The “Gate” scandals and the problem of peace – Fruit of the Spirit: Peace, Preview

You know that image of US President Richard Nixon stepping off the presidential helicopter flashing peace signs with both hands?  It’s a classic moment in US history, as Nixon had recently been on a diplomacy trip to China, an extremely rare feat for presidents before and after. It was quite a successful trip, and uponContinue reading “The “Gate” scandals and the problem of peace – Fruit of the Spirit: Peace, Preview”

When “Just trust in the Lord” is easier said than done – Ezekiel 24, Part 1

Have you ever had one of those moments when you prayed, “Lord, what is going on with my life?”  Have you ever had a moment when it seems like things are going off the rails, and you know the classic bible verse, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” but you think, “Easier saidContinue reading “When “Just trust in the Lord” is easier said than done – Ezekiel 24, Part 1″

An antidote to despair – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 4

If we aren’t supposed to succumb to worry about the future, is there an antidote to despair?  Again, the Teacher, the writer of Ecclesiastes, is ready with more wisdom for us.  Look at chapter 9, verses 7-9a. Dorsey’s Translation: “7 Therefore go, eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a joyful heart,Continue reading “An antidote to despair – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 4”

What to do when money keeps you up at night – Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12, Part 2

I never used to understand how people could struggle with restless nights. I understand now. For a number of years, I’ve battled anxiety and panic, and one of my triggers is money. Will there be enough? Are we saving enough for retirement? Can we do a better job with spending? How can we pay offContinue reading “What to do when money keeps you up at night – Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12, Part 2”

Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is…eat? – Acts 27, Part 4

If you like to eat, I think you’re going to like this post. I love eating. Sometimes I wonder what people throughout the centuries would think of food options that we have available to us in 2020? We eat like kings of old could only dream about. In fact, we have the foods of theContinue reading “Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is…eat? – Acts 27, Part 4”

What do you do when it seems like the storm of life is pounding you, and it won’t let up? – Acts 27, Part 1

I’ve been listening to a podcast called Deep Cover, the wild, true story of an FBI agent who, in the 1980s, goes undercover, posing as a member of a biker gang, digging up info about drug trafficking the gang is involved in.  As the months go by he earns the trust of numerous people inContinue reading “What do you do when it seems like the storm of life is pounding you, and it won’t let up? – Acts 27, Part 1”

Why we can follow God’s way even when we’re scared or anxious [How God feels about our fear – Deuteronomy 31-34, part 5]

What mountains are you facing? This past year, I started doctoral studies, and the thought of researching, writing and defending a dissertation feels like a vast, unconquerable mountain. If I’m honest, sometimes being a pastor of church feels that way too. As does parenting or living out the way of Jesus in our complex world.Continue reading “Why we can follow God’s way even when we’re scared or anxious [How God feels about our fear – Deuteronomy 31-34, part 5]”

An embarrassing dream told me the truth about my life [How God feels about our fear – Deuteronomy 31-34, part 1]

I want to tell you about a dream I had this week.  I’ve had a similar one before.  Maybe you’ve had one like this too.  My dream started as I was sitting in a chair at a pool party at a place I didn’t recognize.  At the party were some of my kids’ friends andContinue reading “An embarrassing dream told me the truth about my life [How God feels about our fear – Deuteronomy 31-34, part 1]”

How NOT to wait during hard times [First Sunday of Advent, part 4]

We have been studying the concept of waiting during dark times in this series of posts on the Lectionary passages for the First Sunday of Advent.  In part 3, we introduced the fourth reading, Luke 21:25-36, where Jesus prophesies his second coming.  Christians throughout the ages have been waiting for his return. That waiting canContinue reading “How NOT to wait during hard times [First Sunday of Advent, part 4]”

How to grow your love for God, part 3 (dealing with our fears)

What do you fear?  Even if you are the kind of person who is not afraid of hardly anything, do you have concerns?  What bothers you?  Maybe your personality really struggles with fears.  I’ve talked in a previous post about my own struggles with anxiety. I’ve come to realize I have triggers: health and financialContinue reading “How to grow your love for God, part 3 (dealing with our fears)”