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…

He Is Risen in Us

The following appeared in our local paper last weekend. I adapted it from something I posted last fall *** What does it mean to witness Christ’s resurrection? We might wish we were present when Jesus rose from the dead. But would this make us witnesses of Christ’s resurrection? Matthew 28 helps us consider these things….

Rising Sun

“All Sons and Daughters” is a music group my family has come to cherish. The Spirit of God just steps past whatever walls I have as I listen to their words and music. “Rising Sun” is a song we love doing at church. It is full of the joy and beauty of the Lord. A…

Seeding and Seeing

I assure you : Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop (John 12:24). The other night, I was reading John 12:24 to my son. I was struck by the context. A few verses earlier, some Greeks come to Jesus’s…