1 Peter 1:13 Remembering is a skill. Sure, there are those who have been blessed with a good memory. But they are exceptions. For most of us, remembering is a skill, like speaking in public, singing, reading, thinking, or swimming. We improve at a skill by hard work—direct effort applied with a good deal of … Continue reading Remembering Names, Part One
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 One of the toughest assignments in life is to communicate clearly what happened during a time when emotions were high. People who "fall in love" can hardly describe it. Those who endure a calamity or experience a sudden loss often convey the information in a confused manner. The same is true in … Continue reading Make It Clear!
Hebrews 13:1-4 Who really cared? His was a routine admission to busy Bellevue Hospital. A charity case, one among hundreds. A bum from the Bowery with a slashed throat. The Bowery . . . last stop before the morgue. Synonym of filth, loneliness, cheap booze, drugs, and disease. The details of what had happened in the predawn … Continue reading Who Cares?
1 John 3:16-18 Yesterday we began talking about the legal swamp—the tendency of people, and even professing Christians, to march headlong into the mire of courtroom battles, often without any attempt at personal reconciliation. And the longer we're in the swamp, the more our attitude starts to stink. This is especially true when we choose … Continue reading The Legal Swamp, Part Two
1 Corinthians 6:1-8 Law never fails to turn me off. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't think we need it . . . it's just that it leaves me cold. It frowns and demands. It requires and warns and threatens. With a grim glare, it dares us to forget its rules or even think … Continue reading The Legal Swamp, Part One
Philippians 2:3-7 It was a cold, blustery January night in 1973. Senator John Stennis, the venerable hawkish Democrat from Mississippi, drove from Capitol Hill to his northwest Washington home. Although older (71), he was still the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. At precisely 7:40 p.m., Stennis parked his car and started toward … Continue reading Bigness
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 Yesterday we looked at the grim, pitiful life of Samson, a powerful leader whose lust ultimately destroyed him. (Read Judges 16.) Lust is a deadly intruder you dare not entertain for a moment. When lust knocks on your door, you must call on Christ to meet it. Before giving lust a firm … Continue reading Closing the Door to Lust, Part Two
Judges 16 Samson was a he-man with a she-weakness. In spite of the fact that he was born of godly parents, set apart from his birth to be a Nazirite, and elevated to the enviable position of judge in Israel, he never conquered his tendency toward lust. On the contrary, it conquered him. Several things … Continue reading Closing the Door to Lust, Part One
Isaiah 29:13 The Great Plague stretched across London like a thick, drab blanket. It came as a thief in the night . . . unannounced, treacherous, silent. The mortality rate was astounding. Someone came up with the foolish idea that polluted air brought on the plague. So people began to carry flower petals in their pockets, superstitiously … Continue reading Superstition
Job 42:1-3 Could it be that you are beginning to feel the nick of falling rocks? Maybe the avalanche has already fallen and you're more than a little desperate. Job is our model for staying faithful when life is reduced to rubble. How'd he do it? Let's take a look. First, Job claimed God's loving … Continue reading After the Avalanche, Part Two