls into place displaying the proper relationship between its various components.
Each part of the mobile is important. Yet priority is built into a mobile’s proper functioning. The church can learn a lot from a child’s mobile. Continue reading “What a child’s mobile can teach the church”
“Be cleansed” (Luke 5:13).
Behold the impact of Jesus’ words:
- Jesus said, “Be still!” and the storm stopped immediately (Mark 4:39)
- Jesus said, “Be cleansed,” and the leper was cured instantly (Luke 5:13).
- Jesus said, “Come forth,” and Lazarus walked out promptly (John 11:43).
- Jesus said, “Come out” and demons fled fearfully (Luke 4:35-36).
- Jesus said, “Let there be” (Genesis 1:3,6,14) and the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, sprang into existence from nothing, unhesitatingly (Exodus 20:11; Psalm 146:6; John 1:3).
Continue reading “What happens when we ignore the Composer?”
When we catch up with Moses in Exodus 3, forty more years have gone by. Moses is now eighty years old and a shepherd for his father-in-law.
Although Moses seems to have forgotten what he already knew, that God would use him to deliver Israel from Egyptian slavery (see Acts 7:24-25), God had not forgotten. God spoke to Moses from a bush that was burning but not burning up. The message God had for Moses was simple: now was the time for him to go and deliver the Israelites from slavery. Continue reading “Excuses, excuses”
Water drips from the chin. Smiles abound. God’s power has created a new life in Christ Jesus. Yet, major questions remain.
What can we expect in living this new life? Clearly, God plans for Christians to be transformed into the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). Continue reading “Christian transformation”
My wife teaches eighth-graders reading, spelling and language. One of her biggest pleas is the same heard by students in all classes: “LISTEN!”
Hearing is more than just receiving an audible sound in the ears. Hearing means true listening. It means applying the mind to what the ear hears and to what the eyes see. Continue reading “Listen”
As a plant addict and gardener, I am often asked questions concerning plant or insect identification, or plant care questions. Most of the time, I feel blessed when I can help a less experienced gardener to make her world more beautiful, even if it’s just the world of her back porch. Continue reading “I don’t know”
Why is it that the term “Pharisee” has such a bad connotation? And what exactly does it mean to be “Pharisaical” today?
Jesus’ speech in Matthew 23 is directed at this sect, and gives us a lot of insight as to what made many Pharisees contrary to God. Jesus calls them hypocrites 7 times.
There are 2 particular elements constituting their hypocrisy, which are as follows: Continue reading “Modern-day Pharisees: let’s get it right”
“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:11-13 NKJV).
It has become very evident to me over the years that conditional statements are often not recognized as such. This may be cultural, or in other situations may be influenced by lack of education or even by personal prejudices (we often do hear what we want or expect to hear, don’t we?). Continue reading “If”
Salvation and purpose is an odd title. Yet, failure to distinguish between these ideas entangles them to the detriment of one or the other.
On the play ground, we can easily distinguish between becoming part of a team and what we are to do as team members. However, open the Bible and we might find ourselves blending what is distinctively different. Continue reading “Salvation and purpose”