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A Tender Heart and a Humble Mind

A Tender Heart and a Humble Mind
My wife and I recently were reading in the New Testament book of First Peter. We came to verse 8 of chapter 3. The final words of this verse really stuck with me: “Have…love for one another, a tender heart and a humble mind.” It struck me this is not what we are seeing these days in American politics and American life. Instead, unfortunately, we often see near-hatred for one another and, as a result, hard hearts and arrogant minds.
By a tender heart Peter meant that we have great compassion for people, not that we are open and tolerant to all ideas and behaviors, no matter how destructive. And by a humble mind, Peter meant that the greatness of God and our smallness and sinfulness should cause us never to overestimate how smart we are.  He did not mean that we can never say that anything is true, particularly the things of God that have been revealed to us in scripture. How do I know this? Because of the way Peter begins his letter. Read with me:
“Ble…
Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving and His Courts with Praise
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray to the Father, “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”But what is going on in heaven that we should pray for it to happen on earth? The Old Testament prophet Isaiah had a glimpse. In Isaiah 6 we read that in about 740 B.C. Isaiah had a vision of heaven, and he “saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven's Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!’" (Isaiah 6:1-3, New Living Translation)
So in heaven, according to Isaiah, angelic beings are ever praising God and shouting “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts” About eight hundred years later, the Apostle John in Revelation reco…
Relationships and the Relational God

Last week Vicky and I attended my fiftieth high school reunion in the Western North Carolina town of Hendersonville where I grew up. What a blessing! There were only 110 people in my graduating class. One of the things that was most fun about the reunion was that some of the people who came were persons whom I had known practically all of life—since first or second grade.  There was Terry whom I was with in cub scouts, and my good friend Louis who was in my church, scout troop and little league team, and with whom I used to camp in the woods. There were many other people whose names I would surely mention too if I had the space, because they became my good friends later in middle school,  junior high and then in high school. One of them, Trevor, was only with us  my senior year as a foreign exchange student from Australia, yet we too became good friends, and he and his wife came all the way from Australia to the reunion!
My reunion caused me to thi…
Humbled by the Wonder Who is God
The Word of God is so wonderful! I was just reading Psalm 147 today, and it so blessed me. First of all my mind was drawn to verses 3 and 4: He heals the broken hearted
    and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
    and calls them each by name.
Incredible. The God of the Universe cares about us as individuals. He cares about our wounds and broken hearts. We spend most of our lives hiding our inner struggles from others. We are ashamed, and we fear others would judge us because of our struggles. But they are known to God. And He cares! We do not have to hide from Him. We cannot hide from Him.
And the God who cares intimately about each of the almost 7.5 billion people on this planet is the same God who has numbered what we cannot number—the stars! The Psalm says He calls each star by name.  How many stars are there? A conservative estimate is that the number is 2 followed by 23 zeros! (two hundred quadrillion). According to Psa…