I engaged in a discussion with a group of atheists the other day in response to one of the group’s members asking why God does not reveal Himself in an obvious way if He is real. Then, the atheist claimed, all witnesses would believe. At first glance that sounds rational, doesn’t it? How many times have each of us either longed to see a sign from God or directly asked for a sign? How often do we pray and yearn for a sign that God is listening? As the seeds of doubt sprout in our minds, perhaps we need just a small sign to give us comfort that what we believe is real. Is that too much to ask of God? We can empathize with the atheist’s question, can’t we? And yet, the Bible shows God revealing Himself to the world time and time again to no avail.
Today is the birthday for my 11-year-old twin boys. Yep, April Fool’s Day birthday. They are numbers 3 and 4 of my 5 boys. Yep, you heard that part right too. 5 boys. If I had gambled on the odds I could have cashed in big time. 5 boys and a set of twins. But I digress.
God’s sense of humor. Does He have one? Do you think He has the time for or interest in laughter? I think He probably does. I mean, after all, have you ever seen a rainbow-butted baboon?
The freedom of the will has been the subject of heated debate for centuries. Naturally, man wants to maintain control over his destiny and salvation; therefore, many cling to the notion of “free will.” John 3:16 is often used as the proof text for this view. However, in focusing on John 3:16 to the exclusion of the remainder of the Bible, Christians tend to overlook the role of the Holy Spirit in conversion and faith.
In the movie His Girl Friday, Cary Grant famously exclaimed, “Jumping Jehoshaphat!” I always thought that was a strange phrase and yet something about it made me want to say it out loud, despite the anticipated judgmental stares to follow. Continue reading “Jumping Jehoshaphat!”
We’ve all been there. That tortuous struggle between consciousness and check out. That hazy moment when the flesh pulls against the Spirit. You want to stay awake but your eyes seem disconnected from your brain, unwilling to submit to its beckoning. Sunday mornings when the preacher (not mine) seems to go on and on and you feel powerless against the weariness. You check your watch despairing over the needle’s sloth.
I haven’t read the funny pages since Calvin & Hobbes’ tragic departure in 1995. In fact, I might just blame the end of the print newspaper era in general on this untimely comedic exit. Bill Watterson was a master at capturing humanity, wrapped up in the deceptively innocent package of a sarcastic and devious stuffed tiger and his mischievous human companion.
(I contributed the following to the QUIET COLUMN on 3/22/16. I encourage you to check out the Blog)
Do you ever get anxious about sin in your life? Have you ever fretted over a sin, worried that if you got hit by a bus you might not make it into Heaven because you had not confessed before God and asked for forgiveness? Do you ever remorse over your sinful heart and wonder whether you are good enough to make it into Heaven? Do you look at fellow believers and either judge them for their sin or become anxious for them because they have not repented?
I attended the funeral of a close friend’s father yesterday. His name was Ron. Although I only spent a small amount of time around Ron, he was one of those men that a small amount of time was all you needed to know for certain that he was, in fact, a great man. By “great” I don’t mean famous, or rich, or a business tycoon. He wasn’t surrounded by models, or fancy cars, or cameras. He wasn’t loud or boisterous and didn’t live in a mansion. His greatness wasn’t the world’s greatness. And yet, as I squirmed in my uncomfortable folding chair in the back of the near standing-room-only service, the largest attended funeral in recent memory according to the preacher, I was overcome by desire to be a great man like Ron.
I put together the video above following a YMCA Indian Guides/Adventure Guides weekend outing a few years ago. In the video, kids are being kids, and what is more kid-like than sleeping bag sledding down the stairs? One might ask, “Where were the mommies?” assuming justly that mommies would have more sense. Well, this was a daddies and sons weekend, so, no mommies, which explains the mischief–when unsupervised, men tend to revert to childhood [I’m obviously playing off stereotypes here.]. A group of kids sledding down hardwood stairs may sound reckless and injury prone, but look at their pure joy? When did we stop letting kids be kids?