July 19, 2019

Today’s blog is something that has been bubbling in my reflective consciousness. I’ve decided to toss it out for you to think about and critique. The question I’m wrestling with has to do with change that is birthed in violence. The main question is this: should we be surprised when change that is birthed in violence fails to fulfill our hopes? In part, this is on my mind because I am currently preaching a series on Genesis 1-11. This week… Read more

July 17, 2019

First Impressions Trump’s tweeting thumbs set the agenda for the news cycle again this week. My first exposure was a headline that read “GO BACK! Trump’s Racist Tweet.” I don’t generally read news articles. I’m leery of the clickbait that comes with them and the bias that envelopes them. So, instead, I listen to the CBS World News roundup podcsast. Since it strives to be  concise, it tends to convey less bias and ads than most news sources. Having seen… Read more

July 14, 2019

Long Ago, God Spoke Somewhere back in the 13th century, God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. He then led them to Mount Sinai where he began fashioning them into a priestly nation by giving them vital instructions. Equipped with these instructions, the Israelites took possession of the land of Canaan. God gave them this land so they could learn and grow into their priestly calling. This journey did little to endear the Israelites to God. They complained about food and… Read more

July 11, 2019

I am nervous that a growing number of Christians nowadays distance themselves from the Old Testament. Sam already wrote a post about this, but I want to continue the conversation. I want to suggest another compelling reason why we must keep teaching the Old Testament unashamedly in the church. Simply put, if Jesus is not understood in light of his Old Testament context, some other context will replace it. Often it’s a prominent political agenda or trending philosophical framework. This… Read more

July 10, 2019

Christians take biblical interpretation quite seriously and rightly so. Unlike the interpretation of other texts, the interpretation of the Bible is a high stakes game. This is because we believe that the Bible is God’s revealed word to humanity. If we interpret God’s word wrong, we misunderstand God’s instruction and compromise our attempts to live according to those instructions, sometimes to disastrous results. However, not everyone uses the best principles of interpretation. There are many well- meaning Christians who nevertheless… Read more

July 8, 2019

This is the third and final post about peace. You can find parts 1 and 2 here and here. PERSONAL PEACE So when it comes to seeking peace in our personal lives we need to remember that peace is a gift from God. Knowing peace each day is a blessing from God. Divine peace comes not from meditation but from the hand of God. If you are lacking peace, don’t try to make yourself feel peaceful. Often we go about… Read more

July 5, 2019

In the first part of “Practical Peace” I looked at how the Bible describes the original creation—as this peaceful act that put everything in its proper place. It was a world where everything functioned as it was designed. LONG WAY FROM THE GARDEN But that is not the world in which we find ourselves is it? We have people getting trampled on Black Friday just for a TV, computer, or phone. I once talked to a guy who used to… Read more

July 3, 2019

***I was graciously invited to Central Christian Church in Battle Creek, MI to share with them during their Sunday School hour. The topic was “Practical Peace.” I figured I would share my findings with you all. Hope you enjoy. PEACE PERCEPTION Growing up I remember the joke about beauty queen contestants being a little…shallow. You know, not the brightest bulb in the shed. Not the sharpest tool in the box. You know what I’m talking about.  Kind of dull; dimwitted…. Read more

July 1, 2019

Recently, news broke that the Pope has approved a change to the wording of one section of the Lord’s Prayer. Specifically, the part that is traditionally worded, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” The new rendering the Pope approved is “Do not let us fall into temptation.” The guys and I recently addressed this in our podcast. Today, I’d like to summarize a portion of our response. In addition, I’d like to present my… Read more

June 28, 2019

In John 15:1-2 Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.” Historically, I have always understood the need for and benefits of pruning. However, it wasn’t until I became a gardener that I came to appreciate pruning in its fullness. In today’s blog, I’m going to share my experiences with pruning and… Read more

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