Resurrection ~ No Happy Ending Without It

It doesn’t require the performance of some religious ritual or spiritual exercise to move our minds and hearts toward the idea of resurrection. It can happen in situations that are not overtly spiritual at all. It might pop up, for instance, while watching the climactic scene from a Disney movie. We could be watching the beauty, Belle, confessing her love for the newly deceased creature with way too many teeth, affectionately known as “the Beast,” or maybe it’s Rapunzel weeping magical tears over the corpse of her beloved Eugene, “Flynn Ryder” Fitzherbert, or a similar scene from one of many other fictional tales, but in every case, we heartily embrace the notion that death shouldn’t be allowed to win. Resurrection seems eminently reasonable to us in these fictional situations, and is quite easily accomplished. All it takes is Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Easter, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, Insights, Right Side Up | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Word of Promise

We flawed human beings are always looking for devices to protect ourselves. We see it in things like insurance policies, home security networks, investment diversification, flu shots, and seat belts. We are constantly devising ways to try to counteract our vulnerability, even in the words we choose in risky commitments — like weddings.

Let me say up front that I’m not categorically averse to Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Insights, Marriage and Family, Right Side Up | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Whose Mission Is It Really?

When we see the kinds of challenges facing our country these days, it’s tempting sometimes just to give up. I’m not surprised that some people have quit watching or reading news reports altogether. We may not know exactly what shocking new images will be shoved in our face on any given day, but we can be confident that whatever they turn out to be, they will have been carefully selected and edited to make us feel anxious, enraged, horrified, brokenhearted, depressed, despondent, or hopelessly overwhelmed. With every new day, it seems like another paragon of economic and scientific idiocy declares that the human race cannot possibly survive unless we quit driving cars, turn off our air conditioners, stop eating meat, expand the killing of inconvenient babies, ban plastic straws, give up using toilet paper, and force every awful, atmosphere polluting cow in the country to eat Gas-X. The emotional drain can get to be just too much to handle.

A “Progressive” Epiphany ~
It comes as no surprise that many want to Continue reading

Posted in Faith and Politics, Faith, Family, and Culture, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Call to Repent ~ A Threat, or a Misunderstood Offer of Grace?

In the days before coming to faith in Jesus, if my wonderful, loving, but frequently hyperbolic mother had ever actually done some of the things she threatened to do to my brother and me, she would have almost certainly done time in jail. Some of her threats didn’t even make sense to me, especially one of her favorites. In the midst of some good time we were having, she’d yell, “If you boys don’t stop that, I’m gonna knock both of you into Continue reading

Posted in Easter, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, Insights, Right Side Up | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Surrendering Our Way to Success

The devilish machine staring back at me from its usual spot in the corner of the physical therapy clinic looked deceptively harmless and innocent, but I knew better. This cold, mechanical device had sadistic tendencies. Its little electronic circuits harbored a secret hatred for me and got some kind of twisted pleasure in knowing that my joints were pleading with me not to subject them to its torturous manipulations yet again. But another engagement with it was inevitable, so I gathered up my resolve, breathed a heavy sigh, and reminded myself of a comment one of the physical therapists had made. Following one of my complaints about the evil device, she said, Continue reading

Posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Insights, Right Side Up | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Christianity ~ No “Open Borders” Policy

Historical and Biblical evidence that Jesus’ message of hope, redemption, and eternal life was offered to “everyone” is irrefutable. The message He preached and the radically different kind of love He demonstrated were presented to the entire spectrum of the society surrounding Him. No one was excluded. His invitation to come and follow Him was extended to “all who would believe,” regardless of their race, gender, age, social class, or any other human distinction. Though a few of the rich and powerful responded to Him, His message was most readily received and embraced by those who represented the weakest, most vulnerable, and most oppressed. The crowds seeking Him out and following Him were mainly comprised of Continue reading

Posted in Faith and Politics, Faith, Family, and Culture, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up, Wake Up Calls | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments