Just this weekend I was reminded of one of my favorite metaphors. We are all guilty of coveting. I, like any number of my brothers and sisters, tend to covet spiritual maturity. We look at someone, and we say to ourselves, "I think he/she really has it together."Read More
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I played on a team that had much talent but was thwarted by little coaching and even less heart. One of the team's self-appointed leaders often complained about the coach.
"He's never played football. How can he teach us anything? I won't try to teach someone the violin if I've never played it. He's supposed to teach us about this game?"Read More
On a recent fall night, I went to a concert. A singer-songwriter played whose music remains on a regular rotation in my four-disc changer. And though his work is not overtly "sacred," leaning much more "secular," I shared with a friend my suspicions about this musician's knowledge of Jesus.
My friend's look said, "Do you know anything at all? Have you heard his songs about booze and women and drugs? Do you know what Jesus said?" I just smiled. The exchange brought me back to Jesus' words in Matthew 5:22.Read More
During Jesus' life and teaching, one group refused to listen. They were those who believed they already had all the answers. They were the religious elite. They had no time for Jesus because they already solved life's mysteries and refused to ask further questions.Read More
The wife of a rural pastor would seem to have little reason for smiling. She and her husband lost their oldest son when he was nine. They are poor and have no visible hope of ever moving out of poverty. The needs of their church and community demand their time, their energy, their resources.
Yet when she opened the door to her home, ushering in visitors, she laughed warmly, smiled authentically. She felt glad to receive guests. She quickly prepared a meal and set it before them, and asked nothing in return. When told "thank you," she smiled again, revealing a broken front tooth, another mark of a hard life.Read More
I prayed this morning. No, I didn't quite pray; I unloaded. Some people have those deep prayers where they sit and listen for God. The late Mother Teresa, when asked what she said when she prayed, replied, "Nothing. I just listen." When asked what God said, she replied, "Nothing. He just listens, too."Read More