One of the marks of a mature individual is their ability to face reality.We do not expect this of children, who have legitimate fears and appropriate imaginations. Adults help younger people learn to sort out what is real and what is make- believe. We can evaluate our level of maturity by our ability to identify and face reality.
There is a level of mystery and make-believe that should be a part of our life journey. Creativity comes out of that kind of thinking. So much of what we appreciate today is the result of people believing there is more to be experienced than what exists today. Consider medical advances, space exploration and technological abilities that are realities today but were only dreams – if that – a century ago. Continue reading
At least twice a week, the news stations sound the alarm that we need to get ready for the Big One, the earthquake that will rock Portland, Oregon. Our city officials are trying to get ahead of this and mandate that older buildings be reinforced to make them earthquake-proof. I don’t intend to get into the economics or politics of such an endeavor. But it is interesting that so much attention is given to making the foundations of our dwellings safe, but very little attention is given to explore the foundation of our lives. What is yours like? How does it do when you’re confronted with the storms of life? Does it produce peace, comfort, and hope? Or does it seem to crumble when you experience heartache? Are there cracks that have developed from traumatic shocks in the past? Continue reading
Valentine was the name of a Roman Priest who lived in AD 200’s during Emperor Claudius’ reign. Claudius was an evil ruler who hated Christians and was against the spread of Christianity. One form of persecution he used against Christians was to refuse young couples the right to marry. The sanctity of marriage meant nothing to him. He was much more interested in building his army to maintain his empire. Claudius wanted a strong army and he thought unmarried soldiers would fight harder and longer than married ones.
Valentine, on the other hand, strongly believed in the right to marry and say vows in the site of God and did everything he could to help young couples in love become wed. He even secretly married couples under the cover of night.
Claudius eventually found out and Valentine was caught and imprisoned for this action. Continue reading
When we were first painted, our colors were dazzling… we were called …. precious… priceless… beautiful… cute
But as time went on we began to HEAR the MOCKING sounds from other paintings…“I’m smarter…I’m stronger…I’m richer…I’m prettier…I’m better…”
Before long we accepted the lie that our value was based on COMPARISON. We began to DOUBT our worth. We felt the need to PROVE it (both to ourselves & others).
In some HOMES parents UNDERMINED their children’s worth, saying, “You’re such an embarrassment to me.” “You’re nothing but trouble.” “You’re always blowing it.” “Why can’t you be like your sister?” “You’ll never amount to anything.” Continue reading
Our pastor has been speaking for the last few weeks about ways in which Jesus described God, His Father. This past weekend he spoke of God’s GENEROUS nature. I like it when God is generous to me. But I find that when God seems MORE generous to someone else, I hear the voice of ENVY screaming with me, “It’s not fair!” At times, do you hear this same voice inside you?
There is always going to be someone who has more money than me, is smarter than me, or enjoys better health than me. Every time I turn on the television, I am bombarded with advertisements that seek to convince me that “I deserve to have it my way.” That may be fine when it comes to burgers, but that’s a Continue reading
The Democrat Party, fresh off electoral victories last fall, is flexing its muscles on behalf of sheer, unadulterated brutality, cruelty, and savagery.
In New York, the Democrat-controlled legislature and the Democrat governor signed into law a bill that allows abortion up the day of birth. The drop-dead point for the the butchers of Planned Parenthood is the scheduled day of delivery. The drop-dead point for the baby is any point before that. Even babies born alive after a botched abortion have been stripped of any guarantee of receiving medical attention. They presumably can be tossed in the corner and allowed to die. Continue reading
One of the movies often shown during the Christmas holiday is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Ruined financially, George Bailey is suicidal, thinking the world would be better off if he was never born. George’s guardian angel, Clarence, who is in training to become a full-fledged angel with wings, has the task of convincing him that his life really does matter. By the end of the movie George is glad he was born, and the tinkling of a bell on a Christmas tree indicates Clarence has received his wings. I don’t know if it’s because of this movie, but I’ve been surprised how many people believe that when we die we also become angels. I believe an understanding of the Bible gives an entirely different view. Continue reading
What sets the Bible apart from all other books? The fact that it’s been on the #1 Bestseller list more than any other book? That’s true, but that’s not what I’m after. How about the fact that it’s been translated into more languages than any other book? Also true, but there’s something else. Is it that the Bible is a collection of writings over the course of 1500 years by 40 authors from all walks of life? The Bible is definitely unique in that way, but it’s not what I’m looking for. Continue reading
MAN’S ARITHMETIC 1+1=2
God is a brilliant mathematician (the real Creator of the Laws of Physics). Therefore, it seems like a mistake to think He follows a simple 1+1=2 equation in our lives. What I mean by this equation is that some people think God always rewards good behavior with good conditions and punishes bad conduct with bad circumstances.
You hear this formula whenever someone responds to a bad circumstance with the question, “Is God punishing me for something I did?” Some people will Continue reading
It’s a little anticlimactic to watch the ball drop in New York on New Year’s Eve knowing it’s a rebroadcast from three hours earlier, and after you’ve seen all the fireworks go off hours earlier in Australia or Japan or London. I wish it turned 2019 at the same time everywhere. Having so many time zones is so confusing. Here’s a simple test: what time is it right now in Frankfurt? In India? In Japan? What did I tell you, confusing, huh? If it weren’t for smartphones and their apps, we wouldn’t be able to keep it all straight. Continue reading