When the wife told her husband about a new invention she had heard about, he laughed and scoffed: “Sometimes I really wonder about you. You are so ignorant and believe just about anything. What you’re saying there can never happen.” Her eyes were sad as she answered him in soft tones, “But it’s true. I read about it in a magazine, but you never believe me.” The man shook his head in disgust, grumbled another complaint, and continued reading the sports page of his newspaper. Unbelief hurts. When people do not believe you and make fun of you, it is hard to bear. There’s almost no offense so hard to bear as being called a liar, for although people would be quick to say they don’t mean it, a liar is inherently what people call you when they don’t believe you. How does that apply to God and faith in God? Unbelief in God is, in essence, the same as calling Him a liar. The Apostle John agrees. He said:Continue reading »

There is a sweet anecdote about a dying Union soldier during the American Civil War. The unfortunate fellow lay shivering and wounded in a ditch when a Confederate chaplain found him. He knelt down by the wounded man and asked him if he wanted to hear some comforting words from the Bible. But the soldier moaned and answered that he preferred some water. The chaplain got up and promised he would find him some. When he returned the soldier asked the chaplain if he could support his head so he would not feel the pain so much. The chaplain took off his vest and gently slid it under the man’s head. “And could you cover me,” the man requested further. “I am so very cold.” Without a second thought, the chaplain took off his own overcoat and covered the dying man. “Anything else?” the chaplain then asked. The man looked up and said with halting breath, “Thank you, Sir. If there’s anything in that book that made you do whatContinue reading »

How about having “friendships” with hope? Life delivers “packages” that come with uncertainties. God provides hope anyhow. We can choose to allow life to buckle our knees or we can cling to hope, which is way better than stress choices. Yes, hope relieves, encourages and calms. God’s the author of it, and its medicine for our souls. Hope is one of many “prescriptions” written by our Lord . . . the Master of what’s healthy. Yes, hope works effectively when we elect to swallow and digest it — as prescribed. Hebrews 6:19 – KJV Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, . . .

In the past two weeks, I have lost more days than I care to count to mind-numbing, bone-crushing fatigue from simple outings to visit the doctor to pick up a prescription, stop at the pharmacy and then visit two more stores for an item or two. Last week, it was visiting the lawyer and a few small errands while I was in town. I have paid for those days for the past eight or nine days with exhaustion, beginning no more than two hours after waking up. It’s like walking through concrete to get anything done. Yes, I could nap, but I don’t want to sleep my day away. I have things I want and need to do. I had higher hopes for today. I made it much further than I expected, which got my hopes up, even though I know very well how that can backfire so quickly and often. Hope springs eternal; isn’t that what they say? I made it to lunch time so I thought I hadContinue reading »

No matter what the circumstance, You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139:14). Do not let anyone or anything deceive you in thinking you are anything less.   [quote]I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.[/quote]

Recently, I read about a woman, Noelle Hancock, who quit her $95,000 job in New York. She then moved to St. John, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands and got a job selling ice cream; it paid $10.00 per hour. Wow! It stirred my heart to read of her daring risk. Surely, not many folks would do such bold, uncertain actions. Hancock mentioned, “. . . but it seemed I spent my life staring at screens: laptop, cell phone, iPad . . .” She added that she was looking for a type of life where people are still engaged. There are reports of folks at ages beyond 50 who opt to start second careers, the second ones being their passions, when, sometimes, their first careers/jobs were due to needs to make livings more so than for reasons of pursuing passions. Those who’ve made such choices share about the satisfaction of doing what they love, in spite of the risks. Retired folks who don’t choose second careers enjoy pursuing their pleasurableContinue reading »

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 »

God has many names that describe aspects of His nature. For example, He is called El Shaddai, which means “Lord God Almighty”, and Adonai, which is “Lord/Master,” El Roi means “God who sees.” I think we often believe that God does not answer every prayer, although we say we do. We bring our requests to the throne for healing, deliverance from trials, and salvation for loved ones, believing God is able. The problem of unbelief is not necessarily about the “big” prayers – curing cancer, providing food and shelter, or relief from financial woes – but disbelief that God is invested in or concerned with everyday problems that happen in the hours between waking and sleeping again. Perhaps we think God is too busy. There are a lot of needs out there and millions or even billions of prayers rising to God on His throne every second, every minute, every day for people who need prayer much more than we do. What does God’s Word say about prayer and faith? Matthew,Continue reading »

Rahab was a prostitute but believed in God. When the two spies came to Jericho, she immediately put her faith in action, sheltering them and allowing them to escape unharmed. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? James 2:25 (NIV) So instead of professing faith only, she showed off her faith by helping God’s men. If she says, I believe, but is then afraid to help the spies, she repudiates the faith she just professed. If you believe God, you must act like it. She believed God would deliver her and her household when everyone else was lost. I am as guilty as anyone of asking God to help me, but then I act like I don’t believe He will. For example, one morning I asked God to heal my foot. For some reason, I was having trouble walking on it. After my prayer time, I gotContinue reading »

“How do I follow God when I can’t even see Him?” The young man that was talking to me seemed sincerely puzzled. I wanted to tell him that you follow God by faith. Faith is something that is rooted in a deep conviction that God is there, that His word is trustworthy and that He will keep the promises He made. You follow God by taking little steps forward into the unknown, while you hold fast to that conviction. While I was thinking about it, I was reminded of another person who didn’t really seem to know how to follow God either. The story is told in John 20 and begins when some of the disciples excitedly told Thomas they had seen the risen Christ… I can almost picture Thomas, struggling with the logic of this impossible statement: ‘I cannot believe that. It’s impossible.” He was shouting it out. The day had been stressful and tense and everybody was on edge. But to Thomas that was no excuse. To thinkContinue reading »

Anyone who comes to Him (God) must believe that He is and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 Intellectually we know God can do anything. He is able to save and bless to the uttermost. Why don’t we act like we believe? Perhaps I am unique in this attitude, but somehow I doubt it. I actively pray to God throughout the day as a continuous conversation in my head; sometimes I feel a specific request warrants a physical and mental pause to focus my prayer completely on this request without the distractions of physically doing other things as I pray. Sometimes the request is small and seemingly insignificant. I pray when the lights go out and when a storm is coming. I believe God cares about what I care about and will move on my behalf, as He has done before, and I give Him the praise for it even when others scoff, calling coincidence what I call an answer to prayer. So I believe forContinue reading »