Jesus, Friend of Sinners

Jesus, Friend of Sinners

It’s Christmas time, and Jesus is front and center. For some of us, Jesus is the reason we celebrate. For others of us, Jesus is a part of the holiday that is foreign; Jesus belongs to some people but definitely not to me, we may feel. Jesus isn’t a part of our lives and he’s not someone we want to think much about. We can go through Christ mas without knowing Jesus, pushing thoughts of him to the edges of the season. What is it about Jesus that causes some of us to look the other way? What is it about this God-Man who lived on earth for 33 years that prompts discomfort, that makes us freeze up inside even as we scurry about bundled against the winter chill? Maybe it’s what we don’t understand about Jesus that keeps us frozen inside....

Read More

Jesus the People Person

Jesus the People Person

One thing that I think about often with Jesus is that he chose to spend a lot of time with people, in all kinds of ways. Here are two descriptions from the Bible of how he spent his time: Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. ~ Matthew 4:23-25   After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of...

Read More

Secret Destinations

Secret Destinations

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.” ~ Martin Buber, a Jewish philospher Thank you, readers, for sharing in my recent journey to Israel and Bible lands around the Mediterranean. I took  you all with me, truly, in my spirit and in my yearning for you all to catch at least a bit of what I was seeing, sensing, and experiencing during those two weeks. I hope you got to follow along in the pictures and blurbs I posted on Facebook. Today, I want to share with you some reflection as I think back on the trip and continue to process what God had for me, and for all of us, on that amazing journey. The quote above appeared on a screen during our first day on a boat in Greece, halfway through the trip, and these words express well...

Read More

Fall Is the Time for Growing

Fall Is the Time for Growing

It’s the second day of Fall, and as most of the trees and foliage here in Colorado begin to turn color and then go into dormancy, my tomato plants are …. flourishing! Just when I’d completely given up hope for a single tomato this season, I discovered that after a couple weeks of cooler weather and some very good rain, these plants are doubled in size and full of yellow buds and small tomatoes. The newspaper had warned me that most Denver gardeners were facing failed tomato crops this summer. It was too hot and dry. The high temperatures, warm winds, and beating sun puts the plants in survival mode and they don’t produce fruit. Now, when tomato season should be winding down, my plants are just gearing up. It reminds me of another theme from...

Read More

Why Kids Need God Now

Why Kids Need God Now

Children and God. How important is it, really, to help kids meet Jesus and learn how to live life with him? How much “God” do kids really need? Where is the line between “not enough” and “too much” God in a child’s life? I’ve been thinking about these questions for years, and through many hours of training with Child Evangelism Fellowship and in living daily life with my own kids, I’ve come a long way in finding what I believe are important answers to these questions. Some years ago the Barna Research Group did a study on kids and their exposure to teaching about Jesus and the Bible. They found, basically, that the younger kids are, the more receptive they are to meeting God and joining their lives with his....

Read More

Jesus the Light (and why darkness isn’t so romantic)

Jesus the Light (and why darkness isn’t so romantic)

Candlelight dinner anyone? A walk in the moonlight? They can feel alluring and romantic to us. So why does the Bible make such a big deal about darkness? Jesus talked about light and darkness a lot. More than thirty times in the four Gospels, Jesus refers to himself as the light and to the light that he and his followers exhibit. I’m not sure this metaphor speaks to us as powerfully as it spoke to the people of Bible times. Why? Probably due to one advance: electricity. Darkness doesn’t hold us back in the way it did before the light bulb. It’s not hard, though, to imagine life back in the days of candles and torches, no street lamps or porch lights to guide travel in the dark. Just black, enveloping darkness that fell upon the world every single...

Read More