Wrestling with the Violence of God

Saul was a bad king. He was impatient when he should have waited, and he hesitated when he should have advanced. Chapter 15 of 1st Samuel is a dark moment for Saul. He was at war with Israel’s arch-enemy, the Philistines.  He was outgunned and outnumbered. He’d had a few fantastic victories, but no one expected his winning streak to continue and everyone knew this war … Continue reading Wrestling with the Violence of God

Immigration and the Bible

Throughout the story of the Bible, there are people leaving their homelands and traveling to strange places. The narrative begins that way in Genesis 12 with Abraham taking a step in faith and leaving behind his family and home for a new land. Abraham’s grandson Jacob runs to a foreign place in fear of his brother Esau. Abraham’s 12 great-grandchildren move the entire family from … Continue reading Immigration and the Bible

Because He Lives… Easter thoughts on John 20:19-23

We talk a lot about the Great Commission at the end of Matthew, the “Go ye therefore into the all the world…” commission. But I feel the commission at the end of John, the Heavy Commission, may be more important for us to meditate on today. John 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors … Continue reading Because He Lives… Easter thoughts on John 20:19-23

Abraham and the First Mention of Justice – Genesis 18

Abraham is one-hundred years old. I don’t know if that is a literal hundred, or a figurative hundred. What I’m sure of is that he and his wife Sarah are old. And on a hot day in the desert, three men show up – three men that speak with one voice. And one of whom, or all of which are God. It’s confusing in the … Continue reading Abraham and the First Mention of Justice – Genesis 18

Psalm 32

Today in church we read Psalm 32 and the passage struck me. Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.   When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as … Continue reading Psalm 32

The Freedom of Man (Passed Over Passages)

(featured image found via Creative Commons) THE STATE OF THINGS There is a hidden fatalism in the way many of us see God. A loved one dies, and sympathetic grievers come around the bereaved. With compassion they say, “I know it hurts now, but God has a plan.” A man looses his job, and well-meaning supporters come to his house. In support they say, “Don’t worry. God … Continue reading The Freedom of Man (Passed Over Passages)

Naming God (Passed Over Passages)

Selecting a name is a big responsibility. It demands consideration and thoughtful discussion. It’s an art. Not a task to be taken lightly. How We Pick Names Selecting a name for our first child was difficult. We debated multiple options. For the most part, I would suggest a name, Wendy would consider it, and then Wendy would veto it. I suggested Zion. She vetoed because, she … Continue reading Naming God (Passed Over Passages)

Abraham in Egypt (Passed Over Passages)

Our current church culture fights against us appreciating the Bible as a complex story. Our devotionals and small group studies focus on squeezing from the text drops of practical application. Our texts are divided by artificial paragraph headings and tiny numbers that encourage us to break the book into tiny pieces; and we’ve become accustom to using those sections as tools to enforce our entrenched … Continue reading Abraham in Egypt (Passed Over Passages)