Yearly Archives: 2012

144 posts

When God Brings Cancer

News of having cancer is a life-changing event. Sorrow, sadness,  sympathy, and understanding are appropriate responses. But for a Christian, more is needed. Cancer brings fear and for many who are diagnosed, finality.  Once the initial emotional impact passes, uncertainty and helplessness may dominate. Some may just give up in resignation. Other folks may assume an aggressive posture towards cancer and determine to “beat it” no matter how great the odds. Regardless of which response is made one additional perspective is needed. This perspective is God’s perspective. Talking about cancer may seem out of place at Christmas, but to those who have the disease, there is no better time to think about God and cancer. A compassionate biblical response is […]

What is right with _______?

Often, when someone offers an objection to a particular activity, the immediate response is, “What’s wrong with that, doing that never hurt me!” Over time this question has become a standard method for determining whether a particular action is acceptable. If you can’t see anything wrong with doing something, then it must be okay. However, using this question as a guideline is not a wise way to make decisions. Families lead busy, hectic lives. Decisions about what should or shouldn’t be done are often made on the run. For example, a decision about which movie to rent tonight might be asked and answered via cell phones as mom travels between a doctor’s appointment and an after school soccer match. The criteria most […]

Disappointment on Christmas Morning

  Gift giving is a double edged sword. When a gift is given that is a delightful surprise or a longed for treasure, all is well. The giver is happy, the recipient is thrilled, the tree seems  to be bigger and brighter. But when the gift that was desired does not appear, something else happens; the tree is somehow not as pretty. A child fights to hold back tears, especially if his brother got exactly what he wanted. A cloud hangs over the festival atmosphere of Christmas Day. And, of course, the disappointment of the missing  gift is not limited to children, mom & dad can know this ache as well.   Not getting the gift that is wanted can […]

We Don’t Know What to Do

  The words “we don’t know what to do” sound like words of defeat and confusion. But, like most things, context is important. These words in context are words of faith and trust. They are words that reflect humility and reality.    You see, almost 3,000 years ago, Jehoshaphat, King of Judah was faced with annihilation by a strong enemy coming up from the south. The intent of this enemy was the destruction of his kingdom. Jehoshaphat knew that there was no way the army of Judah would defeat this enemy. He knew that he had only one option, God.   So he gathered the people together and then prayed for God’s help. He didn’t have a plan, because there […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Heart Music Worship is centered in the heart. Paul says that the word of Christ is to dwell in your heart, your inmost being. We know that God is not interested in sharing heart space with anyone or anything other than himself. A heart where the splendor of God shares space with the worries of life is a heart that will be hindered in its ability to worship. As you teach and admonish your children, God commands that his music is to play in your heart. Colossians 3:16 is not a suggestion, it is a command that we need so that we can prioritize our life and thoughts. Ignoring this command is just as destructive as ignoring the command not […]

December 7th & Peace on Earth

  Peace is a common theme of the Christmas season. However, as conflicts continue to rage across the planet, peace appears to be little more than an elusive ideal. December 7th is a painful reminder that war and not peace is the legacy of mankind. Still people search for peace.  Each Christmas renews the longing for peace on earth.  But this sort of “Peace on Earth” is not the message of the angels, instead it is the message of Christmas Cards. Let’s look at what the angels actually said to the shepherds:   Glory to God in the highest,     and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”   The angels knew that man is at war with […]

The Government & Christmas

Roman emperors ruled with unquestioned authority. Their word was enough to upend the lives of people all around the ancient Mediterranean world. Like most leaders in history, Caesar Augustus gave no thought that his orders would serve the purposes of the living God. Caesar wanted to record the vastness of his empire. He had no clue his orders would bring about the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. His decree would serve the eternal decree of the true King. God’s ways are not our ways. Things are not as we think. 2,000 years ago it was not evident that Caesar’s order would result in the first Christmas. As Nebuchadnezzar realized no one can hold back the hand of God. Here is something […]

Are You Santa’s Helper?

Your children know everything about you. They see when you are sleeping, they know when you have been good or bad, they know when you pout and when you shout. Your kids know all of this without your ever having to say a word. When you stumble and ask God for help — they learn. When you stumble and snap or make excuses — they learn from that, too. If you value your relationship with God above all else, your children will know that as well. What does this have to do with being Santa’s helper? Just this: in Psalm 72:18 we read that “God alone does marvelous things.” However, at Christmas time, for little children someone else is portrayed […]