Part One I have little patience for debates over inconsequential matters. Too many debates on the Internet come down to questions with all the relevance of, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” At first blush, the question of whether we need to thank God for everything or in everything seems to be nitpicking about a single word. As I wrote in the previous article, we are called to thank God in every circumstance but not necessarily to thank him for literally everything that happens to us. The difference between the two is far from trivial. There are four pastoral and/orRead More →

Here is my obligatory denunciation of racism, and all other forms of prejudice for that matter, left as I first wrote it at sixteen. Note as a teenager I was warning us all to beware of our own prejudices first and foremost. Change begins with ourselves. Warning! Hi! My name is prejudice You better beware of me. Because I come in every shape And any size, you see. You can never be exactly sure Who I am or where I’ll be. Red, black, white, or polka dots It matters not to me. As long as I’m causing irrational fear And panic, I’m as happy asRead More →

Brothers and sisters in Christ, forgiveness is plentiful and free. Grace and mercy are equally extended from the Lord to all. All we must do to receive it is humbly acknowledge we need it. As God’s children, we all know this well. So why do we ever pridefully insist God is wrong and any number of pet sins are right actions for us? Look at the machines we have made. What computer program would dare say to its coder, “You have coded me wrong. I will ignore your instructions and do what is right in my own eyes”? Today’s machines have no ability to disobeyRead More →

“If you feel someone is judging you, feel free to judge them back and punish them until your wrath has been fully satisfied.” These words do not appear anywhere in the Bible. Yet how often do we, God’s people, behave like God said that? Who among us has never responded tit for perceived tat? We may do this based on assumptions founded on past experience or based on how we felt in response to something someone said. To begin with, the past isn’t a reliable predictor of the present and future, and the hurt we feel in response to someone’s words isn’t an innately reliableRead More →

If you haven’t read the modern parable the title alludes to, it’s here: What Are You Hanging Onto? Would you ever look at a sobbing child who is being bullied at school and yell at her for crying, telling her that’s why no one likes her? Would you ever say those words to a child you love dearly and have authority over? A child who respects you and looks to you for guidance, protection, and comfort? I was that sobbing child. The person who uttered those words never remembers saying and doing such hurtful things, but those words were uttered, for they burned deep into myRead More →