Tags: love

Jonah and the Word of God

He was a Jewish prophet who, in the 8th century before Christ, spoke words inspired by God. His name, Jonah, meant “dove”—a bird regarded as a symbol of peace. The Backstory– He was first known as a prophet who predicted that Jeroboam 2, the tenth king of the northern tribes of Israel, would conquer lands […]

Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner?

There may be a point in the distinction between hating the sin and loving the sinner. But it’s risky business. And some of us might be better off leaving the job to someone else. By now, more than a few of us have probably discovered that it is hard to point our finger at anyone […]

What We Know and Don’t Know

In the ongoing search for answers to what happened to Malaysian Flight 370 the plight of those waiting for word on the fate of their loved ones is reaching a new level of frustration, anger, and lingering hope. Ships from several nations comb an ocean that, according to one source, is littered with 20 million […]

The Glory Seeker

Some of us might find it difficult to be around those who use whatever occasion or means they can to call attention to their own successes. Yet at the same time we can be blind to the endless, subtle, and ironic means by which we ourselves seek attention, affirmation, and praise. Maybe it is because […]

Live Loved

When I first heard a friend talk about the idea that a relationship with Jesus boils down to a chance to live loved, I was hooked. Two words. So simple. So profound. Since then, while working with a variety of texts, plots and characters of the Bible I’ve repeatedly come back to those 2 words. […]

Why is God so Angry?

How are we going to explain to our children and grandchildren an angry, fearsome, merciful, compassionate, beautiful Father? The thought lingers in the lyrics of the ancient song we’ve been thinking about together. Reflecting on the passing days of our lives, Moses writes, “For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; we finish […]

Mandela and the Bible

It’s hard for me to think about how often the Bible was quoted to resist the policies of emancipation for civil rights in the USA, or to support apartheid and to resist Nelson Mandela in South Africa. The question has me thinking again about a conference I recently attended on the trustworthiness of the Bible. […]

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. […]

In Search of a Safe Place

In Old Testament times, innocent people could find temporary shelter by running to “cities of refuge” or by getting to and hanging on the “the horns the altar” of sacrifice. But that was for those who i.e. unintentionally harmed others. What about those who were guilty? Only with the Cross of Christ do we see […]

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 […]

Can We Think Our Way to God?

Could one of our problems be that we are trying to think our way to God? That thought comes, surprisingly, from a Calvin College professor of philosophy. In a Christianity Today Online interview of James Smith, a professional thinker observes, “Human beings are at their core defined by what they worship rather than primarily by […]

Toxic Truth

Who among us hasn’t seen the pain we can bring to ourselves and others by thoughtlessly saying the truth without humility, love, or wisdom. Those who accused Jesus of being a sinner, or worse (demon possessed) weren’t all wrong. They were followers of Moses. They had heard the rumors about Jesus’ birth, and were not […]

Seeds of Hope

When a troubled Solomon tried to make sense of the times and seasons of life, he observed that “there’s a time to plant, and a time to harvest (Ecc 3:2). Got to thinking about how much of following Christ involves personally planting seeds of faith, hope, and love in the God whose story includes large […]

Looking for a Proverb

Somewhere I picked up the idea that the Bible says, “You can learn more from your critics than your friends.” Seemed to make so much sense that enemies are more likely than our friends to point out our faults, mistakes and blind sides. But I’ve just spent some time trying unsuccessfully to find “what I […]

Close to Home

As so many of us find ourselves inspired by the competition of the Summer Games, my thoughts have also gone to one of the most amazing performances the world has ever seen. His name was Saul, and his deadly game had echoes of his namesake, the first king of Israel. As King Saul raged through […]

Hating Religion and Family

One more look at the hate religion but love Jesus comparison. What if we hated religion the way Jesus asked us to hate the members of our own family? May sound like a stretch. But Jesus seems to consider hatred of close relatives a condition of his kingdom. While fulfilling the law that requires us […]

Love Hate Point Counterpoint

Many of you may have seen the following video that went viral a couple of weeks ago. Titled “Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus” it expresses a deeply felt faith that has resonated with millions. But just yesterday, I was sent the following link to a response to the first from the other side […]

What Matters in the End!?

