When I feel ill, all I want to do is wallow. Just sit and groan. It’s not a cry for attention — usually I’m alone when I make my pathetic whimpers of discomfort. I’m feeling sorry for myself. It’s pathetic, but at least it’s private. As we say in my family, “If you’re going to…
The question of which spiritual matters are more important than others, needless to say, is a complicated matter. We would all agree that some matters that involve our walk with Christ are matters of judgment and others are matters of doctrine. Distinguishing the one from the other is often complicated. A proper treatment of this…
Tea freezes at a temperature higher than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At least, it seems to. I left a bottle of Snapple in my office refrigerator over the break. It was beneath the weird little “freezer compartment” but certainly not in it. It was at least an inch away from anything icy. And when I opened up the fridge, it was totally frozen. The lid had somehow detached itself to make room for the ice that had formed. (I wish I had video of that. Was it slow? Was it explosive? I digress.)
My family spent Christmas night in the company of a wonderful group of Christians in the Fort Worth, Texas, area. We sang. We studied. We prayed. We renewed old acquaintances and made new ones. It was a wonderful Wednesday evening and a fitting cap to the day’s festivities. Another body of saints gathered five miles…
I am in a quandary. The landscaper I hired recently did what I will generously term a mediocre job. And technically, he isn’t finished; one of the bushes I ordered has not been delivered. He promised to follow through, but that was two weeks ago and I am frustrated. The bill, by the way, has been paid in full.
I hate holding people accountable in situations like this.
Wildlife photographer Kevin Ebi captured a series of photographs, one of which is included here, depicting an epic struggle between a bald eagle and a young red fox over a rabbit they both wanted for themselves. The eagle, obviously far more powerful, was determined to have the rabbit. But the fox would not give up. Ultimately, though, it had to; it let go and dropped about 20 feet to the ground below, emerging unharmed.
Imagine for a moment that you are the rabbit. God is the eagle. Satan is the fox. And don’t push the metaphor too far; God isn’t going to eat you for dinner, for instance. Just go with it.
My plate was as full as my heart yet again this Thanksgiving. The difference was, my plate did not remain full. It emptied out. True, it filled up again, but that problem was rectified soon enough.
In my 50s, I’ve discovered this shovel-as-flatware approach to dining brings a different sort of fullness. And this one is not quite so satisfying. And it lingers longer, too.
The New King James Version includes “murders” among the works of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Most other versions leave it out; evidently the older documents tend not to include it. Regardless, I doubt anyone would have difficulty with the idea of murder being included among the acts brought on by a wanton, godless lifestyle.
We likely would be more comfortable if it were left out. A world characterized by “strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying,” — we could manage that. We all can relate to such things; most of us have at least dipped our toe into more than a few of them. And without such things, what would we find to watch on television?
The landowner in Jesus’ parable went into the marketplace hour after hour; finding men there at the proverbial “eleventh hour,” he asked them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day long?” Turns out, it was a lack of opportunity rather than a lack of interest; when offered an chance to work, they were glad to take it (Matthew 20:6-7).
I fear some of us do not have an excuse quite so good.
A preacher colleague of mine messaged me on Facebook this week. He wanted to tell me I was on a list of people who have not claimed their big check from Such-and-Such Government Agency. After discovering that he did not know two of his own daughters, confirming my suspicions of a hack, I told him I had reported him to Facebook.