My body shall rest in hope – Psalm 16:9   The Psalmist uses a powerful phrase for “my body”- bashri. This refers to the fleshly manifestation of life which we all see and with which we all interact. It is the clearest sign of the human person. The construction of this verse, combining the image of the body with the images of the intellect (heart) and life essence (presence), speaks to the core theology and philosophy of life with which the Psalmist worked. This combination echoes the Creation narrative, Genesis 2:7. God formed man, adam, and infused him with His Spirit, a life essence or spark. It is only through this combination, that of Spirit and physical form, that a “living person” is formed. Often, though unfairly and incompletely, this theology is contrasted to the Greek models of thought; holding that life is simply an entrapped soul. The Creation narrative is understood as depicting life as an animated form. While true in the broadest sense, this characterization only looks to half of theContinue reading »

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews Chapter 10, Verses 24-25 Ah, Sunday morning. There’s nothing like it – the luxury of sleeping in one more day, the pleasures of a leisurely breakfast and reading the paper in your robe . Fact is, it’s suspiciously luxurious. Think about it. Monday through Friday we work, coming home to more chores – dinner and homework and bath time – before we fall into bed exhausted to get ready to do it all over again the next day. When Saturday rolls around it’s another work day at home, time to catch up on household chores, yard work, grocery shopping and all the other things we let slide during the work week. Is it any surprise that on Sunday the last thing we want to do go to church? IContinue reading »

My heart is glad, my being rejoices and my body shall REST IN HOPE- Psalm 16:9 With this phrase, the Psalmist shows how refuge in the Lord impacts him, and all who believe, on a personal level. It is upon this statement of confident praise, that the entire Psalm turns. The Psalmist begins with a notice of the “holy ones, the ones who have been chosen for a special role in Salvation. It is a general comment of God’s action among the lives of humans. The Psalmist recognizes that the power of God moves through certain men. Although certain figures in Biblical history stand apart for their greatness and devotion, the Psalmist wants to reach out to every person who entered into Covenant with God. Every person is reached by the hand of God. God’s power is not reserved only for the “holy ones”, but extends to all of His people. God is the source of counsel and help to all people who keep Him before them. The Lord ofContinue reading »

When we compromise our values “just a little” we are opening the door just a crack, but all Satan needs is a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). If we are justifying our actions, even to ourselves, we already know we shouldn’t be proceeding on that path, but we do. What do I mean? Let’s take television, for example. I used to enjoy a very popular sitcom before my real conversion and the subsequent commencing of my sanctification. The ridiculous antics of the characters are extremely funny and entertaining. Good clean fun? Well, maybe not. Since the values portrayed and the actions performed are considered common practice in today’s world, I never considered this show to be “bad”. I don’t mean evil in the conniving and cunning sense, as in deliberate actions to lead astray; however, I would call it unholy. Among the dating mishaps and faux pas that add to the frivolity, is a healthy sprinkling of casual sex and frequently changing partners, even between members of the core group. Does calling this unholy surprise you or seemContinue reading »

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve – Matthew 4:10   It is striking that Jesus, who later asserts that he could call down twelve legions of angels to assist him at any time, chooses to face the temptations of the devil in the wilderness with nothing but the Word of God — which is the same, and only, weapon that we have against Satan’s temptations, as well.   It is as if Jesus is showing us just how powerful, just how effective, God’s Word is in the midst of spiritual battle, so that we will trust it’s strength for our own struggles. Jesus three times faces Satan’s three temptations by quoting the Bible. What other tool could we hope for than the very one Jesus himself wielded in times of personal temptation? But these verses do not just magically appear to our minds in the moment that we need them.Continue reading »

 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path – Proverbs 2:9 With all the new philosophy, technology, and insight that we have in our day, is this promise still relevant? You may be asking yourself, “Do I need to understand these things?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” You need to understand righteousness; you need to understand judgment and equity (justice). You see, these truths are not like Plato’s philosophy, or Shakespeare’s observations, or Isaac Newton’s theories. These truths are more like law of gravity; it never becomes irrelevant and always needs to be understood. If you do not understand what is right and wrong, what is good and bad, how to make wise decisions, what is fair and equitable — then you will be like the person jumping off a building that does not understand the law of gravity. Thinking you are too enlightened or educated for “that nonsense” will not keep you from crashing to the ground. Similarly, if you do not understandContinue reading »

Hope is one of the “theological virtues” of which, along with Faith and Love, Paul writes (1 Corinthians 13:13). Hope has a unique nature. Faith is displayed with fiery commitment and love manifests in selfless affection for another. Hope is a quality, or virtue, that has a steadfast nature. Hope sustains Faith and Love, despite adversity and persecutions. It is truly the anchor upon which we can rest and draw strength (Hebrews 6:18-19). The New Testament uses the Greek term “elpis”, which means much more than mere “expectation”. It entails patience and perseverance. It calls for TRUST in the Word of God and the message of Christ. The Word of God is a living entity, reflecting the power and personality of God Himself; that which guides humankind toward Salvation. This trust was seen in bold relief on the Cross. Jesus endured hours of pain and misery, in a horrific form of execution. He called out to the Father, “My god, My God, why have you forsaken me”, not as aContinue reading »

The story goes that once two friends were walking through a busy shopping street. The first one was a real lover of nature and at one point he suddenly stopped his friend and told him: “Listen…Do you hear that?” “Hear what?” His friend was not impressed. All he could hear was the noise of honking cars and the hubbub of the street. “A cricket” said the nature lover. “There is a cricket here somewhere.” “How can you possibly hear a cricket in the midst of all this racket?” wondered his friend. “Impossible.” But then the nature lover walked up to a bench and spotted a leaf right next to it. And there, right under the leaf was a tiny cricket, crisping his merry sound. “You see,” said the man. “My ears are focused on nature sounds. Every man always hears what he really wants to hear. That’s why I heard the cricket and you didn’t.” To illustrate his point he took a coin and threw it away on the street.Continue reading »

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV). Years ago, our sons Elijah, Luke and Gabriel loved it when their dad (Lee) came home from work and took them hiking through the woods near our home. As toddlers, the children tuckered-out easily and begged, “Daddy carry me, daddy please?” Gladly, he picked up Luke and held him in one arm and Gabriel in the other; but the oldest little guy Elijah walked alongside. Sashaying happily, Elijah often fell down; then repeated the process. I recall watching Lee as he patiently waited for Elijah to stand upright and begin following again. Sweet remembrances like those linger in my mind and when they do I think of our heavenly Father. I’m grateful we have a long-suffering Abba-Daddy who stands by in attendance, keeping watch as we stumble through life. To be honest, we need to humble ourselves quiteContinue reading »

There once was an old farmer who was carrying a huge sack of potatoes on his back. The poor man almost collapsed under the weight and it was a sorry sight. Somebody who passed by with a sturdy horse-drawn wagon had compassion on the old man and offered him a ride. “Hey old timer…Wanna jump on? Hate to see you struggling like that.” The old farmer was thankful and with some difficulty he climbed up on the wagon. When he was finally seated he smiled broadly. “Thank you, Sir, for helping me out like that. That’s awfully kind of you.” But the heavy back of potatoes remained firmly on his sagging shoulders. Sweat trickled down his face and a weary sigh escaped his mouth. “Hey old man…Put those potatoes down. There’s no need for you to carry that load.” The driver of the wagon did not understand why the farmer kept that heavy bag on his shoulders. “Of course I amContinue reading »