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Showing posts from September, 2018

The God of Surprises

The God of Surprises
If you read the Bible, one of the things I think you’ll find is that God is the God of surprises. Go back in time, or really, even before time. When God first created the universe (including time itself) that was a surprise, but not to Him! And imagine the astonishment in the face of every living creature when it was called into being.
Adam was in awe when God made Eve, the perfect companion for him. Noah wondered when he was told to build an ark.Abraham was stupefied when God spoke to him and said to leave family and native country and go to a place God would show him. Moses was incredulous when God spoke to him out of the burning bush, and he was shocked and afraid when God gave him the job of announcing freedom to His captive people.
Samuel was astounded when God selected none of the sons of Jesse who were present as the next King of Israel but instead demanded that everyone remain standing until the boy with peach fuzz cheeks tending the sheep could be brought i…
A Caring Conundrum: Caring For Young And Old
“Conundrum, noun, a confusing and difficult problem or question….”
Recently my wife and I gathered for a family reunion in North Carolina near to the place where my ninety-five-year-old mother lives in a beautiful assisted living facility. Both our children and their spouses, as well as all of our six grandchildren, were there. Two of the grandchildren, aged 3 ½ months and 19 months, are still in diapers. I got to change a couple.
My mom fortunately is not at the stage that some people her age are in—where they have regressed to diapers.We thank God, and yet it happens, and it could happen to any of us if we live long enough.
Thinking about this caused me to reflect on how my own attitudes towards changing a baby’s diaper (which I have done many times) and changing an older person’s diaper (which I have not yet done) differ. Maybe it’s just because I lack the experience, but I can cheerily change a baby’s diaper, whereas the thought of changin…

The Antidote to Worry

The Antidote to Worry
Do you worry? I think most of us worry at times. Yet I know God doesn’t want us to go through worry, anxiety, or fear.
I was reminded recently in an email devotional of a favorite passage which I have not paid enough attention to lately: In Philippians 4:6-7, Paul writes: “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, make your requests made known to God, and the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.”
It is almost impossible to perform a negative like “Don’t worry,” “Don’t get drunk,” or “Don’t hate.” Indeed, the way to get rid of negative thought and behavior is—with the aid of the Spirit-- to fill the void created by a negative with positive thought and behavior. “Don’t worry; instead pray to God.” “Don’t get drunk; instead be filled with the Holy Spirit.” “Don’t hate; instead love the Lord your God with all that is in you, and love your neighbor as yours…