Pursuing Biblical God: reflecting on God, the Bible, his church, and us
We Must Give God All Our Heart Ten Things to Do Wholeheartedly for God In our post Go All in For Jesus, we talked about the importance of giving God our whole heart, all our heart. The Bible repeatedly tells us to do things with “all your heart.” This means to not do things halfheartedly, […]
The New Church in Town (Visiting Church #7) Sunday we visited a newer church. Their website says “multi-generational contemporary worship service” – and it is. They’re also non-denominational “because God has called all believers to unity.” I like that. We walk in and people are informally mingling; several introduce themselves. Of all the churches we’ve […]
How Often Do We Blame God When Bad Things Happen? Just Because God Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean That He Does Most people know the story about Joseph and his multicolored coat. Of how his brothers resent his behavior and how their father indulges his favorite son. To get rid of him, the brothers effectively […]
Go All in for Jesus God Doesn’t Want Part of Us, He Wants All of Us—Our Whole Heart When we follow Jesus we must do so with all our heart. There is no turning back to what we left behind. He wants our full attention, not part of it. We must go all in for […]
A Quintessential Country Church (Visiting Church #6) It’s a quintessential country church and our third Baptist congregation in six weeks. With no online presence, what we know is from their sign out front: its name and service time. The sanctuary is smaller than I expected. One lady greets us warmly and another scurries to fetch […]
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What If God Told You to Kill Your Son, Just as He Did with Abraham? The Bible Is Chocked Full of Perplexing Stories That Are Hard to Understand One puzzling story in the Bible is when God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. What loving father would kill his son? It might be […]
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What in Our Lives Distracts Us from God? Remove Worldly Distractions to Make More Space for God We live in a world of clutter. We’re surrounded by things that constantly demand our attention, if only for a fraction of a second. Some of it is our own doing, such as our technology with its 24/7 […]
Attending Mass (Visiting Church #5) When I tell people we’re visiting Christian churches, they often assume Protestant and are surprised our plan includes Catholic gatherings. That’s where we head today, to our first Mass. The most noticeable difference is an ornate crucifix in the sanctuary. I’m pleased to see many lay people helping lead the […]
In the Beginning, God Created… Were we created or did we evolve? How did it all begin? That is, where did we come from? Let’s go back to the beginning. I don’t intend to end the debate over the beginning of life and our reality. This won’t change anyone’s mind. But I do want to […]
Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions You Won’t Keep Instead of Resolutions, Form Habits You Can Sustain Do you normally make New Year’s resolutions? How’s that work for you? When I used to do that, things never turned out so well. I might make it a couple weeks, rarely more than a month, and a few […]
The Right Mix of Music (Visiting Church #4) The church is a traditional looking building, constructed of brick and stately in appearance. In checking out the sanctuary, I anticipate the service will be just as Facebook promised. It said “a blending of traditional and contemporary.” Will they have the right mix of music? The service […]
Did Queen Esther Live Happily Ever After? Applying the Fairytale Story of Cinderella to Esther Disrespects Her Situation I’ve always liked the story of Queen Esther. She’s an ordinary girl who wins a national beauty pageant and becomes queen. If this story seems familiar, consider the fairytale story of Cinderella. The two have much in […]
What Does a Christmas Sale Have to Do with Jesus? Let’s Reframe the Idea of a Christmas Sale in Spiritual Terms This time of year, we so often see the phrase “Christmas sale” that we barely give it a thought. And if we do think of it, we lament the secularization of our holy celebration […]
What True Church Should Be (Visiting Church #3) “This won’t be a typical service” cautions a friend who greets us when we arrive. The church suffered a tragedy, just three days before and not all the members yet know. The service will communicate this news and provide some needed God-perspective on the situation. I appreciate […]
When it Comes to God, Should We “Fake it Till We Make It?” Though David Tells God That He Is “My Refuge,” I Doubt David Feels It Psalm 142 is a prayer of lament. David’s hiding in a cave, likely fearing for his life. He feels alone with no one walking alongside him or having […]
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What is the Kingdom of God? Eternal Life Begins Today (Not When We Die) Jesus often talks about the kingdom of God (the kingdom of heaven). He talks about how close the kingdom of God is, saying that it’s near and even that it’s here. How do we understand this immediacy of the kingdom of […]
Growing Deeper (Visiting Church #2) This Sunday we visit a nondenominational church. It’s three years old and I know a bit about it and its pastor, who I perceive as a mostly postmodern guy possessing a modern theology. I suspect the church will mirror that. Located in a small strip mall, I find a parking […]
When Is the Right Time to Close a Church? Churches Close for Tangible Problems, But Maybe Some Should Close for Spiritual Reasons In the book of Malachi, God laments about his people. Specifically he’s down on the priests because they show contempt for him. Their worship is so off-track that God wishes one of the […]
Is It Okay to Question God? God Won’t Strike Us Dead If We Question Him; He May Even Like It Many people in the Bible question God. These aren’t fringe malcontents. They’re some of our favorite Bible characters and, I suspect, some of God’s favorite people too. They include Job, Abraham, Moses, David, Mary, and […]
A Friendly Church with a Homey Feel (Visiting Church #1) The first of fifty-two churches is a small Baptist-affiliated assembly. With forty or so normally in attendance, this Sunday has only seventeen. The service is not unlike churches my wife attended in her youth, so she feels comfortable and is familiar with their format even […]
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