“Now the thing I said that concerns me – and I include myself in this – is that we more naturally relate, more naturally react to, the conditions of the Old Covenant than we do the New Covenant.  Let me see if you agree:  when you commit a sin, how many of you feel ugh! about…

Thankfulness. It’s one of those open-ended descriptions that can start with a toddler’s pet kitten, expand to being the next $10,000-a-week-winner at Publisher’s Clearinghouse, or stay as simplistic as realizing God has freely bestowed His favor on us, no string attached, as an act of profound encouragement and love. Scripture touts the many benefits of…

First days of school are tough, especially if you have changed neighborhoods over the summer and are starting in a new school, mapping out and exploring an unknown territory of classrooms and lockers.  Old friends are far removed.  The anticipation of “starting fresh” is dampened by the reality that it’s “starting fresh…alone.” One of my…

(This is the last point from Pastor Larry McKnight’s 8/16 teaching) Part Four:  Articulating a Gospel of Reconciliation   “My first attempt at articulating the gospel sums up in this point: Every person was reconciled to the Father by Jesus work on the Cross-His death. We are called to believe that-literally to believe Him; the one sent from God….

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” (Mark 1:35, NASB) “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”  (Luke5:16, NASB) Have you ever wished that Jesus had volunteered the details of those…

I’ve learned something about adding water to outdoor hanging flowers:  they are either terribly dry, or soaking wet.  And the soaking-wet stage does not last very long, as the elements of wind and sun cause a 360-degree, 24-hour cycle of evaporation. When I thought about this, I saw a parallel of sorts:   each of us…

Earlier this week, I unexpectedly stumbled onto a blog which described a scenario that was positively frightening:  “This present state of helplessness and great concern has now finally engulfed the hearts of those Americans who had once clung onto optimistic appraisals and hopes.  They have now finally come to understand that the very hour in…

I was stunned by a convergence of personal learning and national events, last week. First, the personal learning:  the resilience of the Lodgepole pine tree, especially in regards to its survival after a devastating forest fire.   My “Outdoor Family Guide” to the Grand Teton/Yellowstone area had this to say:  “Lodgepole are specially adapted to fire;…

Are you functional….or do you function? That’s an awkwardly phrased question.  I admit it.  When defined as a noun, Merriam-webster online describes “function” as a “professional or official position,” and I suspect that is where most of us live our lives, that is the boundary around which we set expectations and interactions. But I think God’s heart is…

Crucible.  Is it a word you recognize? Merriam-webster.com defines “crucible” in three variations:  “a pot in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted; a difficult test or challenge; a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions.”  The word has no form for either…

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