Worshipping and Praising God

Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.    (Ps. 96:9) I recently led a workshop on Emotional Intelligence at the sheriff’s academy.  Before starting to present the material, I asked the participants what it was like to be police officers these days. They were very forthcoming about all the strains, …

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Faith Lost and Then Found Again

Then Job answered the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted…. Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.’   (Job 42:1-3) His name was Will.  He was a retired clergy person who …

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Formed, Known, Consecrated, and Appointed by God

“Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’” (Jer. 1:4-5) Most of us grew up hearing these words: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words …

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God’s Purpose for Us

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  (Rom. 8:28) Why are we here?  What gives meaning to our life?  What gets us out of bed in the morning?  What helps us to sleep at night?  Simply put: What is our purpose? …

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God’s Breath Gives Us Life

…then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.    (Gen. 2:7) I was a competitive swimmer in high school.  In order to stay in shape during the off-season, our coach encouraged us to become lifeguards.  …

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God’s Grace Can Heal Your Heart

Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice...   (Eph. 4:31) Let me call her Eleanor.  She was in her seventies. I visited her every month.  We would read scripture, pray, share communion together, and then she would launch into bitterly complaining about her mother. During …

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Singing the Lord’s Song

'How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?'   (Ps. 137:4) The Jews cried these words while they were being deported to Babylon.  They had just witnessed their army being defeated, their Temple being destroyed, and God’s city being sacked.  On their long march to Babylon, they worried about whether they would …

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God’s Love in Christ Jesus

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers…nor anything else will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.   (Rom. 8:37 passim) I recently attended a funeral.  It was a sad funeral for many reasons, one of which is that the man …

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Into the Hands of Jesus

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.    (1 Cor. 15:20) When my father died, my stepmother gave his body to medical science. A year later his ashes were returned and we set a burial date. We had the internment service, a lovely reception, …

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Our Struggles With Faith

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails …

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