How the Holy Spirit helps us have peace when we struggle with fear – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5

What is at the root of fear?   Human nature? Maybe it is just a part of the human experience? We fear that we won’t be taken care of. Clearly so many of us, young and old fear rejection, loneliness, insecurity, or being destitute.  We can fear that people will look down on us. There isContinue reading “How the Holy Spirit helps us have peace when we struggle with fear – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2019, Part 5”

Seeing beyond our circumstances to share grace and peace – Philemon 1-7, Part 2

How are you viewing your life? Are things going well? Are they difficult? If they are going well, my guess is that you probably view your life in a positive light. But if things are difficult, your view could be negative. In the middle of the difficult times, it can be hard for us toContinue reading “Seeing beyond our circumstances to share grace and peace – Philemon 1-7, Part 2”

What Christians need: Grace, Peace…and Titus? Titus 1:1-4, Part 5

What do you need? A million bucks? I often daydream about how a million dollars would free up my life. But that’s not really what I need. What do we need? We conclude this week’s blog posts on Titus 1:1-4 today looking at what Christians need. If you haven’t read the previous four posts, IContinue reading “What Christians need: Grace, Peace…and Titus? Titus 1:1-4, Part 5”

Should Christians take up arms? [Christians & War – Deuteronomy 20, part 4]

How should Christians view war?  We are not the nation of ancient Israel which had a special covenant with God.  We are the church, and we are under a new covenant.  So from this passage in Deuteronomy, we can learn God’s heart, but we have to also take into consideration the new covenant we haveContinue reading “Should Christians take up arms? [Christians & War – Deuteronomy 20, part 4]”

War & Peace [Christians & War – Deuteronomy 20, part 1]

As I was studying Deuteronomy 20 last week, I had songs going through my mind. War songs. Anti-war songs. It is interesting to me that there is in our culture an intersection of war and music. Then again, I suppose music touches all aspects of life. And, perhaps, so does war. I wanted to startContinue reading “War & Peace [Christians & War – Deuteronomy 20, part 1]”

How to be a peacemaker (shocking lessons from an “insane” person!)

All week long, we’ve been looking at 1 Peter 3:8-12 where Peter teaches a very difficult thing to do: when people insult you, ask God to bless them. Is Peter saying you can never defend yourself?  I would submit that Peter would answer, “No. You can defend yourself. But there is a right way andContinue reading “How to be a peacemaker (shocking lessons from an “insane” person!)”

What should Christians do about War and Peace? – On the 15th anniversary of 9/11

On September 11th, 2001, Michelle and I were in Kingston, Jamaica.  We had been there for a year as church-planting missionaries.  That morning I was down the road at our co-workers house feeding their rabbits.  Our co-workers, the Kay family, were out of town, and we were taking care of things for them.  Michelle calledContinue reading “What should Christians do about War and Peace? – On the 15th anniversary of 9/11”

When peace and quiet seem impossible to come by

Anyone else out there feeling a longing for some peace and quiet in life? We have our men’s retreat at Twin Pines coming up in a month, and I’m really looking forward to getting away. Up to the mountains. Last year we devoted time at the retreat for personal prayer.  I decided to pray whileContinue reading “When peace and quiet seem impossible to come by”

Follow up to Joy & Peace (aka “resting in the liver”)

What an amazing Sunday!  We got to celebrate with seven people as they were baptized, proclaiming their faith in Christ and their desire to be his disciples for life.  That visual image of moving from death (under the water) to life (rising above the water) is so clear. Through those baptisms on Sunday we sawContinue reading “Follow up to Joy & Peace (aka “resting in the liver”)”