Choking is a very powerful and disturbing metaphor. Imagine strong, angry hands wrapped around your neck. With that in mind, listen to how Jesus describes a group of people in Luke 8:14. They hear God’s word, “but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do … Continue reading Choked by pleasure
In The Lord of the Rings there is a character named Gollum. He becomes obsessed with possessing a ring of great power. Gollum even kills to get it. Over time, he becomes infatuated with the ring, even calling it “my precious.” He has lost all perspective, and it distracts him from other things. He hates … Continue reading Gollum and precious things
Today is Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent—the 40-day period of preparation (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. Some Christians attend services where ashes are put on their foreheads. In a pandemic, these services will either be skipped or modified. Ashes symbolize our mourning and regret for sin. They also symbolize our mortality. Recall … Continue reading Labourers or loiterers?
Here are two very important questions: --Am I right with God?--Am I walking rightly with God? Even if you use different wording, these are the kinds of questions that are most likely bouncing around in your head as you paddle down the river of life. As you think about how you might answer them, consider … Continue reading Am I right with God and walking rightly?
Broken. Bruised. Uncertain. Imperfect. Flawed. Deficient. Maybe you can relate to a few of those words. Maybe they describe something challenging from your past—or from your present. Today I’m here to tell you that “God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines.”* That’s something that was said by a church father named Ignatius. As the … Continue reading God uses crooked sticks
This week many people are mourning the death of Ravi Zacharias. He was a well-known apologist. An apologist is someone who is skilled at making a reasoned defense of something—in this case, Christianity. He had a sharp mind and a compassionate heart. Although I never met him, I’ve watched several of his videos and read … Continue reading Drowning in the oceans of pleasure?
The great artist Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling in the Vatican. It took several years and included 400 figures and 9 scenes! A friend noticed all the details Michelangelo was putting into the corners of the chapel ceiling—corners that were incredibly far away and therefore difficult for the naked eye to see. “No one … Continue reading Meaning in the minutia
In 2007 The Denver Post reported a story about a 22-foot statue of Jesus. During a storm, lighting struck and cut off Jesus’ hands and feet! The nuns who took care of it were asked if or when they could replace the hands and feet. They weren’t really sure since they relied on donations. Fair … Continue reading You complete the broken statue
Talking about the return of Jesus, the apostle Peter wrote, “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3:11-12). But what does it mean to be holy? Something that is holy is set apart; it is made for a special, … Continue reading Don’t shortchange your life
Yesterday I talked about being useful, and asked you this question: How can we be useful to Jesus as his hands and feet in a hurting world by being proactive about the well-being of others? Usefulness is the hands and feet of faithfulness. Sometimes these opportunities to be useful arise through specific initiatives or programs … Continue reading Simply showing up