What do you think of when you see a treadmill? Physical fitness? A heathy lifestyle? Sweat? I think, Oh, look! There’s a garage sale. You may detect a bit of cynicism. Blame it on deceptive advertising. The attractive and impressive models that grace the box on exercise equipment with their finely sculpted bodies have never come within 100 feet of a potato chip. They torture themselves for a living. They promise us non-olympians the “thrill of victory.” Nope! It’s “the… Read More »Spiritual Exercise through Scripture Memorization
Peace officers carry guns. As a child of the sixties, that still strikes me as ironic. The word peace conjures up images of flowers, certainly not guns. Nevertheless, having survived the sixties and the decades since, I am convinced that arming the police with flowers instead of guns would be disastrous. The paradox of peace is we must fight for peace. Fighting Words This is a contentious day when disagreeing with someone could get us ‘canceled.’ We are accused of… Read More »The Paradox of Peace
Human aspiration to greatness and glory is one evidence of the image of God imprinted on our hearts. History tells the story of this universal pursuit of glory. When the gospel informs and directs this pursuit, it generally results in human flourishing. However, a secular, self-absorbed society can seduce us with its own kind of great commission: “Follow your dreams.” The problem with dreams is they can loosen our grip on kingdom reality. Over the Rainbow The entertainment industry bombards… Read More »The Problem with Dreams
Aiming for mere human exceptionalism is a sure path to spiritual floundering (Matt. 5:20). A case in point is the call for tolerance. Tolerance, though a singular virtue in secular society, is destructive to the power and purity of the church. The root meaning of tolerance is enduring pain. It implies no change or progress. It is live and let live. You do your thing, and I will do mine. The problem with tolerance is it settles for mediocrity and… Read More »The Problem with Tolerance
“The church is full of hypocrites.” You may have heard that criticism from someone. Upon hearing this charge, a friend of mine would often respond, “There is always room for one more.” We all have been guilty of saying one thing and doing another. That does not excuse our hypocrisy. However, the greater threat to the church is the problem with actors. Who Are You Calling a Hypocrite? Calling out religious people for the sin of hypocrisy is not a… Read More »The Problem with Actors
In our day, a collective fear grips society and few have the courage to expose the nakedness of baseless, narcissistic claims foisted upon us by powerful self-serving institutions. Do we expect our children to speak up and rescue us? Fathers, how can we expose our kids on the front lines as we flee the field of battle. If we don’t want our children to grow up to be cowards, we must courageously lead them by speaking God’s truth in love.
One of the least understood families in the Bible is Jesus’ family. A scarcity of biblical information accounts for some of our ignorance. On top of that, we are prone to either canonize or demonize every character mentioned in the Bible. In the case of Mary, Jesus’ mother, our tendency to exalt a human beyond what is biblical is most apparent. Yet, the story of the wedding at Cana depicts a mother’s simple faith that is within the reach of… Read More »A Mother’s Simple Faith
Do you keep mementos? I have boxes of cards and letters from my wife and children. In addition, I have items around the house that are expressions of love directed toward me. The apostle John, who referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20), filled his gospel with mementos of Jesus’ life and teaching. In an era without cameras, John penned a slide show filled with deeply meaningful pictures of Jesus Christ the… Read More »The Lamb of God and Mystery Bridegroom
Can you name the hymn sung at a memorial service for George Floyd, the funeral for congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, and the inauguration of President Joe Biden? I’ll give you a hint. The song was written by a former slave ship captain. At a time when our culture is quick to cancel Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, why honor John Newton by singing his signature hymn? That popular and widely sung hymn begins, “Amazing grace how sweet the… Read More »Self-cancelation Culture
One of my least favorite Christmas songs is Little Drummer Boy. We do not play it in my house. For many people, saying that puts me in company with Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch. To make matters worse, I am not a big fan of Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty the Snowman either. However, I find it particularly disturbing that some little kid with a drum can waltz up to the Bethlehem manger and steal the spotlight from God incarnate. It… Read More »Pa Rumpa Humbug!