The queen is dead!

Those worker bees in the yellow hive were not taking as many “orientation flights” as they used to do. Hmm … that’s suspicious.

Yes, we keep bees. Or as some of the more experienced (and skeptical) beekeepers put it, we are “bee have-ers.” We have bees. Whether we can keep them remains to be seen! There are parasites and diseases now that were unknown when my Grandpa kept bees. He just kept them; up there on the hill, in front of the pink rambling roses, out of our way — until we stepped on them with our bare feet in the clover-filled lawn. Continue reading “The queen is dead!”

Solutions to our distraction addiction

Are you addicted to distraction?

When was the last time you looked at your phone? How many times have you unlocked your phone this hour? This day? This week?

If you are like a large portion of society, you are addicted to distraction. Studies differ in precise numbers, but they paint a similar picture: we 1) consume too much media, 2) are on our phones too often and for too long, and 3) fail to realize the extent of our addiction.

According to Nielsen, the average American adult spends over 11 hours per day consuming media. If the amount of time lost doesn’t shock you, a study from Ofcom shows the average person in the UK checks their cell phone every 12 minutes. Continue reading “Solutions to our distraction addiction”

God’s people then and now: Their purpose

God has had many purposes for his people then and now. God chose to bless all nations through Abraham. God commissioned Israel to be a kingdom of priests serving others. As those who had witnessed God’s power and love, God commissioned Israel to announce to the nations his greatness, thus drawing others to God. A theme emerges from these beginnings revealing God’s love for all people.  Continue reading “God’s people then and now: Their purpose”

Our glory, to know God

Humans were created to seek their worth in God. When man cut himself off from God, he began to seek his worth in other things. No longer did he have God’s measure for himself and his existence. He lacked any objective, spiritual ruler for himself.

The prophet Jeremiah speaks of man’s casting about for worth as glorying. To glory in something is man’s attempt to raise himself up and value himself. Having rejected God’s measure, he winds up comparing himself to others. The weeping prophet must have cried when he wrote: Continue reading “Our glory, to know God”

Better to have never been born

Job expressed the desire to have never been born, so great was his suffering. In his moral confusion, Solomon considered better than both the living and the dead “the one who has not been born and has not seen the evil things that are done on earth” Ecclesiastes 4.3.

The Lord Jesus used this idea, of better to have never been born, for the one who betrayed him. Continue reading “Better to have never been born”

Whether through difficulty or ease

Some scriptures tend to be more popular than others. Often these verses are memorized and are characterized by offering us hope and relief. Among these popular texts, Paul’s letter from prison to the Philippians contains a number of texts that stand tall offering comfort and inspiration.

In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12,13).

Paul’s secret can be ours. A deep satisfying contentment can be ours. Real freedom from crushing situational distress exists. They need not rule our lives nor how we evaluate our lives. However, all of this comes at a price.  Continue reading “Whether through difficulty or ease”

He touched me

It was India, 2003. I was walking down a crowded street when a young boy of about 15, a leper, held out his hand, begging. I snagged a rupee from my pocket and handed it to him. In the process of the exchange, our fingers touched. Eye contact was immediate, and I am sure he saw shock in my eyes, as I saw uncertainty in his.

Suddenly, the absurdity of the situation caused me to smile at him and he shyly smiled back before we were separated by the crowd, disappearing from each other’s lives forever. Continue reading “He touched me”