Waiting for the Lord
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How many days are left until Christmas? Are you counting? Do you need more time to get ready, or are you young enough to be itching with impatience? It’s hard to wait, isn’t it? Sometimes I’m a very impatient person—I don’t like sitting around in doctors’ offices, standing in long lines, or crawling in traffic. How hard it must have been for the people of Israel to wait for the promised Messiah. As the centuries dragged on and their national... Read More
The Enemy
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On Dec. 7, 1941, the naval aviators of the Empire of Japan achieved total surprise in their early morning attack on Pearl Harbor. Absolutely nobody in a U.S. uniform saw it coming. In fact, even when the bombers, torpedo planes, and Zeros with their “rising sun” insignia flew directly overhead, many U.S. personnel thought it was just a training exercise. We have an enemy brooding in hell who is more dangerous than the Empire of Japan or any earthly threat... Read More
I Feel Like Giving Up
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Not long ago a man driving on the Hoan Bridge high over Milwaukee’s harbor watched in horror as a woman got out of a parked car on the bridge deck, climbed over the railing, and jumped to certain death hundreds of feet below. A great many people can identify with the despair the woman must have been feeling. Who among us can deny wanting our lives to be over during a period of misery? In America alone, over 35,000 people... Read More
Today
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The shortness and unpredictability of life is a lesson that people just can’t seem to learn for long. Every time people die “before their time” the community goes into shock—tornado devastation, highway collisions, gun violence, deadly accidents, fire, childhood disease. It appears a fact of human nature that we need regular jolts and reminders not to put off personal repentance and personal confession of faith in our Savior. It is imperative that the day of our death does not catch... Read More
The Beast Within
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TV shows and movies about werewolves and vampires are hot these days, but really people have always had a fascination with monster stories. Partly it’s because we are scared about what evil creatures may do to us, and I think partly it’s because we know there is an evil creature within us as well. There is a beast within, raging to get out. Like werewolves, we can tear and destroy; like vampires, we have felt the sick thrill of wanting... Read More
I Love Laughing With Friends
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Lord, have I thanked you lately for my friends? How you have blessed me with the circle of people who keep me sane. Honestly, I think I would go crazy if I didn’t have people to bounce ideas off of, talk me off the ledge, point out my foolishness, encourage me when I’m right but too timid, make me feel like I belong, help me out in a pinch, explain things to me, give me advice, and generally magnify my... Read More
It's Not the Quantity
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Have you ever had to attend the funeral of a child? It is surely one of the most miserable experiences in life. Parents are not supposed to have to bury their children. According to the generally accepted script of the human race, we are all supposed to live into our 90s and then have a sweet, slow decline and die peacefully in our sleep. Well, nice thought, but the human story hardly ever turns out like that. People’s time is... Read More
Alien in a Manger?
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Nonhuman, extraterrestrial species (a.k.a. “aliens”) taking on human form and mingling around in the midst of us—normally, that’s kind of creepy, isn’t it? I mean, Hollywood has made some pretty famous and pretty scary movies and TV shows about aliens who are disguised as people. And yet, this very concept is the way in which God set about to rescue you and me from our worst nightmare—the dread of death, destruction, and damnation. Except this—God’s plan did not include the... Read More
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When you meet God, you will not have to relive Mt. Sinai. No more thundering. No more terror. The biblical terms New Jerusalem and Mt. Zion are metaphors for heaven. This is what awaits you. Soon you will see for yourself. “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written... Read More
God Thundered from Sinai Then
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God’s minor children needed to know that God’s demands for holiness were serious, dead serious. The Ten Commandments were not suggestions, hints, or general principles. They were commandments of iron, carved into stone tablets. They expressed the holy will of God, binding upon all. The setting for the giving of the law: Mt. Sinai, dreadful and dark, loud and terrifying. “You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom... Read More