What Makes My Country and My Church Strong
avatar

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

In my almost 50 years, I have seen leaders of my country come and go. Some were called good, some were called bad. There have been some fierce debates over whether or not certain leaders were good or bad.

Still my country remains strong. You know why I think that is? While some leaders are good and others not so good, I believe it is the common citizen who keeps my country strong.

Leaders may compromise [...]

Eager to Forgive (Jonah)
avatar

multi-ethnic_people

“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35, NIV

As human beings, we can come to understand our relationship to God in terms of familiar bonds. We can see that we are God’s children by virtue of the biblical account of the Creation Story.1 Although God did not bear us in the womb and [...]

And Justice for SOME
avatar

We humans are a funny bunch. We love to talk about fairness and justice and everybody getting what they deserve – just as long as we get to decide just what that means.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Jonah is a prime example. God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell the folks there that if they don’t make some big changes, He’s going to destroy the whole place. Jonah’s response is to hop on a ship going as far [...]

Lord of All Nations (Amos)
avatar

famine

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7 NIV

It is a sad reality that in this world, many [...]

Who Will Wipe the Tears From God’s Eyes?
avatar

Image © Justinen Creative from GoodSalt.com

“ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’ ” ( Revelation 21:4, NKJV).

Image © Justinen Creative from GoodSalt.com

As I read the key verse in this week’s SS lesson, I pause and ask myself, who will wipe the tears from God’s eyes? People say there will be no crying in heaven, but obviously [...]

The Courage to Love
avatar

exclusionsmall

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-10, NIV

The problem of how the church should relate to the world has existed from the beginning and has continuously struggled for resolution. Two conflicting viewpoints are illustrative regarding this tension. On the one hand, the [...]

A Tale of Two Churches
avatar

fortress

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” Revelation 12:1, NIV

Revelation’s beautiful image of the church is easy to love. It is the image God shares with the Apostle John on the island of Patmos. God loves His church and clothes it with His grace. He has granted to the church the tremendous blessing of proclaiming His grace to the world. This does not [...]

Conspiracy Theories or Prophetic Facts?
avatar

jennifer-rainier

All serious-minded people experience, at some point in their lives, something like the following: After a nice social event—perhaps a dinner with guests—a discussion begins. The sad state of the world and current events provide common ground at first. Before long, someone begins to speak more—much more—than anyone else. The one-time social visit turns into a monologue before an unwitting audience. It becomes clear that this person has done his or her share of reading on conspiracy theories, and so [...]

How Do We Know What’s Really Real?
avatar

Conner Baptism 002

I began collecting baseball cards when I was 11, and Topps was the only baseball card company.  Soon after that, Donrus and Fleer joined the baseball card-making industry. In order to compete with the unwelcome newbies in the market, Topps started printing on their baseball card packages, “The Real Ones!” Even at 11, I knew Topp’s claim to be the only “real” baseball card company was nothing more than a mind game. Regardless of the company, they were all pictures [...]

Comfortable Lies — Uneasy Truths
avatar

Image © Ain Vares from GoodSalt.com

Which would you rather hear? Be honest now. Wouldn’t you rather hear that your new haircut makes you look 10 years younger rather than that it makes your ears look really, really huge? Think back to when you were dating – when you first introduced someone you’d met to your friends, you wanted to hear how perfect you were for each other.

Image © Ain Vares from GoodSalt.com

You see a used car that you’re interested in buying. You know, of [...]