God puts people on our hearts to pray for and to come alongside as Aaron and Hur did for Moses during the battle between the Amalekites and the Israelite army led by Joshua in Exodus chapter 17. The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. 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 »

Face it, church can be dull and boring for a generation that has grown up with flashy entertainment and constant ad campaigns promising services and products that will bring fun! fun! fun! Then add to that those who grew up with the fast-paced Bill Nye the Science Guy and watch today’s Red Zone from the NFL Network. Images are constantly changing in such a way that if it were possible, the conscious mind would hyperventilate. Many of us have jobs and/or families that keep us busy well into the night. In short, our minds are always active. Vacations and entertainment used to offer relief. They don’t seem to help anymore. Vacations are either packed with activities or they’re filled with heart-pumping, adrenalin producing thrills or we allow our work to interfere with cell phone calls and emails. Action-packed thriller books and movies are designed to engage us within the first few seconds and keep us on the edge of our seats throughout the story time. Concerts have laser displays, pyrotechnics,Continue 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 »

Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 What does it mean to quench the Spirit? The dictionary shows many meanings and nuances to the word “quench.” One meaning is: “to put out the light or fire of.” Merriam Webster online goes on to further define the essence of this process (quench). Another meaning is “to cause to lose heat or warmth, to bring (something immaterial) to an end…by…damping, cooling or decreasing, and to terminate by or as if by destroying.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quench When we quench the Holy Spirit we are, in essence, rejecting, and thereby bringing to nought, something God either wants to give us, or request from us. But the Holy Spirit will not, cannot (because of free will), force us to do anything. The unfortunate part is that as we become more practiced at rejecting the Spirit, it becomes easier to do (no internal struggle to resist at all), and if we persist long enough, we will cease to hear Him at all. Ten years ago, when IContinue 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 »

The love of God; who can measure it and who can fully fathom it? It goes further than the stars and crosses from the East to the West. As Dutch evangelist Corrie Ten Boom once said, after she was asked about her experiences in a Nazi concentration camp: “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” That’s the love that carries us through this life and that’s the love we should share with others. *** Once a chaplain knelt down by a wounded soldier and offered to read him the Bible. But the soldier whispered that he preferred some water to quench his thirst. The chaplain promised to get him some and went about looking for clean drinking water. When he returned the wounded soldier asked if there was something to cushion his head with. The ground was so terribly hard for his aching head. The chaplain did as he was asked. But there was more. “I am so cold,” shivered the young soldier. TheContinue reading »

“The shepherds . . . went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger” – Luke 2: 15-16 With these words of Luke, a picture of simplicity and power is painted. The shepherds were told of the birth of the Savior by an Angel and were shown a multitude of the Heavenly host, who gave praise to God. The sight of shepherds was common in the time period; they were working men who lived hard lives. They sacrificed much to protect and keep their sheep. Yet, these men were, in a way, heirs to David. David, the first true King of Israel, was a shepherd who protected his flocks from both lions and bears (1 Samuel 17: 34-37). Herein we see the shepherds, those that followed in the steps of David, being told of the birth of the Son of David; Jesus, the Messiah. These men were among the working poor, toughened from their arduous and nomadic life, and among the peasantry. It is to these men that theContinue 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 »