This little story really rattles my cage. What do you think??
“Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah began to reign. … He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. … The Lord afflicted Azariah with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house.” (2 Kings 15:1-5 NIV)
What?! This man obeyed God, was a good king and yet it specifically says the Lord gave him leprosy – the most dreaded disease of that day. That stinks.
Where is the justice in that? How can God do such a thing to a man who is walking in obedience? It would be one thing if it said God “allowed” it but it clearly says God caused it. Can we even trust God to be just when He does stuff like this to a good king who is faithfully serving Him? Continue reading
The blogger was ranting about Christians who claim God got them a good parking spot at the mall. “With people starving, dying from easily curable diseases and lack of clean water, terrorism and hatred on the rise and the world basically going to hell, do you really think God cares about being your personal mall valet?”
At first I cheered him on thinking, “Yeah, how can we be so self-focused to think God cares about us getting a good parking spot.”
Then I remembered a story a Bible translator told me. Continue reading
Steve was really disappointed. He’s a Commission To Every Nation missionary to Muslims who’s seen many amazing miracles but God just didn’t come through on this one. Working with a ministry in Gaza he was going to help a deaf soccer team attend a special camp for deaf players being held in Paris. It was a great opportunity to show the love of Jesus to these deaf Muslim men.
After a boatload of red tape they managed to get airline tickets and all the other details arranged. The hard part was done. Now they just needed $1,000 for passports. None of the guys could afford to buy their own.
Steve put the word out and waited. Surely lots of folks would want to help with this ministry opportunity. No response. The final date came and went and they didn’t even have enough money to buy a single passport. It was a huge disappointment. They had to tell the guys it just wasn’t going to happen. Continue reading
If you’ve felt the sting of the critic’s mean words it’s natural to want to avoid future attacks.
And it’s really easy to avoid criticism.
Simply do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
In short, waste your life and no one will criticize you.
(Except perhaps your parents because they love you enough to tell you you’re wasting your life.)
If you could live you whole life and do nothing but good you still could not avoid criticism.
One man did that and they nailed him to a cross three years after He went public.
Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”
At first I thought that was an outlandish statement – especially since he knew so many politicians in his day.
But years later it dawned on me what he was saying. Continue reading
I woke up at 4:00 am this morning with a splitting headache. (I’ve got to get a different pillow.) I took an ibuprofen but couldn’t get back to sleep so decided to make the most of it by spending some time with the Lord. As I stumbled out of the bedroom into a chair where I usually go to pray my head was pounding. “Lord”, I thought, “I need you to take care of this headache if I’m going to pray. I won’t be able to focus with my head throbbing like this.”
Suddenly I thought of the story in Acts 16:23-25:
“When they had struck them (Paul and Silas) with many blows, they threw them into prison, … the jailer … fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; …”
Then I was reminded of the many martyrs who were burned, stoned, subjected to unimaginable tortures yet died praising God. But I can’t pray because I have a headache? What is wrong with me? Continue reading
The Bible is filled with statements that just are not true. I was reading in Romans today and it said this:
(5:3) we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
I don’t know about you but tribulation – for just a teeny example, think of a flat tire on a rainy day – does not cause me to break into my happy dance.
Or how about this one also in Romans:
(8:28) And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, …
We know that? Really? If I know that then why do I freak out when things I don’t like come into my life?
Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. …
It sounds like Jesus is changing the Old Testament law – You have heard it said .. but I say unto you. But just 11 verses earlier (Matthew 5:17) He said He didn’t come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it. So obviously He would not then proceed to “do away” with it and replace it with His own set of rules. So what is up here?
This passage makes sense when you make a simple change in emphasis in the reading. We tend to read it .. “But I say unto you..” putting the emphasis upon “I”. But it all makes perfect sense when you put the emphasis upon the “you”. “I say unto YOU ..” How can I justify such a change? Continue reading
Today we live in a very polarized world. You are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, pro-abortion or anti-abortion, pro-same sex marriage or anti-same sex marriage, for “a pathway to amnesty for undocumented workers” or pro-secure borders and “get in line with the others”.
We choose our news source by our position on the issues and they spoon feed us what we are to believe about every issue and why that is the only reasonable stance.
But one of the things that confounded His followers was that Jesus seemed to always be touting a third option – a higher perspective of the issue. Continue reading
In Exodus 3 God referred to Himself as I AM. Grammatically that leaves a blank that I want to fill in. I am … what? And the words that we could use to fill that blank are nearly endless.
He is love. He is joy. He is peace. He is patient. He is kind. He is holy. He is faithful. He is …
In worship this morning I was thinking of all that He is and realizing that if He is the Great I AM, then I am the great I am not.
He is Holy. I am not. He is always kind. I am not. He is always faithful. I am not. He never fails. I do. He does not judge by outward appearance. I do. He always thinks the best. I don’t. In every area where He is the I AM, I am the I-am-not. Continue reading
In 2 Kings 23 King Josiah cleans Judah of its idolatry. I was struck by how perverted God’s people had become – prostitutes set up shop in God’s temple, the people burning their own children as sacrifices and other flagrant awful sins. Some of this had been going on for centuries.
But Josiah changes all that. The book of the Law is read. He relentlessly attacks and destroys the false gods. “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” (2 Kings 23:25) But even though the repentance was genuine they did not all live happily ever after. Continue reading