One of the best things about living in this century is the speed. I love the speed! I can get to any major city in America in a couple hours on a plane, journeys that used to take months of hard travel. I can send electronic messages anywhere on the planet instantaneously. I can video conference with anybody on earth that has the right equipment. I can send and receive pictures and video in seconds. I love how businesses cater... Read More
At best, the story of the jolly man in a red suit is a harmless legend with which to amuse and delight small children. At worst, it is a terrible twisting of the Bible’s actual revelation about our miraculous provider.
The 1934 song by Coots and Gillespie, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” is much-loved, extensively recorded, and gets heavy radio airplay each year. But it is a drag on the Christian faith, because Santa, who supposedly sees and remembers... Read More
No one could fault the ancient Greeks for being atheists. As St. Paul looked around him in Athens, he could see religious temples, shrines, and statuary of gods and goddesses everywhere. And yet in all that religious clutter people did not really know for sure where they came from, what the purpose of their existence was (if there was any purpose at all), nor what lay ahead after death. Their only strategy was to set up altars for absolutely every... Read More
Christmas is a popular time for lists.
Children are making their wish gift lists. Parents are making to-do and to-buy lists. Even Santa is making his list—and checking it twice.
I think we should be making another list too. A list of people who need Jesus—and, therefore, need you!
At Christmas, we see the baby Jesus in the manger and know that he “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom... Read More
What Child is this who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!
“What Child Is This?” is a romantic ballad from Renaissance England. The tune is lively enough in its triple time to dance to, and the content of William Dix’s beautiful stanzas helps... Read More
Do you believe the entire Bible? Most of us would say, “Yes. Of course.” But do you really? When it comes to God’s promises, do you believe and internalize them deep down in your gut?
I once heard a pastor say that most of our Bibles are missing some pieces. They’re incomplete. Why? Failing to believe the promises of God is like ripping out chunks of the Bible.
We don’t always believe God will never leave us or forsake us.... Read More
Thirteen years ago my father-in-law died unexpectedly days before Christmas. The funeral was on the 23rd and the burial on the 27th, with sickness and chaos in between. That, a whole lot of responsibilities, and an aversion to the sentimentality of many Christmas traditions makes the season, well, not my favorite.
For many the holidays are hard. When you’re estranged from your family or members of your family are struggling, when death has made a gaping hole in your life,... Read More
Growing up, I loved historical fiction novels. Series like the American Girls or Dear America intrigued me with their historically accurate stories of girls my age who lived in earlier time periods in our country’s history.
Whenever I would read a book about a slave girl in the 1800s, her story would fill me with emotion. I could feel just a fraction of her bondage and frustration and hopelessness. Still, I longed desperately for her freedom. In her case, there... Read More
If anything drives suspicious unbelievers away from the fellowship of a congregation, it is the perception of hypocrisy on the part of the members. Supposedly a church is portraying a superior way to live. Supposedly congregations and their leaders have figured out divine secrets to a happier life. Outsiders assume that church people consider themselves more moral than the average Joe.
So when sin and Satan invade the sanctuary, news gets around. In the Macedonian city of Philippi, the unreconciled... Read More
The Bible presents a wealth of information about our world completely unavailable from any other source. It goes back in time before recorded history to describe the creation. It peers ahead into the future and gives us glimpses of what lies ahead and the glories of heaven. And it peeks behind the scenes of day-to-day life to see what is going on in the world of spirits and demons.
Some of the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah use... Read More