Give Hate a Chance

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27). Here’s how I’ve often heard this verse: “If you don’t live up…

If You’re Not Angry, You’re Not Paying Attention

I remember it clearly: I told God I hated Him.  I was in my second year at a discipleship/ministry training school.  Leading up to this, the Spirit was showing me Christ’s self-giving nature in a depth I had never known.  (These words— “Christ’s self-giving nature”—seem like stupid, clumsy props when it comes to conveying their…

Yet in My Flesh I Will See God

Picture from http://www.theologylived.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/incarnation.jpg “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).              The incarnation is a promise.  God became human.  His invisible personage of pure love was manifest.  Jesus is our proof: God will also become flesh in us.  His pure love will be manifest in us….

I Am Not the Christ

It may sound absurd, but it’s true: we often take it upon ourselves to be Christ.  Usually, we do so unconsciously, out of a sincere desire to be like Jesus, and not because we consciously wish to supplant Him.  So, we try to have endless patience with difficult people; when visitors come to church, we…

Fire Shut up in My Bones

“So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long.  But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in; indeed,…

Crux

Graphic by Patrick Murphy: http://inspiredsketch.blogspot.com/   Here— where clouds overhead and crowds at your feet thicken into an untimely darkness— you can’t tell miracle from murder, blessing from curse, God from your enemy. Here— where vultures overhead and priests at your feet circle, waiting for a body— you can’t tell mystery from mockery, life from death,…

A Penny for Your Thoughts?

In the United States these days, I hear a lot of “class warfare” language used.  Romney said 47% of Americans are dependent on the government.  Obama says the rich need to pay “their fair share.”  Others side with Wall Street or Occupy Wall Street.  What do you think the Bible says about all this?  And…

Home, Sweet Home (Guest post by Mallory Patrick)

Today’s post is by my sister-in-law, Mallory Patrick.  Mallory is a woman of many hats and three cats (Mama Cat, Baby Cat, and Big Tom).  Among her hats are Bible school teacher, conference speaker, author/editor, cross-stitcher, and flute-player.   Recently, Mallory was asked to develop a Bible curriculum for Freedom Christian Academy in Arizona.  What…

The Name

“For the sake of your name do not despise us” (Jeremiah 14:21).             Glancing through the scriptures, it becomes clear that Jeremiah is not merely appealing to the Lord’s reputation in this verse: “…our redeemer from of old is your name” (Isaiah 63:16; 1 Peter 1:18, 19);  “Help us, O God our savior, for the…

Breaking the Mold

I hear a lot of talk about how to “do church.”  There isn’t space to explore all the intricacies of this topic here.  And the conversation often yields more questions than answers.  What’s on my mind is John the Baptist and Jesus.  John the Baptist was certainly cool.  Here’s this shaggy guy ministering out in…