Contributed on Apr 5, 2008
Getting through dry times, is not done by the use of your wits, your education, your determination, or the power of positive thinking. Getting through dry times requires a supernatural solution.
So, I get a call late one night, it is the sister of a good friend of mine – she never calls. There is a long pause after I answer. Then a little chit chat, then quickly comes the news: A childhood friend of mine, her sister, has just died of lung failure, she was only 38. I’m floored. I’m not sure ...read more
Contributed on Apr 12, 2008
Hard times and difficult circumstances are not an argument for the absence of God in our lives; Hard times and difficult circumstances are in fact, an argument for the presence of God in our lives.
We assume that sailing through life with ease is a sign that God is with us. We assume that when a tragedy happens, God was looking the other way. We assume that when we find ourselves out in a desert standing in the middle of nothing but dirt and rocks, we assume that there has been some mistake. ...read more
Contributed on Apr 22, 2008
The Hebrews pair up the practical human effort with the practical Godly effort to address the dire circumstances they find themselves in.
In February of 1945 Joe Rosenthal pulled out his camera and clicked a photo that would later become the most reproduced photograph in the history of photography: Five young Marines planting the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima. The photo of these young men raising the flag was splashed ...read more
Contributed on Apr 29, 2008
God asks the Hebrews for a blind commitment upfront, before He gives the Ten Commandments. God does this without apology. God does this with us as well, a commitment before we know the future.
It is 3:00 in the morning and we are waiting with other pilgrims on the back side of Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the base of mount Sinai. It is a moonless night - pitch black beyond the small light we huddle around. I wonder if I dressed warm enough, I am surprised it can be so cold in the ...read more
Contributed on May 30, 2008
The Ten Commandments are relational in nature. We must apply them in the context of relationship and in the context of love, otherwise they become cold and without true meaning.
Ronald Regan once said, “I have wondered at times, what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had had to run them through the United States Congress.” Gettysburg Address: 286 words. Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words. U.S. Government regulations on cabbage sales: 26, 911 ...read more
Contributed on Jun 4, 2008
God goes before us so that we can overcome in situations that are impossible, however, what we think is success, may not be what God desires for our lives. What God desires most is a strong relationship above all else.
Bill was a retired pastor who helped out now and then in our church in San Antonio. He was a huge man, the image of what you think of as a lean tall Texan, and he was man with a huge heart. Everyone talked about Bill and what a wonderful pastor he was. Bill died a couple of months before I started ...read more
Contributed on Jun 8, 2008
We are not necessarily interested in who God is; We are interested in who God is, for us. The Hebrews create an image and call it the Lord God, they believe they are still serving the true God, but it is a lie of their imagination.
So, I’m waiting in line at that high end culinary experience, Taco Bell, and I get into a conversation with this woman. The conversation starts off with how crazy it is that Taco Bell can make fifty menu items out of only about seven ingredients and then moves on to Christianity. At one point this ...read more
Contributed on Jun 16, 2008
We today fool ourselves. There is sin in our lives and we may stop the sin, we may see to it that the sin is eliminated from our lives – but that is not the same as being repentant and turning away from our sin.
Mark Twain was a man who became quite hostel towards the Bible and towards the Christian faith. He was so persistent in his attacks upon Christianity, that his wife, who was a devote Christian, became so discouraged, she eventually turned her back on Jesus Christ – something Mark Twain regretted ...read more
Contributed on Jun 25, 2008
What is it, in the end, that honestly, really matters?
Do you identify with any of these statements? I am happy when I have no family conflict. When all my bills are paid, I feel better about life. I feel relieved, my medical exam went well. I am delighted when my parent’s leave me alone. I was able to help out a good friend today, I feel very ...read more
Contributed on Jul 1, 2008
God is giving the Hebrews a way to build and stay in relationship with Him. This two pronged approach from God, building a relationship and weeding out things that will hurt that relationship is effective for us today as well.
Have you ever lost your driver’s license? Isn’t it a traumatic event? I have lost my driver’s license several times over the years and each time it made my life difficult. For all practical purposes I lost my identity. I couldn’t write a check – stores will not take a check without proper ...read more
Contributed on Jul 22, 2008
When we are envious or jealous of the life someone else has, we show we are not grateful for what God has given us. Also a section that deals with the issue of Interracial marriage found in this passage.
There was once a young man decided to join a monastery that had a vow of silence. The monks were not allowed to speak with the exception of their birthday. Once a year on their birthday each monk could come before the monk in charge and speak two words. They always chose their words ...read more
Contributed on Jul 29, 2008
Where does a positive perspective end and faith begin? Faith is not simply hoping that things will work out someday. If a positive perspective is what brings me success, then why do I need God?
A rabbi was at odds with his congregation. The president of the synagogue said, ”Rabbi, we must have a conference to settle this dispute once and for all.” So the rabbi, the president an the ten elders met together to discuss the issue – but the rabbi soon discovered that he was the sole dissenting ...read more
Contributed on Aug 12, 2008
We can take events and opportunities to serve God, these things that are about God, and we can make them about us. When we do, the power of God, the holiness of God is lost on the very people we are attempting to serve in the name of God.
I have been building a deck in my backyard this summer, right now I am placing the finishing touches on it. Before I built my deck, I looked through different deck plans, and compared the different kinds of deck materials and figured out pretty much what I needed. Then I went to three different ...read more
Contributed on Aug 19, 2008
A spiritual experience is not faith, having God speak to you is not faith, Knowing about God is not faith, doing what God says is not faith - faith is based upon relationship - Balaam is a Spiritual Counterfeit.
You may have read in the paper that counterfeit bills have been turning up here and there around town. What you may have not heard about, is the amateur counterfeiter that was operating here in town. It turns out that this armature counterfeiter accidentally printed a large amount of 21 dollar ...read more
Contributed on Aug 26, 2008
The ignorance of the Hebrews leads them to unfaithfulness. They are naive and think culture will not effect them spiritually. Let us overcome our ignorance and protect our faith.
The people of Israel are on the plains of Moab across the river Jordan about 10 miles southeast of Jericho, they are preparing to enter into the promise land. The Moabites want the Israelites to leave as they are afraid the people of Israel will desolate the land of produce, so their king, Balak, ...read more
Contributed on Sep 1, 2008
The faith of the people builds day after day and God through the faith of his people God brings the wall down. They thought they were just walking around the city,that they were just being useless, – but God was using that time to build up their faith.
Our tour bus arrived in the downtown square, we all piled out as tourists do, things seemed a little tense with the locals, they gave us the eye and went back to their business. We walked up this steep dusty dirt hill, void of any vegetation, just a lot of dirt and rock. Even though it was early ...read more