Christ, the Covenant Within

About two years ago I became acquainted with Christian Quakerism through the writings of the founder, George Fox.  The first work I read was, Some Principles of the Elect People of God Who in Scorn Are Called Quakers. In it, Fox writes,“The same Light makes manifest the Saviour from whence it comes, And makes manifest Christ to…

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…

The Failed Christian Life

I have failed at being a Christian.  I have failed morally.  I have failed to be unselfish.  I don’t know if God is always first in my affections.  I’ve never prayed with anyone to receive Christ. My prayer and Bible study habits probably aren’t up to snuff.  In these, and many other ways, I have…

Crosshairs

In the wake of the school shooting in Florida, social media is flooded (again) with memes, posts, articles, and factoids for or against guns. Personally, I see guns as one of many social scapegoats. A gun is a neutral thing, not intrinsically good or bad. It can only be as good or bad as the…

The Nativity Within

I had the following article published in the religion column of our local paper last weekend. My original title was “The Nativity Within” but the paper re-titled it for whatever reason. The important thing is that I got to share Jesus! *** Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying the shiny, new gifts they…

Following, Losing, and Living

Art by Patrick Murphy The following is a meditation on Luke 9:23-24 from my personal journal.  *** “If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will…

God with the Smelly and Beastly

With Christmas just past, I’ve been thinking about one of the names by which Jesus was announced: Immanuel, “God with us.” “God with us” was a prophetic name first uttered by Isaiah in a prophecy (Isaiah 7:14).  Matthew tells us Jesus fulfilled this prophetic appellation when he was born (Matt. 1:23). Jesus’s birth as a…

An Unexpected Christmas Greeting

The other day, as I was just waking up, I said, “Merry Christmas, Lord!”  It was a quirky thing to do.  I had never wished Jesus a merry Christmas.  The things one does when half-awake! Quite unexpectedly, the Lord replied!  He said, “I Am Christmas.”  True enough, right?  So a merry Christmas to all of…

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…

Social Bulimia

In August, Seattle’s mayor called for the removal of two statues: one, a confederate monument, the other a statue of Lenin. This followed the decision of officials in Charlottesville, Virginia, to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee and the destruction of a confederate soldier statue in Durham, North Carolina. The latest fad has been…

Eavesdropping

“Esau realized that his father Isaac disapproved of the Canaanite women, so Esau went to Ishmael and married, in addition to his other wives, Mahalath daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son” (Gen. 28:8-9). Isaac sends Jacob to Laban in Paddan-Aram to find a wife. He sends Jacob off with a command: “Do not marry a Canaanite…