Ephesians 1:3-4, Chosen!

Tonight I just finished reading a theological magazine that I receive every other month. I enjoy reading the magazine to learn as well as understand more about the views of other Christians. As I read the magazine I noted how easy it was for the various contributors to make many profound points as well as promote the theological jargon from a particular camp without explaining or teaching the Christian Scripture. I found myself intellectually roused... read more.

Ephesians 5:19, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

I thoroughly enjoy music. In fact, in my house my kids tell me to turn down the volume. Agreed we should not use music as an escape from problems or a veneer over depression, but instead to tell the tale of our victories and defeats, and express our emotions. Agreed also we shouldn’t prefer music to hearing truth, but why not tell truth in our music? David did. For myself I rank a number of... read more.

Ephesians 5:25-33, Marriage Part 4 - A Cross of Self-Sacrifice

Like most of you I grew up with the fanciful notions about marriage and family described in romantic books, songs, and movies. Cinderella found her Prince Charming " And they lived happily ever after ." Song lyrics echo with the promise " I will always love you. " These books, songs, and movies often get the main point right, that marriage is a wonderful design. However, they often forget to mention, that in addition to... read more.

Ephesians 6:4 and Hebrews 12:10, The Strong Willed Parent

Much has been written about how to handle the strong willed child. Parenting has got to be one of the toughest jobs there is in the world. And parenting can be especially tough when the child you are parenting possesses a strong will. God himself knows this because he is a parent himself and we are his children. This is why he commands Christians to discipline disobedient children with the rod of correction in the... read more.

Ezekiel 23:20, Donkeys and Horses

Men, we need more frank conversation about sexual temptation. The prophets frequently compare Israel’s idolatry to sexual adultery in quite graphic terms. Ezekiel chapter 23 is one such comparison. God was quite enraged at his people for turning to Egypt for help rather than calling on him. How would you feel if your son or daughter went to those that hated you for counsel rather than coming to you? Ezekiel tells us how God felt,... read more.

Galatians 1:1-2, With and Not With

Galatians 1:1-2 (WEB), "Paul, an apostle—not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers who are with me , to the assemblies of Galatia:" Philippians 1:1 and 4:21 (WEB), "Paul and Timothy , servants of Jesus Christ; To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and servants ." "Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.... read more.

Genesis 3:15 plus, Doveman Promised, Begins, Returns, Rules

While Gotham City attracts vicarious tourists of brutality and a world without rules, we with tickets to the Golden City ought to remind ourselves of an ancient promised coming and redemption from our rule breaking, "I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15 WEB). Doveman Promised! While bat men amuse about a Batman and... read more.

Genesis 3:15, John 1:36, Acts 1:11, A Series of Fortunate Events

Is your glass half empty or half full? My family has enjoyed a popular best selling book series titled, A Series of Unfortunate Events . The title resonates with most because we are often faced with many trials and unfortunate events. In fact we face so many trials that we might think that the good God has checked out of our lives. For example a friend of mine in high school concluded from her experience... read more.

Hebrews 11:34, Weakness Turned To Strength

The Holy Spirit says in Hebrews 11:34 (WEB) that in the past people trusted God and their "from weakness were made strong." Can you honestly confess your weaknesses to friends? To the face in the mirror? To God? Will you be honest with God or will you hide your weaknesses from him who sees all? Can you trust that God has the power to use even our weaknesses to demonstrate his grace? Will you trust... read more.

Hebrews 13:7-17, The Outer Circle

Recently while researching on the Internet I received an invitation to join the ' Inner Circle' of a particular group. The secrecy appealed to my curiosity. The exclusivity tempted my pride. The chance of ' esprit de corps wooed ' my loneliness. Who wouldn’t want to be part of an inner circle? Yet Jesus summons us to join him in his outer circle. "Remember your leaders, men who spoke to you the word of God,... read more.

Hebrews 4:11-13, Two Double Edged Swords!!

Knives are dangerous. Several years ago I purchased new pocket knives for myself and my son. Though knives are dangerous we need to learn to use them safely. So while demonstrating to my family how to use the knife safely... I nearly cut my finger off! Though quite humbling to be raced to the emergency room, perhaps it was an even better lesson for both me and my family. Knives are dangerous, so be careful.... read more.

Hosea 11:3-4, The Scripture That Ripped My Proud Heart To Shreds

The summer of 1998 I had just completed my fund raising efforts to participate in a Christian ministry outreach to college students. I had been a Christian for many years serving the Lord through the counsel of my Christian leaders in Bible study, evangelism, and disciple-making. By every outward indication I was a model Christian. During my fund raising campaign I had also been working on completing a Bible Certificate Program through a well known... read more.

Hosea 1:10, Optimism Out of Control, Part 2: In the Same Place!

Some Scriptures have depressed me. Consider one. Jesus answered them, 'I told you, and you don't believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, these testify about me. But you don't believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.' John 10:25-27 (WEB) You may say I should not be depressed because I am a sheep that... read more.

Isaiah 19:22-25, Life aint a highway,,, at least not yet!

Last night we grabbed some family time and watched the kid movie Cars by Disney / Pixar. It is a fun full length animation about the value of humility and friendship over pride and independence. Moreover, there is little overt objectionable content that I perceived. Some have objected to the opening theme song by Rascal Flatts, Life is a Highway . The hard driving beat of this tune could rev the engine and spin the... read more.

Isaiah 26:17-19, You Cannot Tell It, But,,,

At the beginning of the year I made a slight adjustment in my priorities. As a young Christian I did very little to serve in a local church family, but prided my self in being on the front lines in evangelism. And worse yet my pride blinded me to just how poor an evangelist I was anyway. But the Lord is a good father and brought correction in order to teach me to fellowship from... read more.

Isaiah 30:1-18, Fifty Ways We Left Our Lover

There is a popular song from my youth still on the radio today titled, Fifty ways to leave your lover , by Paul Simon. The chorus encourages, "Just slip out the back, Jack. Make a new plan, Stan. You don’t need to be coy, Roy . Just get yourself free. Hop on the bus, Gus. You don’t need to discuss much. Just drop off the key, Lee and get yourself free." This is the theme... read more.

Isaiah 30:1-2, An Alliance, But Not With My Spirit

The most frightening teaching to me when I first came to Christ was found in Romans Chapter 8 verse 13. But how can that be? Romans Chapter 8 is the climax of Christian encouragement! If we are afraid of any Chapter in the Scripture it is Romans Chapter 9. What is so frightening about Romans Chapter 8? It is here that we learn that if we live according to the sinful nature we will die,... read more.

Isaiah 30:31-32, Break Out the Punishing Rod AND... the Tambourines? Say What?

We are all familiar with the picture of a father disciplining his son while soberly saying, " son, this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you ." So our heart goes out to the son and the pain he will experience. Our heart goes out to the situation wishing it had never been. And our heart goes out to the father who experiences hurt as well, perhaps being reminded of his own... read more.

Isaiah 48: 1-6, Would you give God an Oscar Award?

Popular thought and theology, if they acknowledge God at all, would reduce him to be a mere fore-teller of the future, a psychic in the sky, if you will. So whether it is the weather tomorrow or the giving and receiving of grace most believe that God anticipates these wonders, but he either cannot or will not interfere with nature and man's ' free will. ' So if that is your own view, please take... read more.