“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) Christianity is more than a mere list of dos and don’ts. God does have boundaries, and we do reap the consequences of our actions here on earth. But when we become wrathful, angry, bitter, and slanderous in how we respond to the mote in our brother’s eye, we need to get the beam out of our own, because those are the works of the flesh and as poisonous to us as what we are attempting to correct in others–in some cases, more so even. Let our kindness andRead More →

If you’re looking for Esther and having a hard time of finding it, don’t feel so bad. It’s all of 4 chapters. Find Psalms and go left two books. The book of Esther is read in Jewish homes at Purim, which celebrates the survival of the events in Esther. Now, to do this properly, you need to remember that you should hiss whenever the name of the bad guy comes up (Haman. Hissss)1. Okay. Now that you’re prepared, let’s dive in. There was much argument about whether the book of Esther should be included in the canon. There’s no mention of God anywhere in theRead More →

An internet meme of unknown-to-me origin, if it came from a Christian, puts its foot in its mouth with this “clever” zinger of a sound byte: “Grace didn’t save Noah, …obedience did.” At best, this is a half-truth (and a half-truth is usually dangerous.) Hebrews 10:38 tells “Now the just shall live by faith;” and HE 11:7 continues, “By faith Noah . . . prepared an ark for the saving of his household.” And Genesis 6:8 (KJV) says “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Thanks to Alice Spencer for supplying me that verse.) Walking in faith does mean obeying God, butRead More →

A revised reprint of a timeless article from May 11, 2007.   The Church is a family, not a daycare. Yet many churches say “when you’re here, you’re family” à la the Olive Garden. While we focus on numbers like a business, some in our churches today have been raised in church their whole lives and still have little understanding of the gospel. The surrounding culture says, “there are no absolute boundaries of right and wrong. We each get to create our own, and all of our contradicting boundaries are valid as long as we’re each doing what is right for us.” How should we respond in theRead More →

The poised, young professional woman in white came boldly before the throne of God, dragging alongside her a battered, bruised little girl in filthy rags. “Lord, I’m surrendering this to you, my broken, wounded heart. I caught her running away from you and thinking wrong things again, so I’ve taken her captive, brought her back, and am presenting her to you again. I know she’s not much, but she’s all I have to offer, and I trust by faith she is enough. I have so much to do for you, and so little time, so I won’t keep you long. Amen.” With that, the professionalRead More →