Philippians 4: what is Reel? Christians & the media

It seems to me that, given the restrictions caused by Covid19, this topic has never been more relevant than it is now. Feeling trapped in our homes, we’re devouring any & all available entertainment at our fingertips: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, cable TV, & all sorts of ‘entertainment’ available on the web. I pray this message is a healthy reminder for us, because I’m likely going to step on everyone’s toes, my own included… [Read more…]

Asking Jesus how to Pray

With the National Day of Prayer just this past week I wonder how often & how freely we pray?

I’ve found that when one struggles to pray it’s often because they struggle with their view of God, or have a faulty understanding of prayer itself. Both of these issues are addressed when Jesus gave us His simple blueprint for prayer.

Prayer isn’t hard – no need for complex words, or heady concepts. There is no “performance” in prayer. Jesus gave this example of the sorts of things one might say to God:

 Therefore, you should pray like this…

Note: Jesus didn’t say “You should PRAY THIS…” – it’s not something that is only useful if quoted word for word. This is simply a roadmap of how we might converse with God. Pray like this…

Our Father in heaven,
your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.

Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

[Read more…]

The Man born Blind

The book of Job says, “For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as (sure as) the sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:6-7) Evil, pain, and suffering are nothing new to any of us. 

Sometimes we’re tempted to look at it as a philosophical issue but a few years back I was struck by the truth of the matter: the problem of pain is an issue of the heart. Take C.S. Lewis as an example. Lewis wrote one of the greatest philosophical treatise on pain ever penned; The Problem of Pain. However, the content of his book brought little comfort in the midst of losing his wife, Joy, as any one having read A Grief Observed will attest. It is so harsh that it was originally published under a pseudonym so as to not ruin Lewis’ public persona. Those troubling pages document Lewis’s deep doubt, anger, fear, and bitterness – emotions most anyone in the same position would feel. Why? Didn’t he understand the issue? Was what he wrote in The Problem of Pain all wrong?  [Read more…]

Resolutions for the “Dark Night”: Worship in the Valley

Everyone faces times of trouble – their own “Dark Night of the Soul”, while walking through the valley. It seems the whole world is there presently. How do we continue to serve others & walk with God when walking through the valley of the shadow of death?

One of my spiritual heroes, Jonathan Edwards, was keen on making ‘resolutions.’ Much like Edwards, I have made a list of resolutions to strengthen my walk during the hard times: [Read more…]

Worship IS about Singing

In part 1, I AM NOT THE WORSHIP LEADER, we saw that it’s Christ who’s opened a way into God’s presence, so we merely point to Him.  In part 2, WORSHIP IS NOT ABOUT SINGING we saw that worship was about a whole life – heart, mind, soul, and strength – given over to God to proclaim and display His glory.  If someone doesn’t live under this Lordship – which is Kingdom living – it doesn’t matter what they confess as some incantation: NO AMOUNT OF PASSIONATE SINGING CAN CHANGE WHAT KINGDOM YOU ARE A PART OF! [Read more…]