Archive for the 'Life in Christ' Category

(Posts Archive)

Blowin’ in the Wind

In the early 1960s, Bob Dylan got into the heads and hearts of his generation with a series of thoughtful questions… and conclusion that “the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind…” Maybe he was saying more than he realized… Jesus promised answers that would come with the wind… But before going there, and […]

Old New Year Thought

One more thought from the late British author and pastor of Westminster Chapel (1904-1919), G Campbell Morgan. After describing what he had personally seen in the Welsh Revivals of 1904-05, he went on to urge his readers to learn from what the Spirit had done in the lives of others. While acknowledging the impossibility of […]

Outrageous!

Why did Jesus give thoughtful people so many reasons to doubt and reject him? Many of us overlook things he said and did that were outrageous—in his day. Yet to whatever extent we can think like those who feared and resented him, we too may begin to feel some of the ridiculous drama of someone […]

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 […]

Looking for What’s Missing

In the previous post, “What’s Wrong With this Picture?” the close up of the ant sculpture in the Atlanta Airport shows what happens when perspective is missing. My guess (trying to read the lines, and between them) is that when Paul says to the divisive church in Corinth (inconsiderate of one another, and drinking to […]

Origins and Outcomes

In our last post we talked together about how in the 9th century BC, the prophet Elisha counseled the king of Israel not to kill his prisoners of war. As a result, Joram (king of Israel) prepared a feast for the soldiers of Ben-Hadad (king of Aram/Syria) and sent them home. After that, we’re told, that […]

The Wonder of a Tree

A tree doesn’t need to look busy to get a lot done. Without apparent effort, it makes shade and oxygen while filtering the air of carbon monoxide. Without going anywhere, its branches slow erosion by breaking rainfall with its leaves even as it holds soil in place with its roots. Without conscious effort to make a name […]

Jonah’s no Jesus

Jonah’s story ends abruptly. We’ve been given narration, dialogue and miracles. Like so much of the Bible we’ve been told what sounds like a tall tale— but haven’t been told what we are supposed think or conclude. All that is truly clear is that Jonah is not on the same page as his sender or […]

Who Am I?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is widely remembered as a German author and pastor who was arrested in 1943 for his role in resisting the policies of the Nazi government. While in prison he continued to write and was assisted by sympathetic guards who smuggled his letters to the outside. He was executed on 9 April 1945 as […]

Mindsight and Violence

In an unpredictably violent world it’s hard to think straight. This isn’t all bad. In dangerous moments our survival often depends on reactions that enable us to act quickly either in our own behalf or for the sake of others—when we don’t have time to think. Way too often, however, we all end up doing […]

Her Father’s Zoo

June Williams was only four when her father bought seven acres of land to build a “zoo without bars”. Growing up with exotic animals, one of her closest friends was Mary the chimpanzee. June tried to teach Mary to tie a knot but never succeeded. She inherited her father’s empathy for animals and recalls his […]

Life in the Spirit

While reading an article on what the Apostle Paul calls the fruit of the Spirit, I was struck by the author’s reminder of something that we might regard as either too obvious to mention, or a wonderful re-discovery of what we already know. The author pointed out that it’s important to remember that the fruit […]

Heartbleed and Identity Theft

Someone left the backdoor open. Until recently no one realized the problem. Computer hackers could come and go without being noticed. While the technical side of the internet and computing world may elude us, the idea of an unlocked door to our personal information probably isn’t too hard to understand. Thanks to alarms set off […]

She Did What She Could

This week on Discover the Word, Elisa Morgan has been leading our conversations with a fresh look at a woman Jesus honored for doing what she could to show her love for him. Has been so good to take another look with Elisa and Bill at Mary of Bethany who anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive […]

The King of Hearts

According to an online news source, a couple of regular customers of a Loveland, Colorado, fast-food restaurant, ages 52 and 85, ended up in court after disagreeing over a parking space. Assault charges were filed after the younger man swung open the door of his vehicle knocking the older to the ground. As in all […]

In Low Visibility

Was too preoccupied during the week to stay with the conversation as it unfolded. But I’ve had a chance this morning to catch up and appreciate the way you’ve interacted with one another. Am guessing that others who came and checked in without posting found something helpful (as i have) in the thoughtful ways you’ve […]

Elementary Watson

In the TV series Elementary, a modern remake of Sherlock Holmes, I find an interesting bit of dialogue in an episode called The Rat Race. Detective Holmes is talking to Watson about something that Watson, played by Lucy Liu, says she hasn’t noticed before. Holmes asks Watson about a recent date. She tells him how […]

