anxiety and kindness

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25) At first glance, the teaching of this Proverb seems over simple and it’s easy (for me, maybe not others) to say, “Well, of course. This is more self evident than gravity.” If I can humble myself to get down off my high horse, I’ll dig a little …

wisdom in the eye of the beholder

“Do not be wise in your own eyes” (Proverbs 3:7) What a perfect picture of pride. We need this picture because it is the struggle of every growing Christian. This command can be difficult for the wise to follow–should a wise person not see themselves accurately? Perhaps is means, “Do not see yourself as wise enough.” This would fit with the …

Why the pursuit of wisdom never stops

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” (Proverbs 1:5) When it comes to wisdom, there is never a moment when a person has “arrived” and can take easy and stop learning. Here are a few reasons why: We are great at forgetting stuff. We need to keep learning because what we really …

one really weak question

The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” (John 2:18) Here’s the backstory:  Jesus enters the temple courts and finds too much “business” happening, animals were sold and money was being exchanged. Jesus was “consumed with zeal” and drove out everyone that turned the temple into a market. The …

Silent service is the difference between shutting up and speaking up

Perfect Storm Factor #1: I have a ton of ideas and opinions about nearly every subject. I’m constantly thinking about things that I don’t understand–which is all the time because the world is a confusing place. I am constantly making mistakes and work to correct them. Some people call me quick witted–but I’m just sharing what I’ve already been thinking …

putting a god back in his place

“They took Dagon and put him back in his place.” (1 Sa 5:3) Under the corrupt leadership of Eli, the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant. Like a trophy, they placed it next to their false god Dagon. Dagon was an important god, adopted by the Philistines from the Babylonians. Although Dagon’s precise nature is unknown, scholarship suggests he was …

Why do we irritate others?

“…her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.”(1 Samuel 1:6) What moves us to provoke others? Even when we are so richly blessed, why do we feel the need to grind others down? Perhaps it is a lack of thankfulness, we fail to remember and acknowledge God as the provider of everything we need. Our lack of gratitude …

No One Lacks Integrity

Let us consider two essential dynamics of the spiritual life. Faith without deeds is dead. Belief is not enough. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Actions are not enough either.   The spiritual life consists of thinking right thoughts and doing right actions. Growing spiritually is the process of thinking MORE right thoughts and doing MORE right actions. …

Witness as Worship

“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” (Habakkuk 1:5) It would be so much simpler if I could get all the life change I needed from just listening and learning from God. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this …