Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the Sand

Have you ever had one of those days when you have to throw up your arms and just accept what is happening? No matter your plans, on this day, things just won’t be working out. Today was exactly that kind of day. There was no interview lined up for this week’s devotional, so I prayed to God asking what wisdom he would impart on me? I asked him what he thought I should write about and what we should learn? As I walked out of my office to grab a different Bible, James 1:7 flashed in my mind.

There is a Time for Everything

There is a Time for Everything

When talking with a friend about her impact on this world I heard God’s rich wisdom in nearly every aspect of her life. She’s emphatically humble. How’s that for an oxymoron? She’s also devoutly Christian. Growing up in a Catholic household, she was exposed to God at a very early age and embraced him from the beginning. “I always felt His presence,” she admitted. “My first Communion in second grade was an overwhelming experience for me. I felt so blessed and valued,” she continued. She said that it was something you did and that maybe she didn’t understand the full significance of it at the time.

Truth Hurts

Truth Hurts

In the movie, A Few Good Men, there is a climactic scene between Jack Nicholson, a rough salty colonel and Tom Cruise, a rookie military lawyer. Nicholson’s character, (Colonel Jessep) is being questioned for covering up a conspiracy which included the abuse of a younger soldier. Tom Cruise (Lt. Kaffee) pressed Jessep for the truth. Jessep responded with, “You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls…” A much more drastic example of this attitude will play out in Acts between Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council.

You say Kaiser, I say Kristus

You say Kaiser, I say Kristus

In some ways, ancient Jerusalem during the Roman era wasn’t too different from our current world. It was largely an orderly society with a variety of different people, cultures, views and beliefs. Both pluralistic societies claim diversity and tolerance, but under Roman rule all citizens were also required to follow the rule of “Kaiser Kurios” (Caesar is Lord). In today’s society, Christianity is often viewed as being exclusive and narrow because of the primary belief that there is salvation in no one else. “Kristus Kurios” (Christ is Lord).

Turn Turn Turn

Turn Turn Turn

Whenever we think we’re in good shape, someone gives us a wakeup call. When we think we’ve worked hard enough, been good enough, or served enough, we’re reminded that it’s not our efforts that count. It’s not our opinion of ourselves that count. In Acts 3, the Gospel writer Luke tells us the miracle of the lame beggar. The message in this story shows us what does count. He highlights a dramatic spiritual turning in the lame beggar, in the crowd gathered at the temple, and in us.

Shame into Glory

Shame into Glory

With fragile emotions and hyper-sensitivity to the election, our President, racism, Covid-19, and a multitude of other issues, the rioting at our Capital building became yet another tipping point. Acts 2 reminded me of a similar display of shameful behavior but with an offer of hope for unity and (eternal) love.

Living like an Apostle

Living like an Apostle

The first four books of the New Testament contain the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Imagine skipping from John, the last Gospel, to Paul’s letter to the Romans? Nothing after the Gospels would have any context. We wouldn’t have any concept of the early church, we wouldn’t even know the importance or significance of this guy named Paul who wrote so many letters to the early churches. We wouldn’t know how the gospel spread from Jerusalem to Rome? These questions are answered in Acts.

What’s Behind Gift Giving?

What’s Behind Gift Giving?

While my wife, daughter, Cedar her border collie, and me were going for a sunset paddle tonight, we were engaged in a lively discussion about gift giving. We had received some gifts from friends who we didn’t have gifts for this year. It was partially a timing thing, partially a Covid thing, and partially just being forgetful. Awkward. Our nature is to follow up by going out and getting them something, but gift giving shouldn’t be about obligation or payback.