Who Gave You The Right?

An old acquaintance used to say, with a bit of a sanctimonious grin, “God has given me the spiritual gift of discouragement.” And while discouragement was certainly no divine gift, it was most certainly a well-established pattern. He seemed to take delight in finding ways to rain on every parade, to temper every joy, to twist the knife in every wound. And for some reason he took pride in this as if it was a skill to practice, a virtue …

The Touch

Some of the most stirring but also the most tragic images the Bible gives us are of great crowds surging toward Jesus so they could be healed. At a time when humanity had only the most basic knowledge of the human body and knew of only the most rudimentary medical treatments, there were always many who suffered constantly and grievously. Thus we can picture in our minds people covered in sores limping toward him, people who could not walk crawling …

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We Have the Light So We Can Be the Light

A team of scientists at Surrey NanoSystems has the distinction of having created the blackest black known to man. It is darker than soot, darker than coal, darker than night. Once an object has been coated in their patented Vantablack, it stops reflecting light so that all visible depth and texture are lost, and the object takes on the appearance of a void. Vantablack sets a world record by absorbing 99.96 percent of visible light. I’ve met Christians who are …

We Always Glean Among the Sheaves

Ruth needed help. Ruth needed help, and in his mercy God provided for her need. He provided it first through the laws of his land which instructed landowners that when they harvested grain, they were not to reap all the way to the edges of their fields and were not to pick up any bits their harvesters had dropped along the way. Instead, all of this was to be left for the poor and the foreigners who were to experience …

Drowning in an Ocean of Encouragement

There are not many in this world who are at risk of drowning in an ocean of encouragement, of being swept away by a tsunami of cheer, of being pulled under by great waves of comfort. There are not many who receive so much encouragement that they never have reason to feel doubts, never have reason to grow weary, never have reason to be tempted toward despondency. There are certainly none at all who are at the least risk of …

Kindness that Comes Too Late

I have always been glad that there was one person who brought out her alabaster jar and anointed the Lord before his burial. Most people would have waited. They would have kept the jar sealed until after his death. Only then, when his body was torn and cold, would they have broken it open to anoint him. But this one woman did not wait. She opened the jar while he could still enjoy its scent, and while his worn and …

Fears and Fleeting Faith

The disciples were afraid. Terrified, even. The wind was howling, the waves pounding. Several of them were fishermen by trade and they knew this water, they knew of colleagues who had been swept away and lost in these sudden, vicious squalls. They knew the situation was fast becoming perilous. Yet Jesus slept, resting contentedly at the bottom of the boat. How could he be so callous? Didn’t he know the danger? Didn’t he care? Finally they could take it no …