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Showing posts from 2017

When Jesus Became Like Us

First I would like to say Merry Christmas to all! Christmas is the annual celebration Christians all over the world recognize as the time when God stepped into the world of humanity to be like us. Yes, the celebration of the First Advent of Christ, Christmas, or the Nativity of Jesus is here. For believers everywhere, it is a time to recognize that God saw a forlorn world in need and knew the only way He could relate to them on their terms, and prophetically on His, was, for a season, to become like them.

The question arises, was and is the world really in need? Yes, according to God it was and it is. But in Christ that need has been met. In what way are we in need? And in what way did the Lord God meet that need? This simple article will seek to answer those two questions with the hope that it will be understood by all who read.

First, in order to be in need there has to be something that is needful either for this life or the one to come. Second, having established a need, the Lord…

Is Not Life a Series of Waits? Enduring Life-Altering Events

When asked as a pastor, to express with sincerity the lingering trauma that consumes the soul when a life-altering event makes its appearance, I would use the word "Numbness" to describe it and I am not alone. Many people describe the after-effects of traumatic events as going from initial shock to numbness, but it is important that we understand numbness is not shock, although it can follow on its heels. Shock is the immediate and radical realization of loss, numbness follows. Rather than quote a psychological definition I want to relate in real-life you, me and God terms. Numbness is the ongoing state a person drifts in and out of when under heavy distress. It can also occur to someone who has been exposed to a past traumatic event and is often referred to as PTSD or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. It is what induced the psalmist to cry, "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psa. 27:1…

Lighthouse or Foghorn? The Christian Relies on Both!

Your word is a lamp to my feet
    And a light to my path.

Psa. 119:105.

Fog horn or lighthouse, which is best? Both are used to warn of craggy rocks, beaches, and coral reefs, all dangerous areas for the mariner. These two warning systems have been used for ages and despite GPS, are still used today.
In her article, Who Blows A Lighthouse's Foghorn? Melissa Kline informs us that it is, for the most part, automated. She writes: "It (a Fog Detector) uses a projector to shine light across a given optical path, then measures and interprets the backscattered light. When the detector senses a drop in visibility, the unit sends a signal to the lighthouse’s electronic equipment, which then signals the foghorn to blow."1
She continues the article telling us how even this technology is aging (misfiring) and being replaced with " a Mariner Radio Activated Signal System, which allows boaters to activate foghorns themselves when they need help navigating during inclement weather…

When Prayer Confronts an Unchanging God

Christians need to get used to the idea that since the Lord is immutable, or unchanging, this also includes His will. We need to realize that in any situation, in the end, His will is what will be accomplished. In the Garden of Gethsemane, shortly before His arrest, kangaroo trial, and crucifixion, Jesus said as much. While He was in the garden praying, He expressed the following: "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). And again, a few minutes later: "a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, 'O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done'" (Matthew 26:42). This is an excellent picture of divine transparency—a searching picture of His humanity. He knew what was ahead, and just like the imprisoned John the Baptist, who sent some of His disciples to Jesus asking, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" (Luke 7:20),…

Does God Change His Mind?

This topic is not a new issue. It has been written about by theologians much smarter than I on numerous occasions. The reason I am taking it up, is because there are still articles and books being printed that would like you to believe that God is not truly immutable (unchanging) because our actions can change God's will in response to our prayers. Therefore, because of this, I will write this in two parts. Let me first ask that you please read this prayerfully. Ask God for wisdom. If what I write flies in the face of everything you have been taught or, true biblical/classical/orthodox theology, then weigh the two in the balance and let God's word be the judge.

First of all, the Bible teaches that God is "immutable." This is defined as His unchangeable nature. Nelson's puts it this way: "a characteristic of God signifying that He does not change in His basic nature (Mal. 3:6). In Him, “there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). God does not “m…

Refugee's and the Christian Responsibility

The refugee crisis in our world today, has sparked a lot of talk concerning the Christian's responsibility toward foreigners. Because it seems to be a touchy subject for some, I would like to come at it from a non-biased point of view. Pointedly, I want to highlight a few important passages that I believe offer an honest understanding of the topic.

People, in general, do not ever like to be wrong. Some will go as far as only providing one side of a story to prove their point, even if they know the other side to be true as well. This can be seen in politics and main stream journalism all the time. The truth is censured based upon what side you want to support. Although this is unbalanced, and unfair, it seems to be easier than trying to sort through both sides and come up with a rationale that satisfies all. That said, there are many factors that motivate a person to stand for this or that, or to side with this person or another. Balance and truth is what I desire to present today, …

Life's Reminisces and Future Glory

The image above reminds me of my childhood Kansas. Every winter my brothers and I would go down to a wooded patch behind our home where a low-lying seep would freeze over in winter to make our very own skating rink. We were not wealthy enough to have ice skates, and it didn't matter, our boots sufficed just fine. For hours on end we would skate or play stick hockey, all the time being so thankful that winter had come. For us winter was special. It allowed a closer time to bond together as siblings and to appreciate things such as a home and heat to warm it, hot soup, and of course snow...and in Kansas we got plenty! 
Those days are gone just like the year that has just passed. I no longer live in Kansas, but Illinois. Nevertheless, the childhood memories will linger and I do hope that all of us can find something to be thankful for in our past.
Here in Illinois, Christmas passed us as fast as it arrived and the New Year has now come. We are all anticipating how the Lord will use us…