Considering Heaven’s Perspective

Considering Heaven’s Perspective
Recently Vicky and I were visiting my 95 year-old mom in North Carolina where I grew up.One of the things we also did was visit the grave of my brother, Lloyd, who died in 1953 when he was 10 ½ months old and I was 4 ½ years old. At the time, his death was very sad to me and to our family, and it still is. Even now, I wrestle with God about what seems like his untimely death. At the same time I look forward very much to seeing him in heaven.
Since returning from Carolina, I have been thinking about the fleetingness of life. James 4:14 says, “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." Earlier in that same chapter James writes:"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spir…
Beholding the Beauty of the Lord
I was reading a verse this morning, one of my favorites in the Scriptures.
“One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 (ESV)
Recently my wife and I were blessed to see some beautiful cathedrals and Christian art in Europe. I remember that when I first saw some of these places as a student, forty-nine years ago, that the sheer beauty of these Christian edifices got my attention spiritually during what was otherwise largely a time of spiritual wandering and significant doubt. I want to share two accounts of how Christian art has brought people to Christ.
Last year in the Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper, Olivia Rudgard, religious affairs correspondent wrote an article entitled, “One in six young people are practising Christians, new figures show, as research suggests thousands convert after vis…
After Easter, What?
Most Christians celebrated Resurrection Sunday—Easter—last Sunday, April 1, but Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate it one week later, April 8. (This is because in the east people use the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar.) But whenever we celebrate it, Easter is the celebration of the fact, and reality, that Jesus of Nazareth, after having been crucified, dead and buried, rose from the dead the third day! This is the very heart of our faith!!
As a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “The Easter Effect and How It Changed the World,” put it: “There is no accounting for the rise of Christianity without weighing the revolutionary effect on those nobodies of what they called “the Resurrection”: their encounter with the one whom they embraced as the Risen Lord, whom they first knew as the itinerant Jewish rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, and who died an agonizing and shame…

A Picture Can Be Worth A Thousand Words

A Picture Can Be Worth A Thousand Words
I wrote this in Paris, France, though we are home now. My wife and I were blessed on this trip. Last Sunday, we saw two remarkable things. They have to do with Christian faith and with the Bible, and so I will mention them here.
First of all in Paris we went to a museum called the Petit Palais, where we saw a collection of icons from countries like Greece, Crete, Bulgaria, and Russia. (An icon is a very beautiful picture that is revered because of its message in the Greek or Russian Orthodox churches.) Some of them were about saints many of us have never heard of, but the majority were pictorial representations of Biblical events: the birth of Jesus, his showing his wisdom to the religious leaders in the temple when he was 12, his raising of his friend Lazarus from the dead, the last supper, his crucifixion, his resurrection, and his ascension into heaven.
Then we went somewhere else in Paris to see more icons. It just so happened that the Russians…

Apologizing to Sodom and Gomorrah

Apologizing to Sodom and Gomorrah
Ruth Graham, the late wife of the late evangelist Dr. Billy Graham is supposed to have said, “If God doesn’t judge America, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”
Those familiar with the book of Genesis will recall that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, near the present-day Dead Sea, sinned. God intended to destroy them, and Abraham, learning of this, bargained with God.He began by asking God that if He could find fifty righteous people, would He preserve the cities. 
God agreed. Finally, after more bargaining, Abraham asked God if even ten righteous people were found, would He please not destroy the cities. Again God agreed. But God did not find even ten righteous people, and the cities were destroyed. Some people say, “Aah but this was the wrathful God of the Old Testament;” however, Jesus and the New Testament also mention Sodom and Gomorrah. In Mathew 10, where Jesus is sending out the twelve apostles to “the lost sheep of Israel”, he tell…
I have been out of the country with my wife and I have not posted my weekly newspaper columns  on my blog though they appeared in the Reporter News..

I shall post one today, an other the  next day, and by weekend I shall be caught up. Casey

Life Overflowing Now
Recently I sent birthday greetings to my sister Rebecca. She replied “I have been living my life abundantly, and am grateful for each day.” Her words mirrored a verse of scripture which I love, John 10:10. In that verse Jesus says, “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” Please notice three things about this saying of Jesus:
First, he says he came to give us life.
In Deuteronomy 30, God says: “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity….I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live….(verses 15 and 19)
God created all life, and his desire for the human…

What A Regret From Billy Graham Can Teach Us

What A Regret From Billy Graham Can Teach Us
Evangelist Billy Graham died February 21.I want to share two quotes from him- an affirmation of his deep faith and central mission in life, and then a regret.

First, his faith: In his last sermon in 2013 he said, “Our country's in great need of a spiritual awakening….I want to tell people about the meaning of the cross….the real cross of Christ….With all my heart I want to leave you with the truth, that he loves you, and is willing to forgive you of all your sins…There is no other way of salvation except through the cross of Christ….Today, I’m asking you to put your trust in Christ.”

Now the regret: In 2011 Sarah Pulliam Bailey asked Dr. Graham: “If you could, would you go back and do anything differently?” He answered: “I would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places….But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now.” Billy Graham …