Jacob’s Ladder

In 19th-century America, a generation of oppressed slaves sang a spiritual about “Jacob’s Ladder.” The repetitive, rhythmic lyrics about climbing higher and higher helped them envision themselves on a hard journey to a better place. The original story is about a great ladder reaching up to heaven, and it’s as down-to-earth as the man who […]

Persecution Complex

In general usage the idea of a persecution complex refers to an unhealthy state of mind that causes persons or groups to assume that they are the victims of an evil conspiracy that has singled them out because they are different than the mainstream. The term therefore is apt to cause many of us to […]

The Threat of Terrorism

An 8/5/2013 alert on a Homeland Security website says, “There are growing concerns that an al Qaeda affiliate could use a new generation of liquid explosive, currently undetectable, in a potential attack, according to two senior U.S. government officials briefed on the terror threat that has prompted the closing of nearly two dozen U.S. embassies. […]

A Better Righteousness

On a California beach, young surfers use the word righteous to describe a big wave, a drug-induced high, or a sexual adventure. In a nearby church, members of a prayer circle use the same word to talk about behavior that complies with the moral laws of the Bible. I’m guessing the beach crowd knows they […]

A Realistic View of the Bible

The Bible pays a price for being one of the most quoted and talked about books in the world. Even those who haven’t read it for themselves often assume they’ve heard enough to know what it’s about. But there’s more to this Book of books than its reputation may suggest. Being anything but predictable, first […]

Grounds for Mercy

A French news report told the story of a young field dog that jumped on its deer-hunting master in a playful show of affection. When the pup’s paw caught the trigger of the hunter’s firearm, the gun accidentally discharged, resulting in the loss of the owner’s hand. The victim later blamed himself for not having […]

Solomon and Jesus

Long ago, a young king of Israel wrote, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, . . . she is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15 NIV). The Wisdom of Solomon: To this day, we still tell the story of how God appeared to him in a dream and […]

Bully

When my wife and I walked into the small, darkened auditorium, we saw something that has been almost as unforgettable as the documentary we had come to see. Scattered and spread out among the many empty seats, a few parents sat with children in a manner that, as I recall, looked more like a visit […]

The Mystery of the Greenland Shark

How does the slowest shark in the world catch its food? Living in frigid, near-freezing waters, the Greenland shark swims at less than 1 mile an hour. It takes seven seconds for one full sweep of its tail to propel it forward. Researchers, however, have found remains of seals in the sharks’ stomachs. Those findings […]

A Misunderstood Warning

Joe and Marissa have never met. But they have a lot in common. Both found that spending 4 years in a state university was hard on their faith. Marissa became a follower of Jesus at a spiritual retreat during her last year in high school. Joe made his decision of faith at the age of […]

The Gambler

How much of the world beyond has echoes, or reflections, in the world we know? While thinking about the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians, I’ve been thinking again about The Gambler, the Don Schlitz song that Kenny Rogers made famous in 1978. While The Gambler isn’t Bible, the perspective it offers from the mouth […]

The Middle Song

Why is the shortest 2-verse song and chapter of the Bible (Psalm 117) separated by only one other song (118) from the longest 176-verse song and chapter (Psalm 119)? While guessing that there is  more than trivia and coincidence in such an unusual arrangement of songs, I think I see  additional  irony. As Steve of […]

In the Dawn’s Early Light

The conversation around the last post was good. It is so important for us to be reminded that in so many ways we are neither alone, nor alike, in our struggles. My guess was that on the question of what makes a good day, we would weigh in somewhere between the thoughts that we have […]

Dangerous Words and Safe Places

There is such irony in our last conversation about Jesus’ words to “hate”  family so as to give full attention to him (Luke 14:26). When any other religious leader asks for such commitment, most of us  assume that the person is self-absorbed and dangerous. But for those who believe that the words of Luke 14:26 […]

What About this Rumor?

Imagine hearing that the leaders of a major church denomination have decided to ask all of its members to stop using the word “holy”. With a little research we confirm that the report is true, that the denomination’s elders are discouraging the use of the word and are even recommending a rewording of the Apostle […]

How Should We Rate this Song?

