All Saints, Every Day

The evening of October 31st, or Hallowe’en, marks the beginning of All Saints Day.  All Saints Day is observed by various Christian groups, and is most often a remembrance of canonized saints.  These are believers who meet criteria set by the denomination celebrating them. Generally, these criteria involve especial holiness, the performance of miracles, exceptional…

Laid into Suffering

In 1 Thessalonians 2:17 and 18, Paul remembers being forced to leave Thessalonica—their time cut short by a mob that attacked, abused, and jailed some of them (Acts 17:5-9).  Paul talks affectionately of their desire to return but says satan hindered them. Acts 17:13-15 tells the full story: Paul and co. went to Berea after…

The One Who Fills God’s Heart

“How can a young man stay pure?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9-11). My son is memorizing Psalm 119:9-11 for school. As we…

Crispy Witches and Witchy Christians

Earlier this week, my mind drifted to the witch trials in Salem. Along with the crusades and the inquisitions, the witch trials are something that make most Christians want to crawl under a rock.  But we can’t.  The trials happened. From there, my mind wandered to a comment C.S. Lewis made in Mere Christianity. People today…

The Chosen One(s)

Near the end of his life, Jacob told Joseph that Joseph’s sons would be as his own sons. Because of this, Jacob asked to bless them. Joseph brought Manasseh, his first born, and Ephraim, his second born, to Jacob. According to natural order, Jacob would’ve placed his right hand on Manasseh, thereby conferring the greater…

Copycats

For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets and persecuted us” (1 Thess. 2:14-15). For the second time,…

The Fall of the Church

Last year, my father-in-law gave me a copy of a book called, The Mystery of God: Christ All and in All by Manfred Haller. It is a rich work that dwells on the mighty subject of God’s eternal desire. Below is an excerpt from chapter 20, “The Fall of the Church”. *** There are plenty…

Repackaged Lie

We all fail in many ways, as James chapter three points out. Some flaws persist for years with only modest change. Recently, I was praying about one of my ongoing flaws. I have told the Lord more than once I never want to fail in this particular way again. I was telling Him this again…

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….

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…