Archive for the 'Relating To God' Category

(Posts Archive)

Surprised by a Snake

I have friends who like snakes and know a lot about them. They see them as amazing creatures with an important role in the food chain of insect and rodent control. I feel about snakes the way I do about poison ivy. That’s what I  bring to the strange-sounding words of Jesus when he says, […]

Child-Like-Ish

What’s the difference between being childlike and childish? One gets higher marks than the other. We seem to speak warmly of childlike wonder, trust, and innocence while being less approving of those who are childishly impatient, demanding, and self-centered. According to the New Testament, God became a child who, upon becoming a man, overheard the […]

Pr…ying Mantis

Look who showed up in my yard the other day. But is it a preying or praying mantis? Found out that, even though it is a natural predator it is a—praying mantis. Also learned that “mantis” comes from the Greek word for “prophet” or “fortune teller” and that Mantises were considered to have supernatural powers by early […]

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 […]

Looking for a Way Forward

As some of you have noticed, I have not been posting or commenting as often on this blog which is no longer connected to Our Daily Bread Ministries (formerly RBC Ministries). Part of the reason for the change is that, on reaching the age of 65 (three years ago), I decided it was time for […]

Tired in Trying

After a wind storm took down big limbs and snapped trees in our neighborhood last week, my neighbors and I wore ourselves out trying to get down a heavy wild cherry branch that was hanging dangerously just beyond the reach of our ladder and ropes. Yet, as I think back on it now, our physical […]

Has God Said?

The question has a history. Before it was first asked, human experience was limited to a paradise of undisguised trust and innocence (Gen 2:25). Then… from behind the mask of one of God’s own creatures, the hellishly subtle question was asked, “Has God said….?” In the next few words, Genesis gives us a hint of […]

While we Wait

In “He Still Moves Stones”, and as quoted in his “Grace for the Moment” inspirational guide, author Max Lucado suggests that, “Sometimes God is so touched by what he sees that he gives us what we need and not simply that for which we ask. It’s a good thing”, Lucado adds, “For who would have […]

The Gift of a New Testament

In our last conversation, Bill mentioned a book by Gaylord Enns called Love Revolution. I remember reading it some time ago, finding it to be a surprisingly important book, and then forgetting about it. So went to my shelves this past week, found it, and have been mulling over it ever since. In this book […]

When God Withholds

In Haddon Robinson’s booklet on The Lord’s Prayer, he quotes from George MacDonald’s comment on Luke 18:1. The section that Haddon quotes ended with the thought, “God withholds that man will ask.” I thought the quote was so thought provoking that I went back to the original source and am copying what I found here. […]

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 […]

A Personal Word

When I began the last post saying, “Some of us have been around long enough to see that the Bible we treasure has been used to multiply the pain of racial minorities, women, the poor, the mentally ill, the divorced, abused, addicted, unemployed, and prisoners” I was writing from my heart, and from personal experience. I […]

Yom Kippur 2012

Today is Yom Kippur. An article in the Washing Post describes what it means this year as a nation recognizes its sins, in the presence of its enemies. Also known as The Day of Atonement, this is a day of national repentance with a view toward national forgiveness and deliverance. I’ve often been moved by […]

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 […]

Fair Calls and Due Process

I remember hearing my dad describe how surprised he often was to hear the second side of a conflict. He said that when a co-worker came to him with a complaint about another, his first impression was to think the person really had a case. But if he took the time to hear the other […]

So What’s New?

The marketers of Nikon technology have done what clever advertisers often do. Whether intentionally or not, they have found a way of using words to tap into a  spirituality that is much greater than the product being sold. I found this example of “I AM changing everything” on a Singapore billboard. Readers of the Bible […]

Hearing the Roar

By now many of us have heard the tragic outcome of the 56 wild animals let loose from an exotic animal park by a Zanesville, Ohio man– before killing himself. According to news reports, 49 of the animals, including a wolf, two grizzly bears, nine male lions, and 18 Bengal tigers, have died. One grizzly […]

More than Ten Suggestions

Down through the years some of us  have pointed out that God didn’t give Moses The Ten Suggestions. With similar conviction we rightly recognize the importance of being obedient to God. Many have also observed that the only real solution for the world will come in a day when God’s Messiah rules the world with […]

The Name that Matters

Am in the recording studio this week recording conversations with Alice Mathews and Haddon Robinson for our Discover the Word Radio series. We are currently working through the Sermon on the Mount and have gotten into “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matt 6:9-13). In the process, we have spent quite a bit of time thinking about the […]

Beating Ourselves Up

Why do we punish ourselves for old regrets long after we believe God has forgiven us? The question stuck in my mind after a conversation with someone I’ll call TC. TC described himself as being in recovery for multiple addictions. A couple of times he said, “My problem was forgiving myself. I found it a […]

The Wisdom of the Dog Whisperer

Millions of television viewers around the world have watched a dog trainer by the name of Cesar Millan. Also known as the “dog whisperer,” Millan has the ability not only to rehabilitate troubled dogs, but to do so with a calmness that often amazes the animal’s owner. Whether a dog is overly aggressive, excitable, or […]

Quoting God

In some circles, those who believe they have heard God speak to them are thought to be unstable. Other groups honor members who routinely quote what God has said to their hearts. Since so many of us think the practice has implications for either our sanity or spirituality, it might be worth thinking together about […]

Praying in the Name of Jesus

Just hours before Jesus’ death, He promised His disciples, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14 NKJV). Two thousand years later, those words continue to echo around the world. Millions of us will end our prayers today “in Jesus’ name.” But what about the promise? If we consider ourselves […]

Sovereignty and Free Will

Would God hold us accountable for something He had not given us the ability to do? The people of Israel might have wondered as much when they heard Moses say, in his farewell address, “The Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear” (Deuteronomy 29:4 NKJV). […]

