The Hard Road

This past Sunday morning we wrapped up our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm, by looking at another doozy. When Jesus entered the world as a baby and King Herod found out about it, he murdered all the boys two years and under in Bethlehem. What we are supposed to do with this and what it means for us is what we talk about here. Keep reading to learn more.

Also, this week I am going to make some changes to my posting schedule. Producing two posts, three days a week isn’t such a big deal for me on the writing side, but as someone who reads other blogs, I know that trying to read two posts on any given day is a lot. You’ve hung in here with me as I keep learning how to do this better over the last couple of years, and I am supremely grateful. Going forward, I am going to move to five weekly posts–one each day, Monday through Friday, all at 8:00 am. Mondays will be the previous day’s sermon or a Digging in Deeper post if I’ve had the weekend off. Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the usual Morning Musings. Wednesdays and Fridays will be Digging in Deeper posts (usually just a bit longer than the Morning Musings or else a chance to go a little deeper into a conversation we have started on Tuesday or Thursday). Saturdays and Sundays will still be off, although I may start adding some guests posts on the weekends in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully this will make for better pacing for you, the faithful reader, while keeping you still interested in making connections between the Word and the world. Thanks for sticking with me all this time. I’m looking forward to many more good conversations in the days ahead. Blessings to you!

The Hard Road

Most cultures have a set of proverbs, adages, axioms that form the popular foundation on which the bulk of its people stand when it comes to thinking about how they are going to get by and get along with one another.  Many of our culture’s most popular proverbs come from the wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, one of our Founding Fathers.  Many of these you probably know well: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man…healthy, wealthy, and wise.  A penny saved is…a penny earned.  Don’t put off for tomorrow…what you can accomplish today.  Some of his proverbs are a little less familiar, but still really good: He who sows thorns should not go barefoot.  The one who is content has enough; the one who complains has too much.  Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it. 

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However You Want It

This past Sunday we continued in our series, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm. In this fourth part we looked at a story that’s hard, not because of something God does, but because of how utterly depraved we are. What do we do with a disturbing story that ends in a hopeless place like this? Keep reading to find out.

However You Want It

Film makers are creative folks.  They are artists.  Some of them cross the line over into being artistes.  Usually those are the ones who give us films that nobody goes to see unless they consider themselves fellow artistes.  The rest of us just like movies.  But, because they are generally artists, they are creative.  They don’t like making the same movie over and over and over again if they can help it.  But, when the culture likes a certain type of movie—superhero movies at the moment—they have to make the films that will attract the dollars that will allow them to make more movies.  Occasionally though, someone will get an idea that goes well outside the box of the norm while still within the general parameters of what people will pay to see. 

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You Want Me to Do What?

This past Sunday we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called, Bible Stories to Make You Squirm. If you are the kind of person who believes the Scriptures should have some kind of a place of authority in your life, you are left with a thorny problem: There are some stories in there that are just downright uncomfortable. If they are there on purpose and for our benefit, what are we supposed to do with them? In this series, we’ll explore several of these hard stories and begin to see that all Scripture really is for our benefit. Even the hard stuff.

You Want Me to Do What?

Have you ever watched or read something that just wasn’t good?  It’s not necessarily that it was bad, it just wasn’t good.  You just didn’t enjoy it.  I remember watching Adam Sandler’s Punch Drunk Love when I was in college.  If you’ve never heard of it, you’re better off for that.  It’s a dark comedy about a socially awkward guy falling in love.  It was awful.  The credits rolled and all of us gathered in my friend’s living room watching it looked around at each other and as almost the same time said, “We can’t have that two hours of life back.”  I remember reading Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court when I was growing up.  A book combining science fiction and medieval adventure should have been an easy winner.  It was all I could do to not put it down and find something better to read.  If I wasn’t such a perfectionist about finishing books I probably would have.  The thing about reading a book or watching a movie that isn’t good is that you can always just walk out.  There are some stories, though, that are harder to ignore. 

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Digging in Deeper: Joshua 5:13-14 Part 2

“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand.  And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’  And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord.  Now I have come.’  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?'”  ( ESV – Read the chapter)

Now, in the first part of this commentary, I talked about Joshua’s response to the commander of the Lord’s army and our need to submit our plans to the Lord if we want to have any hope of meaningful success.  I said something in that first commentary, though, that bears unpacking here.  I said the appearance of the commander of the Lord’s army changed not just Joshua’s response and the way the rest of the story played out, it also changed our whole framework for understanding it.  Let me explain. Read the rest…