Tag: life

Walking Through 2nd Peter – Grace and Peace to You

Walking Through 2nd Peter – Grace and Peace to You

Encouragment
There comes a time when we consider what will happen after we're gone. Two letters in the New Testament are written from this point of view; 2nd Timothy and 2nd Peter. Neither are wills or last testaments. But they do stress a kind of "if you don't remember anything else, remember this" kind of message. For the next twelve weeks, we're going to walk through 2nd Peter as he stirs up our "sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles." (2 Peter 3:1-2, NASB95) Before we begin our walk, I encourage you to read the whole letter in one sitting. Based on 2 Peter 3:1 it is apparent that Peter is writing to the same persecuted and struggling audience as 1st Peter. While...
Jesus Said That?! Radical Life

Jesus Said That?! Radical Life

Encouragment
Consider all of the things science can do. Like understanding the Human Genome to the point of analyzing and distinguishing individual differences and wired in traits. Whether you agree or disagree with Genetically Modified Food, just consider how a scientist can enhance an attribute of a plant, bypassing decades of traditional modification through selective breeding. But in all of that, there is one thing that science has not been able to do, they can’t create life. They can encourage it, modify it, enhance it but not create it. In our next Jesus Said That?! we tackle one of the hardest sayings recorded in the Gospels but one that leads us to an understanding of the radical life offered by Jesus. John recorded, “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the fle
When God Seems Asleep

When God Seems Asleep

Encouragment
You’ve got to love the Psalms. They weren’t just syrupy feel-good songs which ignored the realities of life, sin, and death. Take Psalms 44 for instance. It begins by recounting God’s hand in the Israelite’s victories. “They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them.” (Psalm 44:3, NLT) But things weren’t so rosy when this Psalm was written. Later in Psalm 44 the account shifts from what God had done in the past to what He seems to be failing at for them at that moment. “Yet You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor, And do not go out with our armies. You cause us to turn back from the adversary; And those who hat
Seven: Dear Ephesians

Seven: Dear Ephesians

Encouragment
What if out of the blue you received a misdirected email that read: Dear Ann, Thanks for having us over the other night. Your Chicken Marsala was fantastic. I do hope that Missy is feeling better. Anyway, we heard from Paul and he told us more about what’s happening in Atlanta. Its worse than I told you. The curious thing is that Paul doesn’t sound too concerned. Keep us in your prayers. Hugs and Kisses, Sissy, As we read the wayward email some things are clear while others remains a mystery. We know they had some kind of get together and they had Chicken Marsala. Missy isn’t feeling well but we don’t know who Missy is. Something is happening in Atlanta which is troubling and Paul, whom they both know, is in the middle of it.  In order to make sense of things we might try to read be
Flower in the Desert

Flower in the Desert

Short Stories
One day a tender blade pushed up through the desert crust. The wind threw pebbles and dust at it to cover it again. The sun tried to bake it out of existence. The blade persisted and became two blades, then three leaves and a stem. At night, while the moon was high and the air cold, tiny droplets of water would gather on the leaves. In the twilight of morning the droplets of water would run down the stem and into the ground and refresh the roots. Eventually a bud formed which, after a few more days, unveiled a golden flower with radiating petals. The blossom seemed to mirror the very sun that sought to scorch it. Invisibly, the roots of the golden flower grew deeper; gathering all of the moisture it could from the surrounding soil. Other creatures began to take notice.  A caterpillar wo
For The Birds

For The Birds

Encouragment, Seeing
I love getting up in the early morning to the sweet sound of birds chirping and singing. Regardless of how stormy the night before they greet each new day with joy and cheerfulness. To hear their joy and their worship always brings joy to my own heart, reminding me that today belongs to the Lord. Jesus also spoke about birds and God’s care for them. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:25–26, NASB95) Later in Matthew Jesus taught, “
Apple Seed Gospel

Apple Seed Gospel

Short Stories
One autumn afternoon Matt decided to pedal his bike around the section to see how harvest was going.  Well, that's what he told his ma.  His real objective was to check on Mr. Bright’s apples and possibly “borrow” a few. Along the way, Matt did check on the neighbors fields.  Of particular interest was Mr. Patterson’s pumpkin patch. Soon the factory workers would flock to the field to row the pumpkins with one kind of machine and then lift the pumpkins into the back of trucks with another strange looking machine.  Mr. King already had his corn in Matt noted as he turned the northeast corner.  But across the road old Johnny Darst’s corn was still standing. Another mile, a few more fields, and Matt came upon Mr. Bright’s place. Laying his bike in the ditch Matt carefully climbed the wi
A Little Word that Means Everything

A Little Word that Means Everything

Encouragment, Faith
I’m old enough to remember the Apollo space flights and the day Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. In grainy black and white, we watched the white-suited astronauts bounce around a gray and black landscape. I marveled at the achievement without realizing the precariousness of their position and their utter trust and dependence on their space suits. For those that follow Christ, there is a familiar verse, it is part of the Roman Road, and it explains in just a few words the truth of the human condition. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NASB95) In a way, this verse is similar to Neil and Buzz’s moonwalk. Many have asked, “why would a loving God send anyone to hell.” Wrong assumptions always lead to wro