Why would I believe in Jesus? After all, there are so many religions and philosophies and they all claim to have the answer, so why Christianity? Isn’t it just another religion? I was talking to a young man who was adamant in his conviction that Christians were narrow-minded and should be much more tolerant of other religions and philosophies. He shook his head and wondered, “Don’t you know that all roads lead to Rome?” Why Christians are so easily being branded as intolerant is a bit puzzling, as Jesus Himself reached out to everybody and never excluded anybody. He has commanded us clearly to do the same, regardless of race, color or worldview. When Jesus said to love your neighbor, He meant everyone we come in contact with. But this statement that all roads lead to Rome demands further investigation. Are there really so many different religions? It may seem that way, but in essence, there are only two religions. Only two; come on, you must know better than that?Continue reading »

The dynamics of the totality of the Trinity are very hard to understand. The mind cannot fully grasp or understand the concept no matter how hard one tries. This is, perhaps, intentional on the part of God, or simply beyond our human intelligence in this fallen state. Either way, someday we will know all things, this included. Paul said, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV). But for now, we must be content with the mystery, accepting that things we cannot dissect as God’s plan and accept this in faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Of course being unable to grasp this concept fully does not deter us from trying. The concept of the Trinity becomes a stumbling block on the way to the faith for many, again, I believe, intentionally. If you cannotContinue reading »

We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12 (The Message) God and His actions (and seemingly inactions), sometimes, are hard to understand. Why is one healed and another dies? Why do our fervent prayers go unanswered? Why does God delay? Our minds struggle to understand. But if we know it all, where does faith come into play? If we insist on knowing the why of God’s actions, we will never reach the level of complete faith in Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seekContinue reading »

Writer George Bernard Shaw once offered some advice at the threshold of the New Year. He said: “What life is all about? It’s about having a goal; an ideal. Your life must have purpose and a dream. There must be something that makes you get up in the morning; something that takes everything out of you and that burns within you. Then you will be a positive force in this world. Then you move things and you will no longer just be a piece of mud in the mire that complains and murmurs because the world doesn’t seem to be concerned about your personal happiness.” As children of the King we have such a goal. Because of Jesus, our lives are filled with meaning and excitement. One moment with the Savior and everything sparkles and shines. And now we are standing with Jesus on the mountain top of the old year and look back at the year that is past. Our eyes scan the old dusty roads that we travelledContinue reading »

The Message is a paraphrase that, much like The Amplified Bible, shines a light on scripture in a new and fresh way – opening our eyes to see new insights we hadn’t before. I know some people don’t agree that the Message is appropriate, and I personally don’t think it is necessarily good for in-depth study, but I believe that anything that brings you closer to God – that helps you understand scripture more – is a useful tool. To me, The Message is like unto books, such as those by Max Lucado, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, and others. It takes concepts of scripture and expounds upon them in a way that we may not have thought of, but boosts our love for, and understanding of, God’s Word. Do not call common what God has called holy. I have read both the NIV & the New Living Translation and I know how it feels when God’s Holy Spirit moves and reveals Himself, and I feel that when I read TheContinue reading »

Fame, influence…money; they are often the things that are highly sought after in this world. A good name is important and life in this world can get awfully complicated if we don’t have the money to do what we feel called to do. And yet, these things are not what life is all about. If self, money or power become the driving force in our lives, rather than God, we may end up on spiritual skid row and learn what real poverty is all about. *** There is an anecdote about Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr and his sense of values during the Second World War. The general was sitting with a friend at an airport, waiting for his connecting flight. While they were waiting a weary soldier appeared at the counter, requesting a ticket on wat happened to be the same plane as Roosevelt and his friend. “Sorry Buddy, no place. You’ll have to wait.” “But I am going to see my mother, before I am being shipped overseas.”Continue reading »

Jesus paid the price for sin, once for all. He was the perfect lamb without spot or blemish, and therefore worthy to carry all sin to the pit, and to declare that we are free from sin’s dominion. But what about those who refuse to believe? They are still carrying their sin, because they won’t lay it down. They won’t lay it down because of pride; they would rather carry their sin than admit they are a sinner in need of a savior. Forgiveness is available to all, but not all will admit guilt. It’s the doctrine of “good enough.” “I’m good enough, I don’t need a savior.” No one is more lost than the man who refuses to see his own guilt, and he will carry his guilt all the way to the grave, where all hope is gone, where it’s too late to turn back. But why? Jesus said of Jerusalem, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks underContinue reading »

A good friend recently passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He and his family are Christians, but some of his dearest friends are not. During his last days, when he knew his time was short, this weighed heavily on his mind, the question of eternity – eternity separated from God, eternal death “where the worms that eat them never die, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:48) Our pastor spoke about this as he gave his message at the memorial service. He told how this man had shared with him his concerns and the names of those on his heart. Pastor said, “Some of them are here, and I could call names, but I won’t.” At the close of the service, Pastor made a passionate plea to those who knew they were not right with God, speaking of this man’s dying wish that they would come to know Christ. He asked for those to make a bold statement and stand up as witnesses to theirContinue reading »

I stumbled across a song written by a performer known for his comedic songs. Ray Stevens wrote a song about another singer and called it I Need Your Help Barry Manilow. Here are some of the words: I need your help Barry Manilow I’m miserable and I don’t know what to do Sing me a song, sing it sad and low No one knows how to suffer quite like you I need your help, Barry Manilow I’m all alone and sitting on a shelf Sing me a song, sing it sad and low I feel like feeling sorry for myself I need your help, Barry Manilow Your songs can really comfort the unlucky Sing me a song, sing it sad and low I wish I didn’t have to feel so yucky!!! I heard a saying once, “Some days you eat bear; some days the bear eats you. (Maybe in ancient times, it would have been a dinosaur instead of a bear.) It’s the days when the dinosaur eats you whenContinue reading »

“They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, found the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage”. – Matthew 2:10-11 The “magi”, wise men or astrologers, followed what they thought was a new star to the house where Jesus was born. In reality, this was an uncommon configuration of planets- as many modern scholars have verified. The “star” seemed fixed over Bethlehem, something that caught the attention of these early scientists who charted the movements of celestial bodies. They appear after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 2:1), not on the day of the birth. This is celebrated as the Epiphany and is remembered on January 6, often called “Little Christmas”. This time lapse is also the inspiration for the well-known song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Matthew focuses on the visit of these three men. The reason for this focus is the theology of the wondrous birth that Matthew wants to reveal. As seen throughout his powerful Gospel, Matthew sees Jesus as theContinue reading »

The book of Esther is one of my favorite books in the Bible. Isn’t it striking that God’s name isn’t mentioned in the entire book, but His presence is so obviously there in the content? Esther was a virtuous woman who obtained “favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.” — Esther 2:15 – KJV. Primarily, the chain of events with Esther evolved when King Ahasuerus’ wife, Vashti refused to come when summoned by her husband, the king – Esther 1:12. Ahasuerus’ anger led to the search for a “replacement” queen. Enter Esther and subsequently an entire class of people escaped destruction. The unfolding of events resulted in actions that proved epic in power, victory and impact. I love the character of Esther’s cousin, Mordecai. He was indeed a proven man of thoroughbred character. His love, valor and confidence is evident throughout the account in the book of Esther. Mordecai displayed no fear of Haman; he faithfully stood his ground with rock solid conviction. Mordecai repeatedly refusedContinue reading »