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Showing posts from 2014

Faith of Jesus

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12 KJV)
This verse has been a staple of my religious diet since I was very young. This verse was drilled into my head repeatedly and was used to define my church's very identity. Yet at the same time this verse seemed to present and reenforce a nearly impossible demand for me, because if I failed to perfectly keep all of God's commandments and also work up enormous faith, maybe as much as Jesus demonstrated, then the chance of me being saved appeared to be rather shaky.
Recently my mind has been opened to many new things about God, truths that have eliminated many of my fears and apprehensions and have unlocked many things to my understanding that used to make little sense to me in the past. Even now as I read nearly anything in Scripture I can now see new and amazing things I could not appreciate before because my comprehension was so blinded by narrow, …

Heal Yourself

And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing." And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, "Is this not Joseph's son?" And He said to them, "No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.'" And He said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown." (Luke 4:21-24)
A prophet is a leader, a messenger, a person whom God uses to relay messages to people who are not listening well enough for Him to speak to them directly. A prophet takes words and thoughts from the divine and through a human intermediary passes them on using the language of the people and expressing God's thoughts in ways people might be able to understand.
A prophet is a leader, but he is supposed to be a leader of a kind very differe…

Receivers

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:16-19 NRSV)
As I happened across this passage this morning, something came out I had not noticed much before.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me ...to the poor ...to the captives ...to the blind ...to the oppressed
I have looked at this from different angles over the years, how Jesus came to minister in specific ways to our varying needs. But suddenly it occurred to me that maybe the reason the promise and hope this passage should brin…

Getting Real

As a followup to my previous letter regarding the 'why' questions that arise when we see unexplainable suffering, I now have to explore another why question. Why is it we are so afraid and reticent to allow our why questions to surface? What intimidates us from bringing our questions and doubts and fears and even our suppressed resentment to God? What is behind the fear that blocks us from even becoming honest with ourselves enough to be willing to allow our why questions the freedom of getting air time with ourselves and with God?
My response regarding the timing of facing our 'why' questions would be 'rather sooner than later.' I realize that there is a lot of fear involved in facing these 'why' questions which is exactly why we don't want to go there. But our fear is implicated as the very culprit that blocks us from growing in all our relationships, both with others around us as well as with God. Fear also allows lies to remain entrenched deep …

Dear John, if God is so good, then why...

I need to give just a little context for this post. Our dear friends John and Lauren Griswold with their three lovely children, Tyleigh, Noah and Atreyu, have suffered deeply over the past three years. First John broke his leg so badly after just putting on a pair of roller blades to enjoy some fun with his kids Christmas morning 3 years ago that it has never healed since that time. His suffering and pain has been intense this entire time which has unavoidably affect the entire family.
But to add more to the injury, a few weeks ago a bizarre accident occurred in which both he and Noah were smashed between their car and an out of control pickup truck in which the driver had just died of a heart attack. Noah suffered multiple breaks in his leg and hip but John's upper leg (the same one that was broken before in the lower part) was broken multiple times and his hip and pelvis were literally smashed to pieces.
He is now home in a wheelchair full of metal and screws trying …