Settling at Bethel

After the incident with Shechem, the Lord tells Jacob to go to Bethel and settle there.  Jacob went to Bethel with all his family, servants, and livestock.  Then, “Jacob built an altar there and called the place God of Bethel because it was there that God had revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing…

#MeToo

Recently, I read about a sex scandal that detonated in a major evangelical church.  We are just beginning to feel the shockwaves.  Those closest to the blast were knocked flat.  But many who operated under this church’s umbrella or looked to it for inspiration will also be shaken. I have stopped counting sex scandals involving…

Love Is King

The following article appeared in our local paper today.  Unfortunately, the paper changed the title and cut the last two paragraphs so I am not linking this to their digital edition. *** Believe it or not, “Christ” is not Jesus’s last name.  “Christ” means “anointed one.”  Anointing in biblical times meant pouring oil on someone’s…

Impossible People: Os Guinness

Recently, a group at church decided to read Impossible People by Os Guinness. I didn’t need a lot of convincing. Some liken him to C.S. Lewis because of his intellectual clarity on matters of faith. That sold me. Impossible People examines modernity’s challenge to Christian faith, a challenge Guinness believes is the most significant ever…

One Flock, One Bride, One Man

After Bethel, Jacob resumes his journey to find a bride. He travels to the east, a land associated with man’s fall, Cain, and Babel. Abraham left the east by faith. Spiritually, it is the land away from the Son (Gen. 25:1-6). When Jacob arrives in Haran, shepherds are gathering sheep near a well covered by…

House of God (Reprise)

Art by Patrick Murphy “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it” (Gen. 28:16). As we said before, the Lord revealed to Jacob that God was in His house. Bethel means, “House of God.” It shows Christ and His people as God’s dwelling, God’s house. The Lord is in us!…

House of God, Gate of Heaven

On his way to Haran, Jacob stops for the night. He puts a stone beneath his head and sleeps.  He dreams of a staircase that goes from earth to heaven with angels traveling up and down. Echoing His promise to Abraham, the Lord tells Jacob He will give him the land and bless all peoples…

Disciples and Division

Recently, I read Christian History magazine, issue 120: “Calvin, Councils, and Confessions–How the Church became the Churches.” Church history is a hobby. I identify less with a particular tradition than with anyone in Christ. I love church history because I see it as my history–Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant. Issue 120 discusses the spread of Reformed…

Daddy’s Little Helper

My son and I restained the railing mentioned in the post below so I thought I’d repost it.  It’s been a few years, and my son is now seven.  But the truths involved still apply.  Best of all, my boy told me again how happy he was to do a project with me where we…

New Jerusalem, New Man

Below is the introduction to one of my booklets, The New Jerusalem. *** Revelation chapters 21 and 22 contain descriptions of God’s Holy City, the New Jerusalem. This city is called “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9). When she appears, John hears a loud voice saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with…