Tag: love

Walking Through 1st Peter – Good Stewards of God’s Grace

Encouragment
One way or another we all care about something or someone. A child cares for their toys. A student stewards their time and focus. A factory worker sees to their machine. A husband and wife manage the home. Your pastor shepherds souls. A farmer husbands his field, flock, and harvest. We are all stewards of something. Peter reminds us that those who have chosen Jesus and walk with him are called to steward the gifts of God. Welcome to our 19th edition of our Walk Through 1st Peter. Feel free to join in even if this is the first article of this series you’ve seen. Previous articles are on our website – lambchow.com. Peter wrote, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another
Walking Through 1st Peter – 16, A Call to Action

Walking Through 1st Peter – 16, A Call to Action

Encouragment
Inherent in just about everything we read, see, or hear is a call to action. Sometimes it’s just a subtle suggestion. An unspoken hint that life would be better or more fun if we owned, say, a particular car. Often the call to action is brash and bold. “But wait there’s more, call now and get two miracle magic whatchamadings for only 19.95 (plus shipping, handling, and whatever else we can tack on).” The call to action may be the adoption of a way of thinking or feeling that is being played out in the novel we’re reading or the show we’re watching. Our next step through 1 Peter also contains a powerful and challenging call to action. Welcome to our sixteenth step of our Walk Through 1st Peter. In the past few articles, Peter has laid out some challenges for his readers regarding the rel
Walk Through 1st Peter – Wives and Husbands

Walk Through 1st Peter – Wives and Husbands

Encouragment
The next step in our walk through 1st Peter is like a walking a high tension wire over a deep canyon. Peter bravely steps into our closest relationship, drops words that are challenging for some and troubling to others. We can think of a thousand exceptions and nearly as many objections. We can either skip over this part and declare it to be a cultural abnormality. Or we can take it hyper-literally and change our most intimate of relationship into something akin to slavery. I will endeavor to do neither. I trust God’s word, and so we will wrestle to find the balance inherent in Peter’s words to walk the wire. Welcome to our 15th installment in our Walk Through 1st Peter. Previous articles can be found on our website – Lambchow.com. Peter wrote, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive
Walking Through 1st Peter #7 – Love One Another

Walking Through 1st Peter #7 – Love One Another

Encouragment
No one likes to eat from a dirty plate or drink from a soiled cup. It’s about as simple as that. Granted, there is a large variation in tolerances between folks. Some are turned away by a speck of dried broccoli on a fork, while others put up with much more before a meal is ruined. This week’s lesson from 1 Peter forces us to consider the cleanliness of our own souls and how that affects what we offer to others. Welcome to the seventh installment in our walk through 1st Peter. If you're just joining us or would like to share previous lessons, they can be found on our website – lambchow.com.  Peter has just called his readers to “be holy” and to conduct themselves while keeping the salvation and redemption of Christ always in view. Peter continues,  “Since you have in obedience to the tr
Jesus Said That?!  Radical Love

Jesus Said That?! Radical Love

Encouragment
Every year folks flock to the beach. They enjoy the warmth of the sun, play in the sand and surf, some may do a bit of surfing or snorkeling. A few will just sit and ponder the vastness of the open water before them and the rhythm of the waves. Even fewer will consider the complexity of life just below the surface, the dangers and treasures that are hidden from view. Our next Jesus Said That?! statement is a lot like that ocean scene. This is our final article in this series of sometimes hard, sometimes startling, sometimes radical statements of Jesus. Our last Jesus Said That statement doesn’t seem all that radical, that is until we dive beneath the surface and try to fathom the depths of all that it means.  Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even
Send Out Your Light and Love

Send Out Your Light and Love

Encouragment
This past weekend, while Betty and I were wandering around a Wisconsin antique and craft mall, I saw this sign – The Journey is the Destination. While that sounds good, there is a problem. Sure, Lambchow focuses a lot on the journey and adventure of following Jesus. But we are not wandering without purpose. We are not seeking adventure for the sake of the thrill. We do have a destination, a purpose and reward for this adventure of following Jesus. The Psalmist wrote, “Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!” (Psalm 43:3–4, NLT) These few lines are packed with truth. There is a way, a progr
Jesus Said That?! Radical Priorities

