Budget Christianity

“And you, in your turn, followed the example set by us and by the Lord; the welcome you gave the message meant grave suffering for you, yet you rejoiced in the Holy Spirit; thus you have become a model for all believers….” (1 Thess. 1:6-7). Today in America, one can become a Christian with relatively…

My Passion or His?

Often I read or hear people recommend that we find our passion and engage it.  This is especially recommended when it comes to what we do for work.  Forbes recently cited a Gallup poll showing that the percentage of employees who are passionate about their job is at a lowly 34%.  The solution is for…

Craving

The other night, I picked up a book about God I’ve been reading.  It is a profound book with much insight I am happy to read.  All the same, I noticed in myself a craving for *God*—not for books, words, or ideas about God but God Himself.  So I put the book away and sat…

Insignificant and Despised

Verses 8 through 27 in Genesis 46 list Jacob’s descendants.  After this, Jacob and his family come to Egypt, settle in Goshen, and meet Pharaoh.  Before meeting Pharaoh, Joseph instructs his relatives to tell Pharaoh they are shepherds.  “Then you will be allowed to settle in the land of Goshen,” Joseph explains, “since all shepherds…

A House of Prayer, Not Politics

I saw the sign pictured above outside a church the other day.  It got me thinking—thinking about how easily Christianity is reduced to a set of political opinions.  Sometimes, people allow faith to dictate their political views.  But too often, I fear, it’s the other way around: political ideology defines the boundaries of faith.  Religion…

Crack Pots and Dogs (Part 2)

Please read part one *** Thirty-two thousand men answered Gideon’s trumpet-call, a promising number. But God said, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with…

Crack Pots and Dogs (Part 1)

The following is from my booklet, “Crack Pots and Dogs” *** Gideon was a judge of Israel, whom God raised up to deliver His people when the Midianites were raiding and oppressing them (Judges 6:1-6). Gideon began his ministry by demolishing an altar of Baal and hewing down an Asherah pole (Judges 6:28). When this…

All the Answers or All Truth?

I talk with Christians of all stripes about scripture.  Regardless of background or denomination, I can usually connect with people in the Lord.  Sometimes, though, I’m concerned that we mainly look at the Bible as a place to find the right answers about creation, sexuality, church structure, and a host of other subjects.  Certainly, the…

There, There

Spiritually, we don’t mature unless God brings us “there,” to those places of pressure and pain.  We may well ask, “Why?”, and this is the question most on our lips during such seasons.  It is tempting to think we can grow without going “there,” to assure ourselves that suffering isn’t a necessary part of spiritual…

There

After Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, he asked them to bring his father, Jacob, and the rest of their family to Egypt. Jacob was stunned and didn’t believe his sons at first.  But when he at last accepted their report, he couldn’t wait to see Joseph (Gen. 45:26-28). His first night on the…