The Misery of Comparison and the Joy of Collaboration

When my kids were little, I never was great at planning their birthday parties.  My daughter Bethany’s birthday is in early November, between Halloween and Thanksgiving, and it always snuck up on me. It still does. When Bethany was 4, I was in an especially busy phase of life—finishing grad school, doing a counseling internship,Continue reading “The Misery of Comparison and the Joy of Collaboration”

Captivity, Wilderness, & Promised Land

In January the Holy Spirit walked me through the book of Exodus and showed me many new insights. Now I’ve moved into Deuteronomy, and I’m fascinated to see how this book of Moses traces the same theme: Yahweh is present with us when we are in captivity, when we are in the wilderness, and whenContinue reading “Captivity, Wilderness, & Promised Land”

Making an Argument (revisited and revised)

I look at the year 2020 as a time of collective insanity. We faced a pandemic that isolated us with our fears, frustrations, and addictions. Political upheaval, racial enmity, shootings, and riots brought much division. People responded with wrongheaded (in my opinion) political correctness and threats to free speech. We are still in a lotContinue reading “Making an Argument (revisited and revised)”

Humility and Pride in Acts 8

A few times I’ve read through the whole Bible in a year. This requires a particular daily discipline that I didn’t feel prepared to undertake this year. I have several writing goals on the docket that demand that I drill down deeper into some texts rather than taking a survey approach. I’ve found that whateverContinue reading “Humility and Pride in Acts 8”

“Progress, Not Perfection”

Those of us who have lived on the earth for many circuits around the sun can declare that we have been through times of significant tests and struggles. Some of the battles are external and circumstantial, and others are internal. The past year held many wonderful opportunities for me, as well as some physical andContinue reading ““Progress, Not Perfection””

Jesus and Children

As we celebrate the birth of Christ year after year, our senses are often flooded with sights, songs, colors, and smells that can evoke a sense of reverence and gratitude. Though it is implausible that Jesus was actually born on December 25, celebrating together at this time of year serves as a marker of theContinue reading “Jesus and Children”

What Do We Want the World to See?

Back in the late nineties, we lived in the sweet small city of Marietta, Ohio. Marietta lies at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers. It has great historical significance as the gateway city to the western expansion. The town features a broad levee where the sternwheel boats used to dock, and where theyContinue reading “What Do We Want the World to See?”

The Ministry of Angels, Part 3: Worshipers, Warriors, Witnesses

So far in this series about angels, we have looked at the angels who announced the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus, and the angels who attended Jesus after his temptation in the wilderness. We also looked broadly at the power, purposes, and roles angels play across the Bible’s narratives and prophecies. In theContinue reading “The Ministry of Angels, Part 3: Worshipers, Warriors, Witnesses”

The Ministry of Angels Part 2: Angels are Real in the Age of Grace

In my last blog, I told you that angels have never been a focus of biblical study for me. But recently I’ve done some reading and have reflected on personal experiences throughout my life that have sparked an interest. This is the second installment of three. Last time, I wrote about the intervention of angelsContinue reading “The Ministry of Angels Part 2: Angels are Real in the Age of Grace”

The Ministry of Angels, Part 1: About God’s Business

In my years of studying Scripture, I don’t recall ever taking a strong interest in angels. For reasons only the Holy Spirit fully knows, the topic of angels has caught my attention and curiosity recently. For one thing, I have traveled quite a bit, and I believe I’ve encountered angels while being lost, losing things,Continue reading “The Ministry of Angels, Part 1: About God’s Business”