The Pain of Childbirth

After leaving Bethel, Rachel goes into labor.  It is hard labor.  She dies while birthing a son.  Scripture says, “With her last breath—for she was dying—she named him Ben-oni, but his father called him Benjamin” (Gen. 35:18).  Ben-oni means, “Son of my sorrow,” while Benjamin means, “Son of my right hand.” This turn of names…

Learning Lessons or Letting It Be Christ

The following is by a friend who loves Jesus and wished to be anonymous. *** King Nebuchadnezzar had an amazing experience (Dan. 4). The Lord showed him his future. The Most High wanted to deal with the king’s pride, to show he was a tool to bring about what would please God’s heart. The vision came to pass…

He Is Risen in Us!

What does it mean to be a witness of Christ’s resurrection?  People often wish they could’ve been present when Jesus rose or could’ve seen Him bodily after rising.  But would either make us witnesses of Christ’s resurrection?  Matthew 28 helps us consider these things. Roman soldiers were at Jesus’s tomb when He rose.  They saw…

The Beauty of Jesus—George Elliot

A few years ago, a family member gave me a book called, The Beauty of Jesus (published in 1904).  It is a compilation of sermons preached by Reverend George Elliott in the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, Detroit, Michigan.  Since receiving the book, it has sat on a bookshelf.  But I found that the title caught my…

Once and for All—Lauren Daigle

A couple weeks ago, the song, “Once and for All” by Lauren Daigle shuffled onto my i-Tunes playlist.  I have been unable to get it out of my head since.  It is a vulnerable song about resigning to the Lord.  Songs like this are always meaningful but I find it particularly relevant at this season…

Struggling and Prevailing (Part 2)

Please read part one before continuing… Jacob named the place he wrestled with God, “Face of God,” adding that he saw God’s face and was delivered (Gen. 32:30).  In a sense, seeing God’s face and dislocating his hip were of a piece.  Said another way, Jacob’s hip was dislocated because he saw God’s face. We…

Struggling and Prevailing (Part 1)

In fear of meeting his brother, Esau, Jacob sent his family away.  That night, alone, he wrestled with a man until daybreak (Gen. 32:24-32).  The man touched Jacob’s thigh at the hip and put it out of joint.  He told Jacob to release him but Jacob refused, saying he wanted a blessing.  The man told…

Parting Ways

As Jacob increased in wealth, he came into conflict with Laban (Gen. 31:1-2). We’ve seen that Jacob’s increase was the increase of what is spiritual and that this leads to escalating conflict with what is fallen and fleshly. God doesn’t let this conflict go on indefinitely.  God told Jacob to leave Laban.  He brought separation…

Batting Cleanup

I’m delighted that God forgives me.  The fact that the blood of Jesus cleanses every sin is precious (1 John 1:7).  That said, sometimes I feel like a sin factory.  Even if I  apply the blood of Jesus 70 times seven times a day, it gets discouraging.  In fact, it gets worse than discouraging.  It…

A Testament of Devotion

About two years ago I was introduced to Christian Quakerism through the writings of its founder, George Fox.  I found Fox’s focus on the indwelling Christ spiritually rich.  I went on to read An Apology for the True Christian Divinity by Robert Barclay.  This was the first systematic presentation of Quaker beliefs. For Christmas, I received…