Multi-Level Disasters? Mother-in-Law Debates? Maple-Lemon Duck Sauce?
Acronyms develop when something appears so often that it calls for a more efficient name. No need for, “Repondez s’il vous plait.” Just write, “R.S.V.P.” Same with A.M., P.M., B.C., A.D., P.S., ASAP, B.Y.O.B and many more.
I’ve decided to coin an acronym: M.L.D. stands for Major Life Disappointment. I’ve decided it’s long overdue we talk about them, and officialize while taming them a bit, as acronyms tend to do. A case in point: A.D.D. [...]
If you were a high school student in the United States any time in the last 100 years, you were probably assigned the reading of a sermon preached in 1741 by Jonathan Edwards, called “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It’s not a warm and fuzzy, feel-good sermon. Edwards describes God as angry and anxious to dole out justice to all who deserve it.
“So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, [...]
In Numbers 21:1-9 God has Moses set a brass serpent on a pole so that if anybody was bitten by a serpent, they could look at this serpent on a pole and be healed. Now as real and literal as this serpent was it was only symbolic. There was no magic in the brass or the pole.
Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com
This brass serpent was to point forward to Jesus who would become sin for us and die for [...]
Where is the most holy place? Is it a building on earth or in heaven? Or is it somewhere else?
Image © Phil McKay from GoodSalt.com
While I was a child living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a tornado hit the surrounding area where I lived. Among the destruction was a Methodist church. That night on the news, I remember the Methodist pastor, saying in an interview, “The building has been destroyed but the church is just fine.” The pastor realized the church [...]
The term “sanctuary” comes from the Hebrew “miqdash” and means “sacred place, sanctuary, holy place” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance H4720). It has the sense of being holy – something above the common or something consecrated. It is a term that is strongly associated with the word to sanctify which in its most basic sense simply means “to set apart.” So the sanctuary is a place that is set apart for a particular purpose and, in this case, for God’s specific purpose.
I received a tortured call one evening. “Horrible things are happening, my life is coming unraveled,” the caller said, spilling out a litany of disasters that tangled financial loss, physical illness, family estrangement, and psychological despair.
Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com
“Your addiction is catching up with you,” I said. The dialog between the two of us had been protracted, painful and interspersed with angry telephone clicks when my frankness offended him. Now he wept brokenly.
“You must get help.”
Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com
There is a trick question I love to ask people. What was the tallest mountain in the world before Mount Everest was discovered? I get all kinds of answers, like “Mount McKinley “and so forth, but you know what the answer is? Mount Everest!
Mount Everest was the tallest mountain in the world (Now I know a lot of geography buffs are going to tell me there are even taller mountains in the depths of [...]
One Sabbath afternoon I received a phone call from the mother of a child I had corrected earlier at church, who had smarted off to me, when I told her to stay out of a room that was off-limits. The mother told me, “My daughter wants to tell you she is sorry, but before she gets on the phone, I wanted to ask you, when she says she is sorry, don’t tell her it is okay. Just tell her she [...]
Have you ever noticed that humans, as a group, tend to be extremely superficial and shallow? We expend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy making sure that we look a certain way – wear particular brands of clothes and shoes, dye our hair, even have surgery. We go to great lengths to change our outsides … but do almost nothing to change what really matters.
Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com
Even back in Jesus’ day, folks gave more attention [...]
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV)
A few years ago I had baptismal studies with an elderly man named Oscar. He had just come to the United States from Guam but was actually already a U.S. citizen before ever stepping on American soil. Guam has its own government, [...]