Several years ago Christianity Today featured a story about Rob and Kristen Bell, who founded a church in Grand Rapids, identified with a movement known as the “Emerging Church.”
The article relates the Bells increasing discomfort with their faith and the church. “Life in the church had become so small,” Kristen says. “It had worked for me for a long time. Then it stopped working.”
Furthermore, they questioned their assumptions about the Bible itself– “discovering the Bible as a human product,” as Rob puts it, rather than the “product of divine fiat.” Continue reading
One night a family’s house caught fire and they were forced to run outside. However, the fire blocked their path to the upstairs bedroom where their son was sleeping. The father yelled for the son to open his bedroom window.
On the ground below the boy’s father knew his son had to jump to save his life. “Jump!” hollered the frantic father, “Jump, I’ll catch you!”
All the frightened little fellow could see, however, was smoke, flames, and the darkness of the night. He was scared to jump.
His father kept pleading, “Jump! I’ll catch you.” Continue reading
“People need to see our faith, not merely hear about it,” wrote Bob Buford in his book, Halftime.
“When our beliefs are personal and privatized, practiced only inside a building one day a week,” Buford observed, “we Christians miss out on that glorious opportunity to be salt and light. Worse, I believe that when faith continues to be directed inward, we become one-dimensional, uninteresting, and wholly self-centered persons.” Continue reading
Dr. Doolittle, the classic children’s book, tells the story about the British veterinarian who had an array of exotic animals. And how he learned to speak to them in their own animal language.
Included in his menagerie was a Pushmi-pullyu ((pronounced “push-me—pull-you”) with two heads, one on each end of its body. It was a cross between a gazelle and a unicorn, although in the movie it’s pictured as a llama. The two heads had a mind of their own. And sometimes they opposed each other, which resulted in a tug of war. Continue reading
In 1959 Walt Disney began looking for land to build a second resort to complement his Anaheim, California, park. Supposedly he was not happy with the many businesses that sprung up around Disneyland and wanted enough land to control the development around his next park.
It wasn’t until 1963 that Disney flew over the Orlando, Florida, area and finally decided on this location. The process of acquiring the land and building the park took 9 years. Disney died in 1966 before The Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. Continue reading
This morning while reading Matthew 14, I was reminded of our recent trip to Israel and our boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.
We boarded and crossed on a beautiful morning. The sun was shining. The Sea was smooth. And the wind was calm. However, Matthew’s narrative describes a different scene.
Jesus sent the disciples ahead on a boat while he went to a mountain to pray. During the night in the middle of the Sea, the wind and waves began to beat upon the boat. Continue reading
A “Doubting Thomas” is a skeptic. He’s someone who refuses to believe unless he can see it. Touch it. And experience it.
It is forever the nickname of the apostle, Thomas, who was not present when Jesus first appeared to the other disciples following His resurrection.
“We have seen the Lord,” they exclaimed to Thomas. Continue reading
Today in our VBS at Wellandport as we pursue the theme “Facing Life With Faith,” we are discussing how knowledge and faith are connected.
The Bible says, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17). As we read and study God’s Word, we increase in knowledge, but that knowledge grows our faith. Of course, our knowledge of God and His revealed will is more than just an accumulation of facts. It is faith-driven. Heart-felt. And relationally focused. Thus, Paul was able to affirm, “I know in whom I have believed.” Continue reading
Several years ago I heard a story about a little girl who was unaccompanied on a cross country flight.
Soon after takeoff, the pilot’s voice came on and calmly told the passengers, “We will not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened.”
Pretty soon the turbulence increased. Lightning was flashing. Thunder was cracking. And the plane was shaking. Many of the passengers were concerned. The man relating the incident, a veteran of many flights, even confessed, he was feeling some discomfort. Continue reading
Last night it was my privilege to speak and lead a devotion for Florida College students many of whom attend Temple Terrace Church of Christ. What a wonderful, receptive and engaging group of young people.
I was asked to discuss the call of Abraham and the offering of Isaac recorded in Genesis 12:1-4 and 22:1-14. We wanted to approach these narratives not just as a historical account or an academic exercise, but as an example that is practical, personal and relevant to our daily lives. Continue reading