The Power of Hope

The past couple of decades in brain research has yielded amazing and unexpected discoveries.  Using MRI technology, brain researchers have better refined our understanding of the brain’s structure as well as how the brain responds to various stimuli.  For example, to better understand how the brain of a smoker works, scientists would tell the test subjects to think about cigarettes and observe how the brain responds through MRI.  All good research requires not only test subjects but also a control group.  In such studies, the control group would be told to empty their minds and think of nothing.  What we accidentally discovered is that the human brain does not default to think about nothing.  Our “default setting” is to think about the future.

One Thing

Jesus uses crucifixion as a symbol for the sacrifice of self (“…let him deny himself, take up his cross,” Mark 8:34).  Jesus preferred for the Father to remove His cup of suffering but ultimately deferred to His Father’s will.  Jesus knew that in following Him we would face similar choices with eternity-altering outcomes.  He calls us to sacrifice what…

Worldly Fear

Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his first inaugural address to a nation in the throes of economic depression.  In this first speech FDR proclaimed, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  From a spiritual perspective, his words are not entirely accurate.  There are some fears that are legitimate and necessary.  However, FDR did…

Double-Mindedness

The American saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too,” expresses a truth acknowledged by other cultures.  The Albanians say, “To take a swim and not get wet.”  The Portuguese talk of “wanting the sun to shine on the threshing floor while it rains on the turnip field.”  In Vietnam, they warn “you…

I Am Resolved

If God is willing, as the calendar changes to 2017, approximately 45% of Americans will resolve to make a change in the upcoming year.  Most will resolve to lose weight.  Others will endeavor to better organize their lives, spend less money, quit smoking, or spend more time with their families.  Twenty-five percent will give up…

Such Were Some of You

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting the union of same-sex couples were un-Constitutional.  Justice Anthony Kennedy, the author of the majority opinion in the case of Obergerfell v. Hodges, tucked this caveat into the ruling, “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on…

What Can Man do to Me?

Because the values of societies either differ one from another or change over time, it seems that some parts of the Bible carry more relevance to some generations. For example, Ecclesiastes is particularly well suited to identify the consequences of humanistic or atheistic thought in a post-modern world. John’s gospel account bears greater weight in…

Ordaining Deacons

Editor’s Note: In the May issue of this publication, your editor announced the appointment of two men to the office of deacon by an evangelist. Your editor received the following inquiry from one of our subscribers: “Why does it say the evangelist ‘appointed’ deacons? Please explain to me using Bible verses why that could happen….

Reverence

When we reach the summit of Hebrews, the author’s proof of the New Covenant’s superiority dismisses all potential debate with his moving conclusion, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (12:22). In this soaring language, we see the magnificent position to which Christians have…