Driving At Night

     As is the case with many preachers I do a lot of driving at night. The work involves a lot of coming and going. There are speaking appointments, trips to the hospital and visits that need to be made in the evening. Also like most preachers, if I can get back home to my own bed after speaking somewhere I am certainly going to do that. Driving late into the dark night is vastly preferable to tossing and turning in a strange bed.

Zeal

     What is “zeal?” We might define zeal off the top of the head as something like enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is very popular in the larger religious world. But a recent assignment caused me to examine the idea of zeal. The results of that examination led me in a bit of a different direction than defining zeal merely in terms of enthusiasm.

Experts

     A while back I was approached by a fellow who soon revealed himself to be an expert. It really did not matter what subject was under consideration, he knew everything in the world about it. Over the years I have allowed myself to be frustrated by this kind of person. In more recent times my response to these people has been more of a sad sense of amusement.

"Never Give In"

     One of my favorite men from the last century is Winston Churchill. He was a man of the past in many ways but also an essential man for his time. He loved the idea of the British Empire but had to see it dissolve. He was a conservative politically in a time when socialism was showing great strength in the world. But he was most of all a man who stood for what was right and good in the face of the tremendous power of evil. Many historians argue that without Churchill Great Britain would have fallen to Nazi Germany.

Joy In Heaven

     Luke 15 is the chapter of three lost things: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost boy. Each of the parables teaches us that God places different values on things than we do. The shepherd had lost but one of his ninety-nine sheep but he kept looking until he found it. The woman who lost one of her ten coins searched carefully even though she still had nine of them safely in her possession. Most famous is the father’s joy at the return of his prodigal son.

The Diminished Center

     Our society is seriously out of balance. Western culture had for years a rational center in terms of philosophy, culture and ethics. It was not perfect but there was a foundation present in the United States, Great Britain, Europe, Australia, and related cultures. That foundation was centered on the right of individual freedom, respect for the sacredness of human life, and the belief that truth is real and objective. People looked for the place God would have them reside. We have lost that center.

"It's all Relative"

     One thing that we know for sure is that people who sound smart are not always. There was a blip in the news recently about another observation and a series of calculations having to do with the coming together of two black holes in space. My physics is a bit rusty but the comments I heard were along the lines of this event offering further proof of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Smiles and Tears

     As many readers of these few lines know we make frequent trips to the South American country of Guyana. Over the years we have developed great friendships with people there. Romans 12:15 describes the essential elements of a good and proper friendship: “Rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep.” On this trip we experienced both of these elements.

A Trip To Guyana

     On Tuesday, February 2 Randy Blacklidge, Mitch Fuller and I are boarding a plane to go back to the South American country of Guyana. As many if you who read these articles regularly the West Hobbs Street congregation has had a presence in that country since 1999. That year we made our first group mission trip to the New Amsterdam area. We help and support the congregation at Canje that resulted from those efforts. That congregation meets regularly in a good building on the main road in the area. Tony Kissoon is the preacher at Canje.

His Help Will Come

     Our ideas about the character of God are helped along to maturity by the work of the prophet Isaiah. “For whatever things are written before were written for our learning that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). He of all the prophets helps us understand the way God is and specifically how the concepts of grace and judgment are woven together in the Father and manifested in His Son.