The Strength of Jesus

I can do all things through [Jesus] who strengthens me.   (Phil. 4:13) Paul wrote today’s scripture while in prison.  Every time he was behind bars, he was facing death. Being chained to a Roman guard, he would’ve been deprived of any privacy.  Under such conditions you might think Paul would’ve been daunted or depressed—but read …

Continue reading The Strength of Jesus

Seek First the Kingdom of God

Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.’    (Luke 12:22) I don’t consistently live by today’s scripture.  Whenever I read Jesus’ admonition to not worry, I cringe when I remember the nights I’ve been awake at …

Continue reading Seek First the Kingdom of God

Battling for God’s Kingdom

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him… But David remained at Jerusalem.” (2 Sam. 11:1) We don’t know why David didn’t go into battle.  Maybe he was tired.  Maybe he forgot how important he was to his …

Continue reading Battling for God’s Kingdom

Traveling with Jesus

He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two…  He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts…   (Mk. 6:8) Recently I was behind a woman in the check-in line before a flight.  When she put her suitcase on …

Continue reading Traveling with Jesus

Through the Lens of Gratitude or Ingratitude

Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord…    (Hab. 3:17-18) Every year …

Continue reading Through the Lens of Gratitude or Ingratitude

A Journey That May Heal Your Own Hearts

Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.    (2 John 12) I once had a serious break with my daughter that was breaking my heart. …

Continue reading A Journey That May Heal Your Own Hearts

“Jamie, who are His People?”

An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham….   (Mt. 1:1f) If Jesus had lived in the neighborhood where I grew up, my grandmother would have been worried about me playing with Him.  She would have wanted me to shy away from Jesus because He came from …

Continue reading “Jamie, who are His People?”

The Real Hope of Bethlehem

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem… While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  (Luke 2:4,6) While visiting the Holy Land I was very excited to see Bethlehem—the place where Mary and Joseph traveled, where Mary gave …

Continue reading The Real Hope of Bethlehem

A Time and Place to Sing ‘Silent Night’

And the Word became flesh and lived among us… (Jn. 1:14) It was mid-December and my friends at the jail asked if I would bring them a Christmas songbook.  The following week I brought one with several choices.  They immediately began to argue over which one to sing first, until one guy said, “Stop wrangling.  …

Continue reading A Time and Place to Sing ‘Silent Night’

More Often Simply Laugh

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron; the whole congregation said to them, ‘Would that we had died in the land of Egypt!’    (Num. 14:1-2) This past year I attended a Christmas Eve service at the church I …

Continue reading More Often Simply Laugh