Mockery in the Service of God

“Thus, Ehud made for himself a dagger (and it had two mouths) a cubit in length. And he bound it to himself under his robe on his right side. And he took the gift to Eglon, the king of Moab. Now, Eglon was a very fat man.” (Judges 3:16-17) As the elements of this story… Read More

Help Us Repent and Love You in Deed

“And so the nose of Yahweh burned toward Israel and he sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathayim, king of Aram Naharayim. And the Sons of Israel served Cushan Rishathayim for eight years. The Sons of Israel cried out to Yahweh and Yahweh raised up a deliverer for Israel who delivered them — Othniel,… Read More

Forgetting the things of God

“And so all of that generation were gathered to their fathers, but following them arose another generation which did not know Yahweh and also the works which he had done in Israel.” (Judges 2:10) The Historian, Will Durant, is famously quoted as saying, “From barbarism to civilization takes a century; from civilization to barbarism needs… Read More

Burial or Cremation

“And they buried him within the borders of his inheritance, in Timnath-Cheres, in the mountains of Ephriam — on the north side of mount Ga’ash.” (Judges 2:9) In a day and age where the practice of cremation has become both commonplace and acceptable, it is important to be reminded of the Biblical practice of burying… Read More

Personal Holiness of Church Leaders

“And when Joshua sent the people off, the Sons of Israel each went to his own inheritance to possess the land. And the people served Yahweh all the days of Joshua and all of the days of the Elders who lived days beyond Joshua, who had seen all of the great works that Yahweh had… Read More

Influencing the Culture

“Naphtali did not dispossess those who dwell in the House of Shemesh or those who dwelt in the house of Anath; and they dwelled in the midst of the Canaanites who dwelt in the land. Thus, the House of Shemesh and the House of Anath became forced labor for them. And the Emorites tormented the… Read More

Friends

So what makes a friend a friend? And when I speak of friends, I am not thinking of those we might casually refer to in that way, but those with whom you have a close and enduring bond — a bond that is strengthened, not weakened by trials and difficulties and with whom love is… Read More

Playing Dominoes in Ukraine

I spent about half an hour the other day playing a game of two-on-two Dominoes with several of my Ukrainian students. The game was the basic game that I had played as a child, though it has been many years since I had played, and it was fairly easy to follow the progression even though… Read More

Strengthen What is About to Die

You must become alert!  And you must strengthen the ones who remain, who are waiting to die, for I have not found your works to be fulfilled before your God. (Revelation 3:2) The seven letters of Revelation contain some devastating rebukes for those in the churches of Asia. Out of the seven churches, two receive… Read More

Ego Custodiam

The fourth of the relational statements that the early church fathers made reflected God’s relationship to the church. “I will guard them,” says God of his people. At first, we might be inclined to think that this statement could be fuller or more involved. We might expect God to say Ego Redimam (“I will redeem”)… Read More

Ego Eripiam

The third of our statements deals with the relationship of Satan toward believers—“I will snatch them” or “I will steal them away.” While we would affirm in our theology that the believer is held by Christ and can never be separated from his hand (John 6:37; 10:28; Romans 8:37-39), the reality of Satan’s eventual failure… Read More

Ego Decipiam

While the pastor must confess that he will fail his flock, the world makes a different profession. The world says, “I will deceive them” or “I will ensnare them.” How much more sinister is this response than the one that went before, yet how often has this been our experience. The world promises us wealth… Read More

Ego Deficiam

“I will fail them.” The early church fathers reflected on the relationships between pastors, the world, satan, and the church flock and developed a series of statements that described each relationship. The first of these statements was that of the pastor with regard to his people: Ego Deficiam (I will fail). At first, our response… Read More

Blankets as a Sign of God’s Grace

One of the ways in that my wife and I are different has to do with blankets. My wife is almost always warm when she sleeps, so typically a comforter is all she wants to sleep with. I, on the other hand, am perpetually cold when I sleep, so to me, the more blankets the… Read More

The Gospel and Brushing Your Teeth

I publicly confess that I am not overly fond of brushing my teeth. I do brush my teeth, mind you, but it is not a part of the day that I look forward to. In fact, after I got married, one of the great sacrifices that I made to please my new bride was that… Read More

Do We Need a Polygraph in Church?

  I suppose that all of us have seen the movies or read the pulp stories where the evil villain captures the hero and forces him to reveal some sort of important information by strapping him into a chair and hooking him up to a lie-detector machine of some sort. How the hero would sweat… Read More

Polished But Worn

Recently, I was reading about the criminal investigation that took place around the shooting of President Kennedy. One of the investigators made note of something that I found quite striking: the shoes that President Kennedy was wearing looked as if they had been re-soled at least 10 times. To us, in our modern “throw-away” society,… Read More

Safety Inside Our Bondage

A strange thing sometimes happens when people have been held captive for a period of several days or longer. In certain instances, the captive begins to associate with his or her captors, and in some cases, not only resists rescue, but serves to help their captors in their criminal activities. This is typically called “Stockholm… Read More

A Living Parable

It has disturbed me to see the attitude taken by many toward the creation account as rendered by Genesis One. Even within my own denomination, one which finds its theological moorings in the Westminster Confession of Faith, there are many who have accepted “alternate explanations” of the account. Some have gone as far as to… Read More

Stressed or Desserts

It was pointed out to me recently that if you take the word “stressed” and spell it backwards, you get, “desserts.” At first, I did not dwell too much on the idea beyond the idea that  isn’t it interesting that one of the ways we humans deal with stress is with what we sometimes call,… Read More

Fear Not, Little Flock!

Have you ever noticed how many times the Bible talks about fear? There is a fear of the Lord, which is the source of wisdom and knowledge—a fear that reflects a holy reverence for who God is. There is also a fear of the world—a fear of going hungry, not having the things we need,… Read More

Burning the Q’ran

There has been a lot of discussion as of late about a Florida pastor who desires to burn the Q’ran (some also write it: Koran) on September 11th in protest of the Muslims who were responsible for the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers and on the Pentagon in 2001. Such has caused a great… Read More

Serving Two Masters

“No one has the power to serve two Lords; for either the one he will hate and the other he will love or he will hold firmly to one and hold the other in contempt. You are not able to serve God and Mammon.” (Matthew 6:24) Recently I read an article that cited a statement… Read More

Building Museums or Kingdoms

Museums can be a lot of fun to visit. They contain relics and artifacts from which we can learn a lot about our past. They are monuments and testimonies to where we have been as a culture and from where God has brought us as a civilization. They serve a very important role in our… Read More