Follow Me

Follow Me

As John 21 opens, it’s clear the disciples have followed the instructions of Jesus.  They are at the Sea of Galilee – about 75 miles from Jerusalem.  They have followed in obedience and gone where Jesus told them to go. Loving Jesus by following where He sends is not an easy assignment.  In fact, sometimes it requires a great deal of inconvenience, a great deal of physical hardship, and even some emotional hurt and pain.  It’s all well and good to sit in a circle with our Bibles open, sipping coffee, and talking about loving Jesus.  But what does it …

Thomas: Doubt Becomes Faith!

Thomas: Doubt Becomes Faith!

  “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”  John 20: 25   You know, if Thomas had been a resident of the United States, I think he would have wanted to live in Missouri, the Show-me state! Thomas is a doubter. He refuses to believe until He sees and touches. Jesus appears, accommodates Thomas’ request, and then says, “Stop doubting and believe.” John 20: 27 To doubt is to stiff-arm faith. To doubt is to refuse to believe. By its …

For His Glory

For His Glory

      Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? How can I find purpose? When will I find fulfillment in my day-to-day every day routine? Most folks will at one time or another ask those why, what, how, and when questions.  Rising early, checking off the list, never accomplishing everything I really want and need to do leaves one discouraged, depressed, and defeated.  All those downer words are often the result of rising early, working hard, staying up late and then getting up tomorrow and doing it all over again. To answer the why, what, how, and when questions means we have to …

From Muted and Magnificent

From Muted and Magnificent

  The Sistine Chapel is part of the official residence of the pope in Vatican City.  The chapel itself was completed in 1481, but it is perhaps best known for the work of art that is found on it’s ceiling: This breathtakingly beautiful masterpiece was created by Michelangelo between 1508-1512. Many regard the Sistine Chapel ceiling as the greatest work of the Renaissance period.  Michelangelo used his brush to tell the Bible visually. The photo here shows it today – following the restoration that was completed from 1980-1994. (It’s interesting that it took 14 years to complete the restoration, but …

Time for a U-Turn

Time for a U-Turn

    “With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.” Ruth 1: 7 After moving to Moab for “awhile,”, tragedy strikes Elimelech’s family.  Elimelech dies and then more tragedy as both sons also die.  Naomi, who traveled down the highway to Moab with a family of four is now left alone.  How do you think she feels?  How would you feel – perhaps abandoned by God or forgotten by God? But Naomi really wasn’t really alone.  She is left with two Moabite …

Obedience: Faith Required

Obedience: Faith Required

  “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ ”  Mark 11: 2-3 As follows of Jesus, we are Christian soldiers “in the Lord’s ARMeeee!” (as we sang in Sunday School as little children.) A good solider obeys the command of his general without question.  Can you place yourself in the boots (eerrrr….sandals….) of …

BARA: Creating Something from Nothing

BARA: Creating Something from Nothing

                                                                          In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1: 1-2 Before God began His miraculous work of creation, the earth was described as “formless and empty.”  In other words, there was nothing there. The word …

Good and Very Good

Good and Very Good

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…”  Genesis 1: 31a My oldest son is a man of few words.  From the time he was a little boy, the mono-syllabic response I received to  questions such as, “How was the party?” “How was the pizza?” or “How was the movie?” was always the same:  Good.  The mother in me wanted details.  Give me sentences loaded with verbs, adjectives, adverbs – I wanted more words!  After reading God’s description of each day’s creation, perhaps I need to consider good an appropriate, fitting and positive summary. Each day …

A Day Off

A Day Off

  “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”  Genesis 2: 3 School children love snow days. Moms and Dads love vacation days.  Everybody loves holidays.  Celebrating the occasion aside, just doing something different than what is required all the other days makes a day off a treat.  In proclaiming the seventh day for rest, God set the example of giving us a day off. He even modeled this for us by resting from all the work He had done on the other …

Worshipping God by Walking Green

Worshipping God by Walking Green

  The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2: 15 One of mankind’s first assignments was to care for the creation. Stewardship of the earth is not a political issue, but a Biblical call.  Christians should lead the charge to actively and purposefully demonstrate conservation of our earth’s resources—being careful to proclaim that we worship the Creator and not the creation. The call to recycle is heard by every generation. Modern-day school children recognize the green triangle and the words Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  …

Just One Little Rule

Just One Little Rule

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2: 16-7   Today we have federal, state, city, and county rules. We have rules for driving, for buying and selling, and even for dying.  Some of those seem to always be changing – like the speed limit:  50 here, 70 there, only 35 over here.  There are rules at home and at work.  There are …

Believing God

Believing God

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3: 1   “Did God really say?”  We can’t see the emphasis, but I think the crafty one focused heavily on the word really. The serpent’s plan was to get Eve to doubt God’s word.  He didn’t try right away to get her to eat the fruit.  He was clever, devious.  Just get a toehold of doubt into the door of her heart …