Billy Sunday once said- “Temptation is the devil looking through a keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.” In Job 1:10 Satan says God put a hedge around Job to keep him safe. I like that idea.Read More
This morning on the Today Show on NBC they ran a story on the controversy regarding Starbucks and their red "Christmas Cup." Turns out Starbucks vice president Jeffrey Fields said the company "wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories."Some people are irate, including many Christians. I admit when I first heard of the red cups, I was exasperated. I figured, here is another example of a company saying they don't want to offend anyone, and in the process offends a large portion of society. Namely Christians.Read More
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.Read More
"But I just want to sin a little bit. How much sin can I indulge in and still be a Christian?"
Believe it or not, this is a question that is more common among Christians than you might think.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8- “6 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
It's like dousing yourself in gasoline, and then saying, "But I'm only going to light a little match!"
I wonder how our lives would be different if we were, on a regular basis, to search every nook and cranny of our own hearts and throw out all the leaven (sin). I believe it's what God wants us to do. Something to think about.
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Johnny Lingo, a man who lived in the South Pacific. The islanders all spoke highly of him. He was rich, strong, good-looking, and very intelligent. But when it came time for him to find a wife, people shook their heads in disbelief. The woman Johnny chose was Sarita, who was plain, skinny, and walked with her shoulders hunched and her head down. Sarita was very hesitant and shy. She was also a bit older than the other married women in the village, which did nothing for her value. But Johnny Lingo loved her.
What surprised everyone most was Johnny’s offer. In order to obtain a wife, you paid for her by giving her father cows. 4 to 6 cows was considered a high price. The other villagers thought he might pay 2 or even 3 cows at the most. But he gave 8 cows for her!! Everyone chuckled about it, since they believed his father-in-law put one over on him. Some even thought it was a mistake.
Several months after the wedding, a visitor from the United States came to the Islands to trade, and heard the story of Johnny Lingo and Sarita, his eight-cow wife. Upon meeting Johnny and his wife the visitor was totally taken aback, since this wasn’t a shy, plain, and hesitant woman, but one who was beautiful, poised, and confident. The visitor asked about this transformation, and Johnny Lingo’s response was very simple. “I wanted an 8-cow woman, and when I paid that for her and treated her in that fashion, she began to believe that she was an 8-cow woman. She discovered she was worth more than any other woman in the islands. And what matters most is what a woman thinks of herself.”
And that is the point of Christianity. We were bought with the highest price in history, the precious blood of Jesus Christ. And because of that, we can be assured that whatever anyone in the world thinks of us, no matter how low their opinion is of us, we matter to God. We are His precious, treasured possession. We are loved. And His love is perfect, which casts out all our fears. So go ahead and think of how much God loves you, and how much He values you. It will change how you see yourself, which in turn will help others see Jesus in you.
In His love,
Years ago, my wife bought an antique mission oak rocking chair. One day, one of the runners got stepped on and broken. She loves that chair, and refused to get rid of it. Years after it got broken, she talked me into repairing it.
I bought a piece of oak from Kuna Lumber. I laid the broken piece on the new board, clamped it down, and traced around it. Then I used a saber saw to cut it out. Next I had to reduce its thickness on a table saw. Then I sanded it until it matched the old piece. Minus the break, of course. I fitted it to the bottom of the chair supports. I drilled holes through it so it could be attached it to the chair. I stained it to match the existing color. Lastly I screwed it to the chair supports. And it was finished.
Put yourself in the place of that piece of oak. You might wonder why you’re being drawn on. You might cry out when the saws are doing their work. You might cough when the sanding is taking place. You might try to dodge the drill. You might not even like the stain as it is applied. It might not be your favorite color. But you’d be delighted to be a part of that grand old chair.
What could have been perceived as abuse and torture was simply preparation for something beautiful. When things are tough, and you are going through hard times, trust God. You may have no idea now what He has planned for you. But He has proven Himself to be trustworthy, so wait it out. His results are always beautiful.
In His love,