One morning recently I was awakened around 4:30 with the phone ringing. When that occurs, your mind immediately assumes that there is some kind of emergency, such as a health crisis for a member of the family or that something set off the alarm at our church building.
I ended my last article with the reminder that the eternal state is made up of two destinations: heaven or hell.
One of my favorite hymns is “For the Beauty of the Earth.” The words were penned by Folliott S. Pierpoint in the early 19th century. The first verse and chorus go, “For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies, For the love which from our birth over and around us lies: Lord of all…
We have now begun the season of Lent, the 40-day journey that will conclude with Holy Week and its remembrance of the suffering, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Speaking on Revelation 2:1-7, Dr Crawford Loritts reminded us that “Christianity is a person, not a process.” That is something the modern church has forgotten for the most part. We are not accepted by God because of what we do, but our acceptance is based upon what Christ has done. “For Chr…
On our Caribbean cruise I mentioned previously, our 16-year-old grandson took full advantage of the opportunity to feed his hunger
In the tradition of Hebrew and Christian literature, it was on the third day of creation that God said “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed . . . and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind . . . and God saw that it was good”…
No matter what church or denomination you claim, you likely know one particular Bible verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“Isn’t it arrogant of Christians to claim that they alone have the truth?” That is a common popular objection which unfortunately is only leveled at the Christian faith.
Recently we enjoyed a Caribbean cruise with one of our daughters and her family. During our trip the adults often used a phrase to encourage our grandchildren whenever they were hesitant to try a new or different experience. We reminded them to “be adventurous.”
One of the earliest Creeds of the church was the ichthus. Ichthus (pronounced icthoos) means literally “fish.”
Psalm 115:13-14 says, “He will bless those who fear the Lord, the small together with the great. May the Lord give you increase, you and your children.” I remember as a small child the fascination I had with dandelions. They were treasures of golden yellow that sprung from the ground as soon…
In 1900 James Weldon Johnson, a teacher at the segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville, Fla., wrote a poem in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday. He drew upon the triumphs and struggles that African Americans were going through in this country. They were finally free from the horror…
I have noticed a recent ad campaign by a local news station. They will mention one of the many municipalities in our metropolitan area by name while declaring that they are putting that particular community first. When I initially saw one of those TV spots, I wondered why they singled out that specific town.
To most Americans the study of wildflowers seems like the study of “weeds.”
In the pages of African American history, the name of Abel Meeropol likely does not come up often … but maybe it should.
Last week I wrote about a growing trend among some ministers who are claiming “the sinners” prayer is not enough for salvation.
It is not unusual to hear the word “inclusive” used to describe Jesus these days. It is certainly true that while Jesus lived and ministered on this earth, He included many people whom others in His day refused to have anything to do with. Everyone fell within the scope of His love. He reach…
The Sermon on the Mount, recorded in chapters 5, 6, and 7 of Matthew, contains many profound insights. The humble, merciful and peaceful are blessed in the beginning. Modesty, self control, generosity, and devotion are applauded, while judgmental, vindictive and self-righteous attitudes are …
Nearly 60 years ago, on Aug. 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr., delivered probably his best-known words at the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington:
I am reading an increasing number of modern ministers disparaging the effectiveness of the simple plan of salvation.
One morning I was doing the little online word puzzle I typically do each day, trying to figure out what that day’s five-letter word was. After two guesses I had determined three of the letters contained somewhere in the word while eliminating a number of others.
A grape vine must be carefully trimmed so that the healthy branches can bear many bunches of grapes.
Some within the church have somehow believed that faith is all about certainty, but the more one reads Scripture – especially the Gospels – the more one will find that faith is all about uncertainties and doubts and struggles and questions.
I’ve been wanting an air spraying system to work on a hobby of mine.
As I walked from the hallway of our church building into the sanctuary, I suddenly felt a chill in the air.
In April, several years ago, astronomers announced the discovery of a new planet. It is named Gliese 581 and orbits its sun 20 light years away. Of the 200 or so planets outside our Solar system it is the smallest; however, every discovery like this adds to the wonder of the universe.
In Genesis 8:22 God is responding to Noah’s offering, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” We have an environment with seasonal cycles that do not change. We depend on these seasons in faith.
In the Bible, the word “family” has a much broader meaning than father, mother and children. The Biblical usage is what we refer to as the extended family.
In the church I grew up in, I remember that “being a Christian” meant that I had “accepted Jesus into my heart” or had “accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.”
“I could never serve a God who required that Jesus die on a cross so I could be saved.” Have you ever heard someone say that or something like it? I have. I have even read articles where ministers have made this claim. Perhaps you agree with the claim. Don’t shut me off just yet: read on.
My brother-in-law passed away last week. He was a testimony of God’s grace and the dramatic difference Jesus can make in a person’s life.
Any form of separation or leaving a loved one is difficult. Today when our loved ones are leaving us, whether it’s losing them to death, or them moving to another state or out of the country, we try to hold on to every memory.
We have been looking at the subject of Bible Translations in these last few articles. Last week I mentioned that there are good translations and there are bad translations. How do we know if a translation is good or bad?
As recent storms approached, I headed down into my basement after receiving notification that we were under a tornado warning, in addition to seeing the weather radar indicating that the twister could be targeting our specific community.
How do you answer someone when they ask you to tell something about yourself? If you are like me, you will probably talk about your occupation – “I am a pastor.” Maybe you will say where you are from – “I am from California.” (ahh, that explains it, someone out there just said.) Maybe you will mention your nationality or race or gender – “I am an American;” “I am white;” “I am male.”
Last week we looked at the subject of Bible translations. For some this is a troublesome topic, nevertheless, it is an important topic. There are some bad translations out there, but there are some great translations as well.
One day I noticed that a tire on my car looked like it could be a little low on air. No warning light had come up on my vehicle yet, but I thought I would go ahead and proactively take care of this potential problem.
On the front-end of a brand new year, I don’t want to talk about resolutions, but I do want to talk about “priority.”
Most of the year my garden plot was covered with chickweed (Stellaria media). Some we pull up by hand while occasionally we carefully applied an herbicide. Each spring I tilled the garden, but all I did was fold under the seeds that were on top and bring up from underground the seed that wer…
As I took a morning walk across a college campus in the town where we were visiting friends, I found myself alert to signs around me.
As we begin the New Year, if you are a church person, you have probably been challenged to read through the Bible in a year. Perhaps you’ve decided to accept that challenge, (and you’re already a day behind because you missed Sunday, Jan. 1st and, as I write this article, it is already Jan. 2nd. Tempus Fugit!)
Having a couple of medical appointments on the calendar was not my preferred way to begin the new year.
Sometimes life feels like a drought and the weight of our troubles bends us over.
Today I wish to keep my words simple.
As we prepare to enter 2023, many will follow the tradition of New Year's resolutions. You will look back on things you regret and promise in the coming year to change.
Are you making any resolutions for the new year? We tend to see the flipping of the calendar as the starting line of a new race – one in which we are committed to running better.
The ancient story of Jesus’ birth tells us that wise men from the east were guided to the Christ child by a star. I have often selected today’s wildflower for the Advent season articles, although it blooms in summer.
With this Christmas lens God seeks to change what we see. God asks us what story will we tell. Will we simply tell the story the world wishes us to see? A tale of power and success? A tale of despair? A tale of fear and injustice?
There are many gifts you will receive this Christmas. Some will be greatly welcomed, some will be mildly tolerated, and be honest, some will be returned as soon as possible! We give gifts at Christmas because at Christmas we celebrate the greatest gift ever given!