Has modern technology removed the need for sacrifice? Now everyone can have their own way. When I was growing up back in the 20th century, my family had one black and white TV. On Monday nights, at our house we had to make compromises.
Jim and his wife Plessie, who knew you can’t have paradise without sacrifice.
My dad and me missed the first hour of Monday Night Football so that my mom and sister could watch Little House on the [...]
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 [...]
We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain this year, with five inches just last Friday. When I was driving in the pouring rain with the grandchildren, I told them we needed a boat, as every now and then, the water splashed up 20 feet or so on either side of the van. When the sun came out the next day, we saw washed-out driveways and big pot holes where the rain had washed away parts of roads. It [...]
I have found that there are some important topics that nobody wants to talk about. I went to all my regular websites and found an entire category suspiciously missing. It goes by several names – temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control, balance …
Part of my problem, I think, is that a couple of those terms have taken on very specific meanings even though they can be applied in lots of different situations.
Temperance, for example, has come to be used almost exclusively in relation [...]
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 [...]
This week’s Sabbath School lesson is about Hosea and the relentless love of God. For me, one of the key verses is Hosea 2:14,
But then I will win her back once again.
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her there.
I am so thankful for parents who understand this. I wish all parents understood this is the way to win their children’s loyalty to God and to themselves.
Several years ago I was preaching for Father’s Day, and I had a few people, [...]
Test your knowledge. Put your hand over the screen and guess the three most common mental disorders in the US.
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
They are, in order, with lifetime prevalence rates: Anxiety disorders (about 18%), mood disorders (about 10%), and ADHD (about 5%).
It might come as a surprise that anxiety rates higher than depression. Actually, anxiety diagnoses multiply like rabbits in the Diagnostic Manual put out by the American Psychiatric Association. Here are the primary ones: acute stress [...]
It must have been fall when she first heard him sing, because she remembers how his tenor soared among the fiery maple leaves one hundred feet above ground as she sat by her window. It made her breath come in gasps, as if she was doing the singing. She saw him from a distance many times, but they conversed only shyly in small bites, like sparrows pecking at morsels of maybe. Then came the moment he told her he had [...]
In the late 1860s in the United States, shortly after the Civil War, which abolished slavery, a former slave owner is loading sacks of vegetables onto his wagon near the town square. Across the street he sees his former slave and yells out to him, “Get over here and load these bags onto my wagon now, boy!”
Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com
The former slave, with flashbacks of being beaten and abused for disobeying orders in the past, runs over [...]
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com
Soviet Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, the author of Tortured for Christ, suffered terribly for the Lord. Yet he said that even while in prison, he saw fellow Soviet believers practice generous giving. “When we were given one slice of bread a week and dirty soap every day, we decided [...]
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
Many of us became Christians for childish reasons. We just wanted to go to heaven. That is okay. Jesus tells us to come as children, but He does not tell us to stay like children. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of [...]
My friend Harold called me about a month ago, asking, “Can you come speak on marriage at our church retreat? We have so many couples in crisis!”
H’mm, I thought. I enjoy public speaking. The date is open. I can promote my latest book. It’s a great opportunity to share God’s love. Everything checked out perfectly. But even while my mouth formed a “Yes,” my stomach churned a “No!” in the fearful defiance of a child being forced to shake hands [...]
Image © Jack Pardue from GoodSalt.com
Introduction: Do you know anyone who seems to have lived a holy life? What was that person like? When you saw that person, did you wish more than anything that you could be holy like him or her? To be honest, how many of us live perfect, holy lives every wakeful minute? What are the consequences of living less than a life of holiness? Does that frighten you? Should it? Why or why not?
[Thought Questions for Living Holy [...]
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
Years before ever becoming, or even thinking about becoming a Bible Worker myself, I found myself on a church softball team, captained by the new local Bible Worker. I failed to eat breakfast before running off to play. Not too bright. In the middle of the game, I began to get dizzy and lightheaded. My team was up to bat when I pretty much blacked out. I was sitting right next to the Bible [...]
Why do we do what we do? What motivates any of us to do anything?
People are trying to motivate us to do things all the time. They want us to spend our money at their stores. They want us to buy their product or drive their car. Teachers try to motivate their students to study and do their work. Bosses try to motivate their employees to work hard. Parents want to motivate their children to behave.
Image © Standard Publishing [...]