“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 [...]
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.
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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 [...]
Al Lang Field is one of the old spring training fields in St. Petersburg Florida. It is one of the places where Babe Dahlgren probably played.
Babe Dahlgren was enjoying the off season after winning the 1939 World Series with the New York Yankees baseball club. Back home in San Francisco he decided to meet with a local batting instructor for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League to get some friendly tips. When he re-joined the Yankees [...]
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“I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.” Amos 5:21-23
Prophets have a hard job. God tells them what to say, and then they have [...]
“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 [...]
As this week’s lesson talks about acts of inhumanity being sins against God, I would like to write about acts of humanity.
Taking a walk in Texas, I came across a beautiful patch of Texas Blue Bonnet flowers and Indian Paint Brushes. Among the flowers I saw some litter. I thought to myself, as ugly as sin has made this world, God still has His beautiful flowers for all to enjoy among the litter.
Not long after the New York World Trade [...]
My father was a sculptor. His medium of choice was wood. He was also one of the most patient men in the world. Anybody who asked for a lesson would immediately find themselves situated behind a fresh piece of wood, holding a chisel.
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The very first thing my father would tell everyone is, “Always cut away from yourself.” And everyone would smile, nod and think to themselves, “Well of course, everybody knows that.”
The lesson [...]
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The truth is, almost every single one of us knows that we need to change at least one specific behavior because it is harmful. Maybe it’s smoking, drinking, over-eating, or maybe it’s not exercising. Whatever the behavior is, we know, usually without any doubt, where that behavior will lead, and yet, we continue along our current path.
It’s not because we don’t know the consequences, right? Can any of us say that we don’t know [...]
It’s that time of year when the leaves spring back onto barren trees and flowers bloom back to life. Every spring reminds me of the second coming and resurrection. I believe God lets everything die in the winter and come back in the spring to demonstrate for us His re-creation and resurrection power. Just as sure as the trees that seem to die in the fall have new life in the spring, we can be sure our sleeping loved ones [...]
“Forgiving the unforgivable is hard. So was the cross: hard words,
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hard wood, hard nails.”
William S. Stoddard
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
You probably remember a man named Ted Kaczynski – the Unabomber. He’s the man who used to send mail bombs to people he didn’t like. He’s been in jail now for many years, but this week I read something I [...]