Does it take a course in music appreciation to read the songs of the Bible? I’m wondering this while reading Psalm 5, knowing that David was a man after God’s own heart; remembering that this song has been sung by God’s people down through the ages; and realizing that it is a song that is […]

A New Day is Happening

I was deeply moved over the last couple of days by the personal ways that friends of this blog once again expressed their own thoughts in response to the “Business as Usual” post. In the spirit of what these friends have written, may we together enter as many days as we are given with the […]

The Wonder of Life and Non-Life

How long will it be before newspapers of the world announce that a team of scientists has discovered the chemical formula of life? Will they be beaten to the starting line by another group that discovers the mysterious subatomic factor that keeps even non-living matter from self-destructing? As Iranian scientists try to replicate the technology […]

Stress Test

Yesterday, I was staring out the 7th floor window of our  Singapore office, watching a tropical rainstorm move in, and thinking about the snow that is beginning to fall back home. At some point I noticed the garden or plant nursery on the roof of a building below and wondered whether it was someone’s hobby […]

Implications of Supporting Israel

This question is important not only for followers of Christ, but for people of all religions and points of view. Ultimately, it is not just about God’s promise to Abraham that he would bless those who blessed him, and curse those who cursed him (Gen 12:3). It also raises the question of what the Apostle […]

Schalit Palestinian Prisoner Swap

The announced prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas appears to have broken a 5 year stalemate in negotiations. The Jerusalem Post confirms that Israel and Hamas have agreed to exchange 25 year old Jewish soldier Gilad Schalit for 1027 “security” prisoners. Have been thinking about the guarded sense of deep emotion that families on both […]

Are Good People Jinxed?

As children use the term, you don’t want to be around a jinxed person. Who wants to be around when bad stuff messes up something good we thought we could count on? In the world of sports, athletes do a lot of strange and superstitious things to avoid the dreaded curse, field gods, or anything […]

Unexpected Answers

The Bible answers the most important questions we can ask: Where did we come from? What matters? Who can we trust? Who is God? Is he good? Who is Jesus? Why did he die? Did his life end in failure? How can we be counted among his followers? How should we treat our enemy? Where […]

Before and After

According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus began telling his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die at the hands of the religious leaders (Matt 16:21). The same Gospel shows that the Lord predicted his death several more times in the days to come (Matt 17:22-23; 20:17-19; 20:28; 26:2). One text even […]

Does Jesus Walk What Paul Writes?

Claiming to be a follower of Christ, the Apostle Paul  wrote that without love, our words are like meaningless noise (1Cor 13:1-3). He followed up saying that “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it […]

Confession by Billboard

What’s going on when a church puts up a large billboard publicly acknowledging itself to be among those who have been acting like jerks? A friend sent me a link to a CNN interview about a Texas billboard that “shouts out” to passing traffic “What a Bunch of Jerks“. The billboard is accompanied by an […]

The Big If

Seems to me that the Snoopy 1 and 2 MetLife blimps that cover televised sporting events with the slogan “For the if in Life” are a pretty effective way of getting out an insurance company’s name and message. Could even get us thinking about the bigger “ifs in life”. If we make criticizing others our […]

Abbas and Netanyahu in Washington

On Thursday, September 2, the latest rounds of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are scheduled to begin in Washington. According to Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, the talks will collapse if Israel does not extend its freeze on construction in the West Bank. On the same day Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, reportedly said […]

Three to Watch For

Everyone has faith in something. No one can live very long without hope. And those who don’t believe in God often make a strong case for loving one another. So is it any wonder that those who do not think Christ is the only way to God are not impressed when they hear his followers […]

Don’t be Like Them?

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount he told his followers not to be like the religious leaders who did acts of piety, gave to the poor, and prayed—all to be seen and honored by others (Matt 6:1-8). To this he adds, “That’s what they do. Don’t be like them. They have their reward.” But are […]

The Pharisee in Me

Over the years I have occasionally noticed the similarity between my own values and those held by the enemies of Jesus. According to the New Testament and the first century Jewish historian, Josephus, the Pharisees were: People of the Book—Devoted to the memorization and study of the Law. Lovers of God—Deeply committed to the God […]

Adoption Option

I’ve been thinking lately about inviting a guest blogger from time to time to give us a change of pace and some different perspectives to think about. So please welcome Mike Wittmer. He’s one of our regular bloggers at Our Daily Journey. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be featuring a few of his posts […]

Waking Up to Life

We can live and yet be dead. We can think we are awake and yet be asleep. Death can be like sleep. Sleep can be like death. (Eph 2:1; Rom 13:11). But sometimes as our eyes slowly open and focus, we find ourselves taking a fresh breath of air that, as it turns out, was […]

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