So what’s it been now, four, five months? How does it feel to live in lockdown? Is there anything we can learn from this experience?
#1. We can’t live in isolation. We need people — physically near us — and more than just one or two family members. Remember that “no man is an island”? We were created as social creatures. As much as a blessing as the internet can be, it cannot substitute physical presence. Isolation creates stress. And while so many talk about how hard it is to work with or deal with people, we’re far worse off without them. You may say, well, sure, we all know that. If so, why are we living as if it weren’t true?
#2. Go read about the testing in Florida, with reported positive test results 10 times greater than the real results. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but something is deeply wrong with the whole approach here. I refuse to be cowed. I refuse to bow to the fear-mongering. We need not be stupid about risks, but neither must we faint or fear. The social Awe-and-Wow is smoke and mirrors, except when you get fined or jailed, but even then realize who the magician is behind the curtain. Continue reading
The powers of earth are weak, despite their noise,
Little can they do against the saints;
They cannot make the dead arise from the grave,
Or reach into the Beyond to steal the soul.
They’ve power to kill the body, but that is all —
God alone can destroy, or alone can save.
Success is sure for those whom God anoints;
His mighty arm gives Christians cause to rejoice.
by J. Randal Matheny © 2015
Control is God’s. Over all creation, his sway.
But we can change our destinies
And, by the gospel’s power,
Save many souls.
Let no saint shrink nor cower,
Nor doubt God hears men on their knees —
He moves the mountains for those who work and pray.
A different metrical scheme here, narrowing to the center line and then widening out again, giving emphasis to the fourth line.
No image today, sorry. I’m on the run, at the Iuka congregation’s building for Internet. Off again tomorrow early, to swap out rental cars, so we can move around as we stay in the US a bit longer. Then day after next, on the road again.
I pray you be blessed by this short piece today, a quick reminder of God’s sovereignty and our responsibility.
Glory to God for his reign over all the universe, for his care of this world, he “who gives the sun for light by day, the laws that govern the moon and stars for light by night, and who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar. The Lord of the Heavenly Armies is his name” (Jer 31.35 ISV).
Israel’s great confession rises from Deuteronomy 6, about the one God. This truth distinguished Israel from the other nations, pagan and idolatrous. Continue reading
Defeat is humiliating. A commercial for an old TV sports program called it the “agony of defeat,” as the camera captured the tumbling of a skier through the snow. So how do losers get back in the game? How do they turn defeat into victory? Continue reading
Here’s the question we ask: If God is with me and is using my life for his kingdom, why do so many bad things happen to me? The apostle Paul suffered greatly for the gospel, but he never asked such a question, even when it would seem appropriate to do so, as in this moment: Continue reading
The history of redemption is not composed of isolated events, nor of points of action independent of others. It is a stream that blends the actions of men into the will of God. Continue reading
The follow was written for Chris Gallagher’s preacherspen.com site, as part of a series of guest blogs on the subject. Mine was published earlier in the month of August.
In my bedroom is a relic. Not a religious artifact, but a family heirloom of sorts. On a shelf sits a carved turkey caller that my grandfather made years ago with his own hands. It is precious to me not only because it was his, but because he made it, he carved it with his own hands.
My sentiments about that turkey caller echo in a terribly weak way my feelings and convictions about the church of God. I made a list of what I love about the church, but the points are but swirls around the center. I love the church because my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ created it, not merely with his own hands, but with his precious blood. Continue reading
Here’s the headline: “Ohio woman celebrates lottery win, then killed by car.” And here are the details of the story.
She wins $8000, celebrates in a bar, drinks, then leaves on foot, and is struck by a car. Not enough details to know if she stumbled, walked in front of the car, no knowing what happened. But it does make one wonder. Continue reading