2017

One Cranky Prophet

I’ve been reading Isaiah this month, two chapters a day.  Reading Isaiah is like riding a yo yo: up and down; up and down.  The mood changes almost mid-sentence from righteous judgment to gracious reconciliation—but let’s start at the beginning. The LORD strides upon the scene, calling out his grievance to the heavens and the […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 16: The Nation - Home at Last

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Did you catch the change in headings from last week to this week?  We’re no longer talking about “the people,” but “the Nation.”  By crossing the Jordan, Abraham’s wandering descendants passed a milestone.  A promise made to that landless patriarch almost 500 years earlier is fulfilled by the dramatic events that open the book of […]

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Testimony

These are personal testimonies collected years ago at a Christmas ornament exchange.  True stories; only the names have been changed to protect privacy: Debbie’s life was chaos, owing to a dysfunctional family: abusive dad, passive mom, no system or order in the household.  Her father made plenty of money, but she remembers walking to school […]

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Several years ago I had a preacher friend who provided interesting insights into the pulpit life.  During the years of our acquaintance, in spite of normal frustrations with his flock, he could usually count on at least a few encouraging words after each sermon.  Except for the time he preached about the temptations of Christ.  […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 14: The People - Sacrifice

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Leviticus is often called the “graveyard of daily Bible reading plans,” because when you turn the page after Exodus all your good intentions to stay awake fall off a cliff.  Detailed instructions for festivals and holy days, scrubbing your leprous walls, burying your polluted waste, purifying your bodily discharges . . .   What could have […]

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A New Creation?

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About twenty years ago, a close friend learned that her youngest son had Duchenne MD, the worst form of Muscular Dystrophy.  It meant gradual weakening, teen years in a wheelchair, and an early death, perhaps by his mid-twenties.  She told me it changed everything: how she thought, how she planned her day, how she cleaned, […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 13: The People - Tabernacle

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After last week’s fiasco, most of us would have ditched our “chosen people.”  The Lord even indicated that that was his inclination, but Moses (speaking in human terms, from a human perspective), “changed his mind.”  Or, as the first paragraph of the download puts it, After the golden calf incident, God declared that He would let […]

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Why Sex?

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Several years ago, after a flurry of news about some outrage I can’t even remember, my best friend asked in frustration, “Why do we even have to have sex?” One obvious reason: without a drive that powerful and all-consuming, the human species would have died out a long time ago.  Babies are fun and rewarding […]

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Bible Challenge, Week 12: The People - Failure!

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“All the LORD commands us, we will do.”  I’ve heard people say it’s easy to obey God.  Maybe they don’t realize how easy it is to think they’re obeying God, while they’re really obeying their own insights and personal revelations. True obedience begins with true worship.  “You shall have no other gods before me” is […]

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