Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Tuesday Rambling 1.16.18 – Looking Again at the Exodus

For this Tuesday, a bit of rambling about the Exodus:

  • Yes, this story lands at the top of my favorites list.
  • Think about the elements of what happens.
  • God – completely sovereign in the life of a leader (Moses).
  • God – completely sovereign over human government (Pharaoh).
  • God – passionate about the way He is worshiped.
  • The worship commanded of the newly free Israelites gave a glimpse of heavenly worship.
  • God brought this entire event about over the period of hundreds of years. He kept His promises!
  • God brought his people freedom.
  • They rejected freedom and wanted to return to their more comfortable ways.
  • Blood present as a powerful sign of freedom.
  • Despite a wonderful miracle, many died in disbelief in the desert.
  • Despite ten supernatural plagues, Pharaoh did not believe.
  • Human fear revealed and overcome: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm…”
  • I heard it said: it didn’t take forty years to get the people out of Egypt, it took forty years to get Egypt out of the people.
  • Can we relate?
  • How has God set you free? How do you resist? To what Egypt do you long to return?
  • Do you lead? Do you feel inadequate? Can you hear the words ring out from Exodus 3: I Am Who I Am.

 

Tuesday Rambling 1.9.18 – The Beauty of Genesis

I love reading through Genesis on the annual reading plan. Let me ramble about a few things.

  • God’s sovereignty shines through.
  • He loves people and hates sin. Big surprise!
  • He makes promises based in no way on the merit of human beings.
  • His promises endure despite the sinful bumbling of human beings.
  • And oh does that sinful bumbling shine through as well!
  • Abraham and Isaac both lie about their identity out of fear.
  • Jacob schemes in multiple ways. The story is difficult to fathom at times.
  • Jacob shows favoritism which leads to more family warfare and ultimately his years of trial in Genesis.
  • God directly intervenes and communicates.
  • His plan unfolds. It is NOT haphazard.
  • He affirms His promises.
  • He uses people despite personal sin and disobedience.
  • He uses people despite horrifically broken family patterns and sin.
  • Through it all, people respond at times with incredible faithfulness, boldly trusting God in total unknown and in ways that involve great personal risk.
  • This trite summary fails to cover many details.
  • Interested? Check it out. At just a few chapters a day you’ll be through the whole thing a few weeks. God is good.

Tuesday Rambling 12.12.17 – Christmas and Generosity

A few rambling thoughts about generosity this time of year:

  • Did you click on this wondering if it contained a guilt trip?
  • You know, give a lot at Christmas or maybe you don’t love God as much as you claim?
  • Well, that’s not really my intent.
  • I do wonder how we can connect some meaningful spiritual dots.
  • Could generosity this time of year help display our love for Jesus?
  • Ever wonder why Christmas clicks with so many on the outside of faith?
  • Well…we all like to receive gifts, right?
  • Christmas involves…God giving us a gift. So yes, there’s a natural fit there.
  • So if we pray for the Spirit’s help in displaying generosity, maybe someone will get a boost.
  • Maybe generosity can encourage someone. Maybe it will lift their spirits, or help them feel appreciated.
  • Could you give an extra gift to someone to show them you appreciate them?
  • Could you budget throughout the year to include more generosity?
  • What about strategy?
  • First, consider some extra for your local church and any outreaches.
  • Then, how about a favorite organization? One local and one international?
  • What about the type of giving you’re doing? Does it take creativity? Thoughtfulness?
  • Do “checklist” gifts such as gift cards or cash really help? Could you add something more personal to one of those types of gifts to help?
  • Lastly, I’ve thought of this: The Bible includes the thought that it’s easy to give to those who can give back. Who can you bless that won’t repay? Maybe carrying a little extra cash could create the right opportunity?
  • Enjoy giving this Christmas. Pray that Jesus will be glorified as you do. Pray for opportunities to share Him!

Tuesday Rambling 12.5.17 – Christmas and Grief

A common topic. Time to ramble:

  • The Holidays often bring reminders of grief.
  • Cherished memories clash with present realities of loved ones’ absence.
  • Added for me is the reality of personal loss and friends’ personal loss, all in December. It makes for a hard month.
  • So what? Has God brought some cruel joke upon us all?
  • Did He design holidays to make us more miserable as we age, inevitably knowing how difficult it will be to navigate the empty seat at the table or in the living room?
  • God’s people celebrated holidays. He commanded them to do so. Why? To make them miserable as everything changed?
  • No. Simply no. The goal involved reminding them that even though everything else changed around them, He didn’t.
  • Also, as time passes as well as loved ones, shouldn’t the repeated cycle of memories and the often accompanying bitter pain point us to heaven?
  • Heaven? When it feels like hell? Yes.
  • Do we not trust the realities of the future, promised to us by Jesus Himself?
  • Can the promise of heaven (especially reuniting with believing loved ones) NOT sooth our pain and deepen our trust in Jesus as we walk forward in this life?
  • I’ll close with Romans 8: 18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Tuesday Rambling 11.28.17 – Confusing Politics and Christianity

A few rambling thoughts regarding accusations, Christians, and politics.

  • Are you disturbed by accusations against Roy Moore and those who continue to support him?
  • Let’s frame the discussion.
  • An accusation of sin victimizing someone should create a moment of pause for anyone.
  • To immediately dismiss accusations by discrediting accusers can minimize victims and prevent victims from speaking out.
  • If you are not a victim, please stop and consider the above point. It’s important.
  • Remember the Penn State scandal. Behavior continued due to control, intimidation, and willing cover up. Remember that. Controlling or bullying accusers can be no different than controlling victims as abuse goes on.
  • But to insist on supporting a politician in the face of not only criminal but blatantly sinful allegations suggests to me we give a chunk of ground.
  • Believers must have the ability to speak with moral clarity. This presented a dilemma for many in the past presidential election.
  • Switching gears…I’m also a bit disturbed how some lump all Bible believing people in with those who claim Biblical Christianity but support Moore.
  • I don’t deny many do that (some polls even suggest some evangelicals are more likely to support Moore in the face of allegations), but many evangelicals speak clearly and forcefully against the behavior and wish the allegations were taken more seriously.
  • We should take care regarding the label “evangelical”. The term presents a lot of confusion presently. How do you define it?
  • Please, take these heavy issues seriously. Slow down and exercise discernment that shows you care about Christ more than a candidate.