Showing posts from December, 2017

Pray for North Korea (and the US)

Pray for North Korea (and the US)
Though God in the Bible sometimes speaks to people through dreams, I am convinced that most dreams aren’t from God.  Beyond that, many dreams are confusing. Take the dream I dreamt last night (as I write this.)
I dreamt I was in North Korea (highly unlikely) and that I was meeting with some of their leaders (much more unlikely). At the start of the dream I was swimming in the water, and one of the leaders, maybe the current leader Kim Jong Un, may have been swimming behind me. Crazy, huh? Then at one point the leader became an older man (more mature?), and then maybe at the end of the dream a younger woman was the leader.  (Didn’t I tell you dreams are confusing?) At some point I was quoting some Bible verses to the North Koreans, and they (especially the older man), was smiling. They were familiar with the verses and actually finished each one. But they had been waiting to see if I would really live out the verses.
Now I wouldn’t mention this dream, …

“Peace, Good Will Toward Men”

“Peace, Good Will Toward Men”
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ ” (Luke 2:8-14)
I haven’t been feeling the greatest, and I wondered what I would write about this week. I am thankful to my daughter Lydia who reminded me of the words to a Christmas song, which was originally a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Lo…

The Incarnation of the Word of God

Sometimes events happen which appear merely coincidental, and yet to believers they show the complex work of God’s Spirit.
Last night, in cleaning my desk of some files I had brought from my office when I retired, I started reading some handwritten notes of mine in a folder. They were seminary notes, from perhaps forty years ago. I think I had only looked at them once or twice in the intervening years. In these notes I was copying large selections from a book I loved--The Incarnation of the Word of God, written by St. Athanasius. (I had also copied a sentence from CS Lewis who had written the introduction to the translation I was reading.) Athanasius lived and ministered in the first 3/4th of the fourth century (300’s). He was the bishop of Alexandria in North Africa.
Then earlier today (as I write this), at a small first birthday party for my youngest grandchild, I was sitting with friends of our family, a couple in their thirties who attend a Baptist church. The woman began for som…

Do Not Fear Those Who Can Kill Only the Body

What if someone broke into your house and threatened to kill you? How do you think you or I might react?
What if you were about to be killed because of your faith in Christ? What do you think you would say or do?
Or what if the fears of some came true, and the nuclear bombs began to fall?  How do you think we would respond? Does the Bible have anything to say to us about such horrible and catastrophic events?
Earlier this week I read a scripture in which Jesus specifically addresses such fears. (I had not read it in a while, and it got my attention precisely because I myself have feared the kinds of things I just mentioned.)  Jesus said, “And do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can kill both body and soul in hell.” (Matthew 10:28).
These words of Jesus are sobering to say the least. But they are also comforting!
Imagine you were a Christian in a part of the world where some people wanted to kill you just because you believed Jesus is …