And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
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When the story of the birth of Jesus is told, the innkeeper often gets a bum wrap. How could you not have room for a pregnant lady? How could you not have room for the Son of God! Wait a minute. The innkeeper did [...]
I don’t know about where you live, but where I live it seems like a lot of people are feeling pretty hopeless about their futures.
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Everywhere they look bad things are happening, and they don’t feel like they have any control over their own lives and their own futures.
According to Tara Parker-Pope of the The New York Times (May 2013), “suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade.” Here are the [...]
While I became a literature evangelist in 1990, it just occurred to me, that it has now been 20 years since I first became a Bible Worker in the Owasso-Claremore district of the Oklahoma Seventh-day Adventist Conference in 1993. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and through the baptisteries since then, and over time I would like to share some of my experiences over the last twenty years. Tonight, I would like to begin with a list of twenty things I have learned in twenty [...]
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14, NIV
The Bible was written at a time when society was primarily agrarian. Prophets spoke in terms the people could relate to. Images of farm and field were easily understood, because these were snapshots of daily life. The seasons of the year revolved around planting and the gestation cycles of livestock, and daily activities often focused on the feeding and care of animals. The shepherd [...]
“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’” Zechariah 7:9-10, NIV
An oft-recurring theme with the Minor Prophets and echoed again with Zechariah is the plight of the oppressed. Strangely, it is not the foreigners that Zechariah is accusing of this crime. It is God’s chosen people, the Jews. Today’s parallel might [...]
Daytona Beach sunrise.
In the late fall of 2006 I bought a brand new car. A few days later, or nights actually, I lay in my bed wide awake. I glanced at the clock as it read 4 AM. Then the idea hit me. If I jump in my brand-new car right now, I can travel across Florida to the east coast in time to watch the sun rise. I had seen several sunsets on the west coast where I [...]
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If you don’t understand this cultural reference, it’s from the movie, The Karate Kid. The main character in the movie is a teenage boy, Daniel who has just moved to town and is getting bullied. In order to stop it, he wants to learn karate. He meets up with the manager of his apartment building, Mr. Miyage, who agrees to teach him. One requirement of this agreement is that Daniel must obey Mr. Miyage’s [...]
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To me, the biggest lie out of the Dark Ages is not that Sabbath was changed to Sunday, or that when you die you go straight to heaven. To me, no lie distorts the character of my loving heavenly father like the lie that sinners will be tormented throughout the endless ages of eternity. Fact is:
It is no arbitrary decree on the part of God that excludes the wicked from heaven; they are shut [...]
Many of us, especially in “First World” societies, devote a considerable amount of time, money, and energy to discover and maintain some reason to be on this planet. In fact, a few years ago, California state legislator, John Vasconcellos, put together a task force to promote self-esteem (a feeling of significance) for the school children of California.
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While that sounds like a really great idea, in actual practice what has happened is that people who [...]
“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:4, NIV
Very old ruins have held a romantic fascination for me. When I walk beside the ruined walls, I wonder what stories could they tell of lives lived long ago. What hopes and dreams did the people who built them have? What tragedies might they have witnessed? Were the lives of those ancient folk mundane with routine and boredom? [...]