Don’t Just Do Something . . . Stand There!

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t just stand there; do something!” Surely many of the Israelites who embarked on the great exodus out of Egypt felt that way when they found themselves trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s chariots. They would have looked anxiously at Moses, who had led them into what appeared to be an utterly hopeless situation, expecting him to be racing back and forth, barking orders, and setting up defensive fortifications. “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?” they snarled. Moses did nothing; he stood […]

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The Wisdom of “Wax On, Wax Off”

In the early 1980’s as I was beginning what would become a lifelong study of the martial arts, I went to see what has become one of my favorite movies of all time, “The Karate Kid.” Much like Daniel in the movie, I too had a Mr. Miyagi, who was teaching me the mysteries of karate through many different aspects of training that I did not understand at the time but grew to greatly appreciate.    Mr. Miyagi’s methods Most readers will remember the plot of the movie; Mr. Miyagi agrees to train Daniel in karate, but he begins by […]

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Toooo Infinity . . . and Beyond!

As we launch out into a new year together, let’s begin with a vision that transcends the details of daily living. Let us pause together for a moment in the presence of our Lord and consider all that He has planned for us in 2022. The title for this month’s message recalls the iconic words from Buzz Lightyear in the beloved movie “Toy Story.” If you are anything like me, when you hear the first part of the statement — “Toooo Infinity . . .” — you immediately follow up with, “and Beyond!” Infinity is Everything At this point you […]

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A Christmas Carol

“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).   Growing up, I could not wait every year to sit in front of the television and watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” These were two of my favorite Christmas specials, and they still are today. As I got a little older, Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” was added to my list. You know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, whom Dickens described as “a squeezing, wrenching grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner.”  One […]

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Thanks-Living – More Thankful for the Giver than the Gifts

There are many ways for Christians to “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Since we celebrate Thanksgiving this month, let us focus on one of the best ways to witness to the truths of the Gospel – Thanks-Living, by which we demonstrate to the watching world that we are more thankful for the Giver of the gifts than the gifts themselves. Here is one of the best examples in all of sacred Scripture of what Thanks-Living looks like in a child of God. “I heard […]

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Jesus’ Favorite Book

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me” (John 5:39). Christ’s Favorite Book Did you know that Jesus had a favorite book? Scripture makes it clear that our Lord did indeed have a favorite book — the Old Testament — the “Hebrew Bible” or the “Tanakh” — as evidenced by the fact that He quoted from it and alluded to it numerous times throughout His earthly ministry. The books Jesus quotes from most are Exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, and Isaiah.   I must confess that Jesus’ […]

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Sensitive Mercy: The Gospel Is both Reasonable and Desirable

  “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).   We have been looking at how the life of Jesus Christ makes the Gospel both reasonable and desirable. We have seen how the Good News that Jesus declared and demonstrated during His earthly ministry speaks to both the head and the heart of the listener.  Sensitive Mercy In June we saw Christ’s Searching Mercy displayed in His encounter with the Samaritan woman in John 4; in […]

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Shocking Mercy: The Gospel Is both Reasonable and Desirable

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).   We have been looking at how the life of Jesus Christ makes the Gospel both reasonable and desirable. We have seen how the Good News that Jesus declared and demonstrated speaks to both the head and the heart of the listener. We saw His Searching Mercy displayed in His encounter with the Samaritan woman in John 4 and His Scandalous Mercy bestowed on the unwanted, sinful woman […]

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Scandalous Mercy The Gospel is both Reasonable and Desirable

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).   We saw last month that the good news of the Gospel is both reasonable and desirable. During this cultural moment, it is important that we share Christ through both reason and romance, engaging both heads and hearts with the Truth and Beauty of Jesus. Last month we saw the Searching Mercy of Jesus displayed in His encounter with the woman at the well; this month we will […]

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The Gospel – Reasonable and Desirable

The best way for Christians to get an audience in our cultural moment is by communicating how the good news of the Gospel is not only reasonable, but absolutely desirable. We must share Christ through reason and romance as we engage both the head and the heart with the Truth and Beauty of Jesus. For the next few months, I will share some beautiful biblical stories of how Jesus engaged both the heads and the hearts of those He encountered. The Bible is God’s story about His mission of mercy; Jesus declared that His mission was “to seek and to […]

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