Does Gideon’s Fleece System Still Work?
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Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com

In my personal devotions this morning, I read,

Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” Judges 6:36-37 NLT

Image © Erik [...]

The Arrow of Prayer
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It was a simple question: “What are you doing here?” Standing in a cave after fleeing for his life, Elijah recounts the lament of his soul. His recent conquests for God appear to have taken a turn for the worse. Feeling alone and confused, this man of great experience, has all but given up and resigned himself to defeat. Elijah is in a crisis and he needs a word from the Lord.

Instructed to stand on the mount to hear from [...]

Prayer: Give Me or Take Me?
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God needs our hand to use for service

I have had the opportunity to observe Buddhist culture a couple of occasions when I have taught college courses in Thailand. The overtness of Buddhist devotion was something new to me. It was not uncommon to encounter a shrine to Buddha where people were praying, chanting, and offering incense, or rubbing gold leaf onto an image.

Buddhist temples are colourful and interesting cultural icons, standing out in the landscape. My Thai friends would [...]

The Last Prayer of Woodrow Hill
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Woodrow and Jean Hill

Woodrow and Jean Hill

Last November I lost a dear patriarch from my church, and friend, Woodrow (Woody) Hill who passed away at 95. I had been a friend of Woody and his wife Jean for ten years.

Woody was a man of God and always had a cheerful smile, even when I visited him at the hospital or met him delivering bread to the church community service center.

Woody’s stepdaughter said he became her daddy when she was 12, and that [...]

Once Upon a Time – Telling Stories That Teach
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/prcas2569.html?r=ssnet

I love a good story, don’t you?

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Storytelling is a distinctly human trait. No matter how proficiently animals like dolphins, apes and some birds can communicate with us, they don’t care about stories. People, on the other hand, seem to be born craving stories. Think about the child at bedtime: “One more story, Mommy! Just one more.”

As we move through our lives, we find stories almost everywhere – books, movies, TV shows, music, even commercials tell [...]

Beyond the Metaphors – Ultimate Sacrifice
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/pppas0578.html?r=ssnet

In 2006, a gunman walked into an Amish school. The teacher ran for help, and 13-year old Marian Fisher realized help would not arrive before the gunman started shooting. To buy time for the other students, this young girl told the gunman, “shoot me first.”  This young girl was prepared to make a sacrifice that a few older men on the Titanic shied away from. She made a great sacrifice as Jesus said,

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Greater love [...]

Filling the Empty Chair
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/lwjas0112.html?r=ssnet

Maybe you’ve experienced something like this: You are talking with someone when suddenly they openly yawn and look at their watch. How did you interpret those actions? Can you remember how you felt at that moment? Were you hurt? insulted? enraged? How did you react? How do you wish you had reacted?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

What about this: You’re discussing ideas with a colleague and while you’re speaking, you think you see them just barely roll their eyes [...]

Discipling or Cloning?
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Oct. 4 006

While living in Texas I was taking a Texas history class at a community college. In writing a paper for class, I mentioned a political figure who was assassinated. I contrasted the pomp and circumstance of his funeral with the plain funeral of the man who killed him and was killed shortly after. I pointed out in my paper that, humanly speaking, the political figure was not any more of a saint than the man who killed him, yet he [...]

Crime and Punishment
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8:11 NLT

Several years ago I was studying with a family, while the wife’s father had a stroke and was in the hospital. I went to see him and arrived literally moments after he had passed away. The family asked me to join them in the family room as they met with doctors. A son said he probably would not have died if they would [...]

Porcupines In Church
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/stdas0489.html?r=ssnet

What? You say you’ve never met a porcupine? I’ll bet you have. In fact, you may be one yourself. I’m pretty sure I am.

“The German philosopher Schopenhauer compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, ‘The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night [...]