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Showing posts from June, 2015

Little One, Arise!

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“Taking her by the hand [Jesus] said to her, ‘Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise’” (Mark 5:41). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! A pastor once prayed at the bedside of a little girl who was dying of leukemia. He boldly prayed for healing of the little girl’s weak and dying body. When he finished, the little girl asked, “I will be healed, won’t I, Pastor?” The pastor paused for a moment and with confidence said, “Yes, you will. I promise you. You will be healed.” Following the prayer and further conversation in the hospital room, the little girl’s father followed the pastor into the hallway and asked, “How you can be so sure, Pastor, that she’ll be healed when she’s so close to death? Is it wise to promise her something that may not happen?” The pastor put his hand on the shoulder of the saddened and exhausted father and said gently, “Little Kerry will be healed, if not this side of hea…

This Changes Everything (or Nothing)!

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“This changes everything!” “This changes nothing!” Those are the two opposing views we’ve all heard in the news and social media regarding the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. Many opponents of the decision warn of the potential ramifications: proponents will seek to drive Christians and Christian institutions out of education at all levels; they will press laws to force faithful Christians and individuals to violate consciences in work practices and many other ways. Those in the political and legal arena cite evidence of a seismic shift of the legislative and judicial process—laws are no longer just made by Congress, but by the courts as well; public opinion, individual preferences, and personal feelings are now the basis for judicial review rather than a clear reading of the words of the Constitution and a historic understanding of the founders’ intent.  On the other hand, many of those who favor the court’s decision dismiss such concerns as hyperbolic hysteria an…

Discipleship: Learning and Living with Jesus

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“And [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to [the disciples], “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’” (Mark 4:38-41). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! It had been a strenuous day! Jesus had taught a large crowd by the lake about the kingdom of God using a variety of parables. Not everyone understood, but later Jesus took His disciples aside and explained everything. Now it is evening. The Lord is ready to be alone and away from the crowd. He is tired, but Jesus also knows there is someone desperately in need of His help on the other side of the lake. In the meantime, there is also an important lesson to be taught to His disciples. So Jesus says to them, “Let us go across to the other side” (…

The Temporary Tent and the Heavenly House

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“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! My wife does not do camping in a tent. She has made that perfectly clear: “Why spend the night on a leaky air mattress in a hot, humid tent when I have a perfectly fine bed in an air-conditioned house?”   To be honest, I can understand where she is coming from. It’s based upon previous experience. One year we went camping for the weekend near Yankton, SD. We borrowed a tent from some friends. The first night it rained 1 ½ inches. The floor of the tent sloshed up and down like a waterbed without baffles. The water found every pinhole in the bottom of the tent, each of which seemed to be strategically placed so as to soak every sleeping bag. The next night it rained over 2 inches in just a little over an hour. The li…

The Promise in the Midst of a Curse 2.0

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“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! The evidence is overwhelming. It’s undeniable. You read it in the pages of history. You see it on the television news. You hear it in the voice of your neighbor.  You feel it in the very fiber of your being. There is something wrong, my friends! There is something wrong with this world! There is something wrong with this nation! There is something wrong with your neighbor! There is something wrong with me! And there is something wrong with you! That something is sin—an awful, broken condition that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve and their fall into sin in the Garden of Eden. Sin. Not simply a “mistake” or “error.” No, what happened with Adam and Eve was lawlessness, rebellion, outright disobedience to God’s specif…