Showing posts from February, 2019

More Than We Can Ask

As we wrestle with mantle cell lymphoma which has gone into my brain, and which is, at present, responding to high dose chemotherapy, my thoughts go to lots of places. One of those places is Jesus the Healer.As Paul wrote to Gaius in 3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” I like that passage because the emphasis is on God’s simultaneous ministry to both body and soul! We need both.
Another scripture which comes to me is Matthew 24:44: “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” While I think this passage primarily refers to the return of Christ at a time which we do not know, I think it also encourages us to be ready to go to Him at a time we do not foresee.” So I have these two almost contradictory thoughts jostling around in my mind: On the one hand Jesus wants to heal body and soul. On the other hand, we need to be ready to go to Him…

Basking in Son Light

Basking in Son Light
I was reminded this week of a verse I had not seen in a while. Galatians 5:6 says, “For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” (New Living Translation)
Faith expressing itself in love. Other translations of the Greek say “faith working through love.”
Galatians is the early letter to the church in Galatia, sent by Paul--the Jewish Pharisee converted now to Jesus--who has now become an apostle (early leader) in the church. One reason he is writing the letter is because he fears the new Galatian Christians have deserted the gospel (good news) of Christ for another gospel. By the true “gospel” he means the proclamation that sinful people have been “put right” (justified) in their relationship with God through the sheer grace of God’s Son dying for them on the cross—and by trusting Him as Savior.By “another gospel” (Paul clearly believes there is not a…

There is Another World

There is Another World
In the late spring of 1975, I was in my mid-twenties. I was visiting some family members in northern Arizona. Two second cousins, Wendy and Jill Varnum, whom I had met for the first time and who were a bit younger than I, introduced me to the Narnia Tales by CS Lewis, books I had never encountered and which they had at their house. After a successful year of law school, I was about to attend a trial year of seminary at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. I was looking for a deeper relationship with God. But would it affect my career? Would I change careers, or go back to law school in a year? Who knew?
I did know I was seeking God, but, more importantly, I knew that God was seeking me. (I had recently heard at law school an excellent sermon by a young pastor, Rev. Harry Smith, about how the God of the Bible is always coming after us and seeking us.)At that time in my pilgrimage, God used CS Lewis’s Tales of Narnia, especially two of them—the Lion, the Witch, a…
Sometimes I wonder if I should not have lived in the 19th century!

 My wife and I have old maroon Presbyterian hymnals that we often sing from when we have our own worship services on Sundays, mainly because it’s often not good for my immune system to be around too many people. We find that many (but not all) of the songs we love to sing were written in the 1800s!

Recently, too, I was talking to someone about my illness and about looking forward going in His time to the place that Jesus promises he has  prepared for us. But some people I talk to like that seem very focused on this world and this life almost as if this were the only home we had. How sad!

I sometimes feel like I would have found more kindred spirits in the 19th century! In that era, many people spent a lot of energy getting ready to make the transition from earth to heaven, seeking Jesus, and being surrounded by friends. Many reported seeing long departed loved ones as the prepared to leave this world— and they especially …