In the Manger with Jesus

And she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them at the inn.    (Lk. 2:7) I’d received a phone call from a distraught mother.  Her 30-something daughter had disappeared. The mother feared that her daughter—let me call her Abby—could have committed suicide. A …

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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 …

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Our Time in Midian

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.   (Ex. 3:1) For the first 40 years of his life Moses had been trained to be a commander of armies. For his next 40 years Moses …

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Let the Little Children Come to Me

People were bringing little children to [Jesus] in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me…'   (Mk. 10:13-14) David, a seminary classmate, and I were at a folk mass.  As we …

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Saved, Delivered, Freed, or Healed

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.   (Ex. 14:30) The Hebrews were running away from the tyranny of Pharaoh.  At some point along the escape route, they looked back and saw the Egyptian army in murderous pursuit.  They thought they were doomed to …

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Doing God’s Adam Inventory

So, when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.  …

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With Barnabas

When he [Paul] had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord...   (Acts 9:26-27) …

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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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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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