The Influence of Intercession

Every once in a while I find myself with thoughts that cause me to wonder if someone has been praying for me. Sometimes it’s waking up with a song that seems to have come out of nowhere. On other occasions, I find myself with an awareness of God’s goodness or presence that seems to have […]

What Trust Looks Like

What does trust look like when we can’t explain our trouble, or see beyond it? Listening to others as they try to show faith in crisis can be confusing. Some say they are “believing God” for a job, restored health, a reconciled marriage, or the return of a prodigal. Others say reliance on Him means […]

Feeling Down

What can we do when we’re out of sorts, not ourselves, and lost in emotions of inexpressible heaviness? What if, on top of it all, we’re feeling guilty for not being able to think or pray ourselves out of whatever is consuming our focus and energy? Spiritual talk that is supposed to help leaves us cold. Imagine meeting […]

Coneys

In times of financial, social, or medical uncertainty, the coney might seem like an unlikely example of wisdom. But this little rodentlike critter, so common in certain regions of Africa and the Middle East, is worth getting to know.  The coney is interesting for a number of reasons. Based on DNA similarities, some biologists have […]

Listening

“Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Two days into the Apollo 13 moon landing mission, and almost 200,000 miles from earth, a spacecraft oxygen tank exploded. Cabin air, water, and power supply were suddenly in danger. Mission Control had to overcome enormous challenges to get the crew home. Since that crisis in space, the expression “Houston, […]

The Wisdom of Motives

Is it right to consider not only whether a law was broken, but why? I’ve been wondering about this after reading how a German court handled the ticketing of a motorist caught speeding by a traffic control camera. When the court learned why the driver had broken the speed limit, charges were waived. Instead, officials […]

Father Issues

Some of us have a hard time relating to God the Father. We sing to the Son, pray to the Son, and ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” But when Jesus talks about His Father, He touches issues that may be affecting us more than we realize. Maybe our problem is that His Father doesn’t […]

The Love of God

I looked in the mirror and wondered if I was staring at one of heaven’s spoiled brats. After consuming more than my share of mercies, I could see in my eyes a sadness that reflected not what God had given, but what He had withheld. Questions formed emotional distance between me and the Father I […]

People-Watching

A people watcher defines his sport like this: “The art of people-watching involves studying the subjects, guessing who they are, where they are coming from, and where they are going. Sometimes it even includes trying to imagine what they are thinking.” What rings true about this description is that it describes people-watching as a series […]

Rescue

In the summer of 2002, a coal mining accident left nine Pennsylvania men trapped 240 feet underground. For three days the men huddled in the darkness of a cramped space that had filled almost to the top with 55 degree water. On the surface, a nation watched as rescue efforts dragged on longer than expected. […]

Esther: The Story Behind Purim

She was an orphan who hid a family secret until becoming a national heroine. Today her life is honored in synagogues around the world and celebrated in the streets of Israel during the Jewish holiday of Purim. With noise-makers, costumes, and practical jokes, her national family still remembers one of the great stories of history. […]

Symphony

OVER TIME, WE ALL COME ACROSS IDEAS that change the way we think about ourselves. For me, one of those thoughts is that a well-lived life is more like a symphony than a solo. The point takes nothing away from a solo. I love hearing Willie Nelson sing “September Song,” or LeAnn Rimes do her […]

Our Identity in Christ

Identity theft is a problem most of us didn’t think about 5 years ago. Today it is common to hear the stories of victims who are trying to salvage their name and credit rating after learning that someone has stolen and misused a password, social security number, or charge card. Knowing the danger of identity […]

The Attitudes of Christ

What is the goal of spiritual maturity? Jewish rabbis had their opinion. They did more than impart knowledge of the Torah and the Talmud. Their goal was to leave something of themselves in their students. Ben Sirach, writing about 180 years before Christ, expresses the Jewish point of view when he says of a mature […]

What Works

Trend watchers tell us that a growing number of Americans are more likely to ask “Does religion work?” than “Is it true?” In the past, spiritual seekers asked, “Is there a God and, if so, how can I know Him?” Today, many are more apt to ask, “How can I use spirituality to overcome my […]

What God Said To Me

What if I told you that God has been speaking to me about an issue that I haven’t been able to put out of my mind? Because you know me, you don’t think I’m claiming to have heard God speak in an audible voice. You assume that I have had an idea that I believe […]

Forgiving Ourselves

Why do we punish ourselves for old regrets long after we believe God has forgiven us? The question stuck in my mind after a conversation with someone I’ll call TC. TC described himself as being in recovery for multiple addictions. A couple of times he said, “My problem was forgiving myself. I found it a […]

A Friend’s Struggle With Assurance

A friend recently described to me how his understanding of spirituality has changed over time. I was interested because I knew something of the influence he’d had in his community while still in his teen years. He was known in the small town where he grew up for breaking the county high school pole-vault record. […]

Should We Forgive Terrorists?

The front page of our local newspaper carried the story of peace activists protesting the use of bombs to fight international terrorism. The article included a photo of a child carrying a sign asking, “What Would Jesus Do?”  ¶  The question on the sign is important. Jesus said that if we don’t forgive others, the […]

The Path to Peace

The “screensaver” on my computer is a daily reminder of one of the most important thoughts I’ve ever had. When my laptop has been inactive for a few minutes, the screen goes black. Then large red words begin scrolling across the display saying,  “The only way to peace of mind is to see each day […]

Should We Go Kosher?

Do followers of Christ have a moral obligation to keep the Ten Commandments? Even though this seems like an easy question, I’ve struggled with the answer. Why Is This A Hard Question? The question of our relationship to the law of Moses is thorny for a number of reasons. People who believe in the Bible […]

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