Tempting God

Until the last one hundred years in Western Civilization, human history has been shaped, in large measure, by famine, disease, and privation. Covid-19 is a reminder of the stark, brutal, merciless world of our forebears where horrific diseases ravaged entire continents. It is more than a cautionary tale; it is the pages of history coming alive before our eyes, admonishing us to recognize the limits of human ingenuity — “The arm of flesh will fail you.”

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…