Deep Roots

    Psalm 1: 1-3: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.   When you sink your roots down deep into God’s Word, you will find the fruits of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, …

Drinking Living Water

          You survived the shipwreck. Finally, swimming and floating, choking and gasping, you wash up on a tiny island. Nothing but sand. And ocean. Drips of sweat tickle your back. Desperate for a drink, you return to the beach and drink even more of that ocean. It tastes nasty, but you swallow it, and it seems to quench your thirst. But minutes later you’re violently sick, and even thirstier. Miserable, you sit on the wet sand at the edge of the water. Soon, water laps at your ankles, so you scoot back, and back some more. …

Recognizing the Orange Tree

        Galatians 5: 22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”   “Check out the orange tree in my backyard,” your friend says. Following her out the door, you see dozens of trees. Which one is the orange tree? you wonder. While a botanist might know it by its leaves and branches, you will know the orange tree for sure if you see oranges hanging all over it. Similarly, others know you’re a Christian by seeing the way you act or react when things happen in your life—good and …

She Looked Back

        The book of Genesis reports that a sin epidemic had infected everyone in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. God had every intention of destroying those cities. God’s man, Abraham, knowing that his own nephew Lot lived in Sodom, asked God to spare the city. Abraham asked God if He would spare it if He found 50 good men. Quickly surmising that God might not find 50 good men in Sodom, he asked for 45. Then he quickly dropped the number to 40, then 30, then 20, then 10. Without further discussion, God sent two angels …

The Grand Canyon of Sin

What a day! You just took delivery of a new sports car. It will do 0-to-60 mph in just over two seconds and has a top speed of 267 mph. It’s called the world’s fasted production car. It’s beautiful. And expensive. Wanting to show it off, you invite some of your favorite people to take a ride. We’ll have to pretend this car will hold a bunch of people because you’re going to take your best friends, your family, a much-loved teacher, boss, and your pastor. Everyone piles in, and off you go. You start out nice and slow, getting …

The Heavy Load

      A large pile of potatoes fills a table in the middle of the room. Nearby tables hold colorful backpacks. Pick up a backpack. Load it with potatoes that represent your unforgiveness. Don’t leave anything out. Put a name and an offence on each potato. There’s a potato for that thing your teacher said when you were in third grade, one for that fight you had with your spouse, your mom, or best friend, another for the mean things someone did to you in middle school, another for the things you did with that guy (girl) you thought …