Jesus Said That?! Radical Priorities

Encouragment
There were several books in my teenage years that shaped my spiritual journey and love of Jesus. I found it easy to relate to Phillip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 since we raised sheep as 4-H and FFA projects. The grand sweeping tale of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings caused me to consider how those who are seemingly insignificant can have a world-shaking impact. David Wilkerson’s The Cross and Switchblade and Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place exposed the risk and reward of radical obedience. Another autobiography provided three simple words as a framework for the choices of life and the radical priorities Jesus calls His followers to embrace. One day a large crowd was following Jesus. Luke records that Jesus turned and addressed them with some rather shocking words. “If anyon
Jesus Said That?! A Radical Faith

Jesus Said That?! A Radical Faith

Encouragment
Have you ever worked with epoxy?  It comes in many forms and can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether it’s a five-minute epoxy that comes in a double syringe, or a liquid steel kind that comes with two tubes, or even the paste kind the process is the same. Equal parts of the resin and the hardener mixed together and then applied as needed. By themselves, the resin and hardener are basically useless, but when mixed there is a chemical reaction that changes everything.  Our next Jesus Said That?! statement contains two parts that when combined create something radical. Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say
Walking Through Philippians: Lesson Two – Paul’s Prayer

Walking Through Philippians: Lesson Two – Paul’s Prayer

Encouragment
There’s a basic truth of life we often forget -- what ultimately matters is not how much we know but what we do with it. Isn’t that what separates trivia from useful knowledge? Can we make a difference in our life or in someone else’s life by knowing that there were four Maltese Falcons created for the iconic movie, one of which Humphrey Bogart damaged when he accidently dropped it? I can’t think of how knowing that fact could possibly help anyone unless they were playing a trivia game or were on a quiz show. Now, not all knowledge is trivial. In fact, part of Paul’s prayer for the folks at Philippi was that they would grow in knowledge. But that’s only a part of a greater whole as we’ll soon see. This is our second article on our Walk Through Philippians. In our first article, we look
It’s a Little-Known Fact…

It’s a Little-Known Fact…

Encouragment
We’ve entered a new era, sort of anyway.  Maybe you remember the TV show Cheers, a comedy set in a Boston bar room. One of the characters was a know-it-all postal worker called Cliff. Every week he would pull out some obtuse and trivial fact that wasn’t quite right. For instance, “It’s a little-known fact that the tan became popular in what is known as the Bronze Age.” Imagine Cliff pushing one of his truth nuggets today and everyone fact-checking him on their smartphone. In a way, knowledge has changed from knowing something to knowing how to find something. But it’s not the same is it? Instead of really internalizing knowledge we simply brush up beside it, knowing that we can always find that bit of information again if needed. Christians have been doing that for years, brushing up a
The Helmet – Love

The Helmet – Love

Short Stories
This is my first short story. Betty and I had stopped at an Applebee's after some Christmas shopping. All the stories in the fruit series were based on some piece of memorabilia from the walls of that restaurant.  This one is prompted by a white and red football helmet that reminded me of triple practices in the summer heat.  Zimmy was exactly normal in almost everything. He was right smack dab at the top of the infamous bell curve. Average grades, average smarts, average ambition, average strength, average ability, and average height  Zimmy had very short, rust-colored hair with matching freckles, an infectious laugh, and an easy going attitude. He lived in a two story white house with his parents, older brother and younger sister. There were, in fact, only 2 things in which Zimmy
Real Fruit – Love

Real Fruit – Love

Encouragment
Imagine a world without limits. No speed limit: you can go as fast you dare. There is nothing to stop you from doing anything your heart desires. Want to fly to Pluto? No problem. Want to buy a new home? In this world you’re not limited by what you make, choose the house of your dreams. There are no limits, no law. Most of us can see the immediate problem. Without law. Without limits. Anything goes. Anarchy reigns supreme and someone’s going to get hurt or killed. But what if I told you that there is space for exactly that kind of anarchistic, do as much as you want, encouragement in the Bible? If you are just joining us, this is the ninth and final article in a series on the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. And yes, we worked backwards. In this series we looked at three thi