A feature of the world that we have to live in today is violence in public places – mindless violence, deadly violence, unthinkable violence. Violence often without a reason, random violence, and violence in schools. What parent has not had a moment of cold fear wondering if that violence could ever touch my family.
The scary thing about random violence is that there’s nowhere you can run or hide – as we found out last year. Even the Amish could... Read More
The doldrums are dead wind pockets in the Atlantic Ocean. Sailors get stuck in them. Their boats don’t move, and they sit there, and sit there, and sit there and wait for wind. You feel like your life is in the doldrums when you’re stalled and not moving, waiting for some wind to push you along.
That wind comes from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the Lord lets us stall as a way of getting our attention, as a way of... Read More
December has slipped away, and January and new things are upon us. It’s a cliché to make New Year’s resolutions, but it’s a great idea for Christians to seize political rhythms in life, or calendar things, or secular things that coincide with Christian virtues.
It was not really a church holiday to celebrate Thanksgiving, for instance, but what a perfect time to stop in your tracks and make a great noise of thanks to the Lord. Mother’s Day was not... Read More
When you’re young, firsts – first times, first things, are really exciting. First time in an airplane … is a blast. First time you ever hit a home run in little league … is a memory you’ll have for a lifetime. Your first date – when a guy calls you up and asks you out – probably will stick with you for the rest of your life. Your first apartment; your first job; those are great.
As you get older,... Read More
The more you read the Bible the more you realize it’s important to keep two ideas – often seemingly contradictory ideas – in your head at the same time.
For instance, that God is a God of law and gospel simultaneously. That he is both furiously angry with mankind and unbelievably merciful and loving toward mankind, at the same time. Not one or the other, but it’s both, and it’s not a mixing of the two to get a kind... Read More
Christmas is a great time to be in the forgiveness business. Just as it’s a great time for us to come to the manger of Jesus and say “I need you,” it’s a great time for us to be reflectors of forgiveness that we receive from him.
The closer you get to your Savior in the manager, the less comfortable you can be with holding onto your own grudges when you realize that he bridged an absolutely enormous chasm to... Read More
Getting other people to do what you want … is that ever your dilemma?
Sometimes people don’t get in tune with what we think is right – because we are wrong. And we have to approach this subject with a lot of humility.
Am I sure that the course I’ve laid out for my teenage kid is really a Godly thing? Or am I just leaning on my children to be like me? I personally struggle with this a lot.... Read More
You are probably pretty good at knowing what you want. But have you ever been troubled by uncertainty over what God wants of you?
First of all, the fact that you even care enough to ask the question is itself a great victory for the gospel. If you’re not much of a believer or not one at all, or not even so sure if there is a God or not, you wouldn’t care about what God wants. So-- if there... Read More
It’s not such a bad thing for Christians not to be in complete control of everything. Just by being human, Christians can become oppressive, or careless, or heedless, or stop listening, just like anyone else when they’re the majority, or in positions of authority.
And at times like this, in incidents such as the Ted Haggard story, it’s healthy to be criticized, and it’s healthy to acknowledge foibles, and even to have somebody mocking your excesses. It’s good to have... Read More
This has been a very deadly month for U.S. troops in Iraq. And the war, politically, is becoming a real drag on the administration. That’s not a partisan remark; that’s just an observation; everyone sort of knows that.
And even people in Congress who voted for the initial resolution to go to war are now looking for a way to distance themselves from that decision, and are increasingly able to do that without looking like they are being soft on... Read More