As the sun was setting, I got a shot of this milkweed. Am thinking it might illustrate a way to move forward with our conversation about living in anticipation of end times. There’s a bit of irony here. Many of us believe that being ready for Christ’s promised return prepares us for eternity. Yet, in […]

Reference Points

Traveling in Asia with co-workers, have been reminded again of the value of persons, relationships, trust, and honesty. Have also seen how important it is to be able to honor together the values of truth and love without seeing ourselves as the measure of either. Even more impressed with the deepening impression of what, in […]

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 […]

Why is Sharing our Faith so Difficult?

Some followers of Christ seem to find it so natural to spontaneously talk to others about their faith. By all appearances, they are able to turn normal conversations, even with strangers, into an opportunity for talk about the best news in the world. They anticipate obstacles along the way, graciously answer objections, and often end […]

Feel Loved Today?

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he writes out an extended prayer that expresses his longing that his readers will be given by God the ability to understand something of the immeasurable height, depth, and breadth of how much God loves them. Do you think this prayer has anything to do not only […]

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Let’s pick up on a theme that surfaced a couple of times in the “From Your Window” comments. More than one of our friends talked about how hard it is to see a recurring pattern of church people attacking their leaders and hurting one another. Why does it happen? What causes us to turn into […]

Why We See Forgiveness Differently

In reading over the previous conversation it’s apparent  that there is still disagreement about the nature of forgiveness. We all know that we need it. But we disagree about when it is appropriate to give it. Our problem is that the Bible, in wisdom, says at least two different things: (1) That forgiveness is to […]

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 […]

Unwanted Opportunity

Followers of Christ often find it easy to affirm the importance of faith, hope, and love. We acknowledge that according to the Scriptures, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). We hear that without love we are somewhere between noise and nothing (1Cor 13:1-2). We admit that without hope, we are just […]

A Lost Commandment?

The other day someone gave me a book that has gotten my attention. It’s called, Love Revolution: Rediscovering the Lost Command of Jesus by Gaylord Enns. I was skeptical at first. Expected a predictable rehash of a subject we’ve all heard a lot about. But the author told his own story of brokenness in a […]

Taking Inventory and Steps

Over the months I’ve talked every once in a while about how 12 Step thinking and process echoes basics of true spirituality. Even after the specific language of the Bible has been removed to make the Steps “accessible” to those who come with an aversion to the “religion” of their past, real wisdom remains. Step […]

Let There be Light… and Darkness

Have been thinking that one way to understand the Bible is to see the way it tells the story of light and darkness. The first quoted words of the God who brought something out of nothing and order out of chaos are, “Let there be Light.” Then God divided the light from the darkness in […]

In Hope of Changing Seasons

It was raining and 43 degrees yesterday when I stopped to look up into this tree. Its trunk and branches are strong. Yet by its appearance, it is joining the rest of us in acknowledging that we have no power to resist the seasons of life. Solomon, struggled for a while to make sense of […]

The Variety of Nature and Spirituality

Maybe the variety of nature can help us laugh at ourselves, and grow in our appreciation for one another… while still taking life seriously. Scientists estimate that the number of species on earth ranges somewhere between 5 and 30 million, with about 8 million different kinds of bugs. Could there be a parallel between what […]

A Christmas Story (5 of 5)

Who hasn’t been frustrated trying to find the perfect Christmas gift? So why bother? Probably for any number of reasons… none of which is more important than giving out of a heart that is once again being warmed by the true meaning of the Christmas story. The Gifts of the King Continued from Christmas Morning […]

This is a Football

According to an often repeated story, legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, once expressed his frustration by stopping practice and saying to his Green Bay Packer professionals something like, “Let’s start at the beginning. This is a football. These are the yard markers. I’m the coach. You are the players.” (Although I haven’t been able to […]

The Value of a Person

Until I saw it, I didn’t realize that much of Israel’s Mount of Olives is a cemetery. Here, those who remember the dead place a stone of remembrance on top of their loved one’s grave. Today, in America, we use this Memorial Day to honor those who have lost their lives fighting for our country. […]

The "H" Factor

Like pride, the closets of humility are filled with different hats and clothes for different occasions. Popular opinion regards it as a doormat personality, and maybe even pride in disguise. Yet our books of common language describe it as the kind of realistic view of ourselves that is necessary to share the pain or joys […]

The Logic of Intercession

I don’t like to think about how many times I’ve told someone “I’ll be praying for you,” before only following through in a token way. And when I have prayed repeatedly for those I really care about– with no apparent results– I sometimes wonder why I don’t seem to be able to touch the heart […]

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, by continuing to use this site you agree to this. Find out more on how we use cookies and how to disable them.