Author Archive

One Last Drink

Over the years, I’ve wondered about Jesus’s comment to the Samaritan woman about the last drink she would ever need. Standing at Jacob’s well, in the heat of the day, she didn’t know what he meant either. Has anyone ever gotten what they would call one last drink from Jesus? So what was Jesus promising […]

What’s Helpful?

In our Father’s goodness, we find new ways of relating to one another. Instead of only noticing whether something— or someone— is right or wrong, we get a chance to ask “what’s helpful?” For the sake of all, or anyone—our God shows us how to come along side with care and interest— or even friendly curiosity, rather than a challenge or threat. Isn’t […]

As Needed

So much of life isn’t simply a matter of right or wrong. Medications, sedatives, painkillers, doctors, hospitals, courtrooms, prisons, weapons, and armies, look different— as needed by us or someone we love. We don’t have to walk down this road too far before coming to the hill on which Jesus was crucified. What does his […]

Not Quite Right

Those of us who have struggled with mental illness, either in ourselves or in someone we love, have learned what it means to be not quite right. And when we read the story of the Bible we discover that what we think of as troubled thinking— is a hint of something common to all of […]

Blinded by the Right

The beam of a bright flashlight hits our face in the middle of the night. The glare of a rising or setting sun makes it hard for us to see the road in front of us. A solar eclipse threatens to make it last— blinded by the light. Yet could the greater danger be to […]

For the Love of God

A friend recently called my attention to a book titled “Testaments of Love, a study of love in the Bible.” It was published in 1981 and written by well-known Australian author, Leon Morris. Even though the book is heavily footnoted  I am impressed not only with its clarity— but also that it may be the book I didn’t […]

Between the Lines

There’s a time to speak and a time to be quiet. Or as Solomon put it, a time to be quiet and a time to speak. Be still and know… God must think that way too. His Book is full of bounded silence. What is said matters. And what is not  said. What is not said can be a […]

It’s Imperative

Authority issues are hard to avoid and easy to confuse. According to the Gospels, when Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Give us … forgive us … lead us… deliver us…” he gave us verbs in the imperative mood. When he prayed from his cross, “Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing”, […]

This is my Body

We call where we are staying— our place. Paul likened us to Bedouin-backpackers. He made a distinction between us and our address (2Cor 5:1). Another way this gets tricky is when we try to work out what Paul meant when he said, that when he did wrong—in his place, it wasn’t really him, but sin “living in […]

Unimaginable— Part 2

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” Here Paul seems to give us a loose quote of prophets who saw that God has unimaginable plans for humanity (1Cor 2:9) (Isa 64:3-4). Yet even Isaiah and others could not conceive of […]