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 …

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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 …

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Seeing, Finding and Serving Jesus

Jesus said, “… I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Having gone through Hurricane Harvey I was reminded of another storm—Katrina. In 2005, we watched whole neighborhoods being flooded, people looting, and some even dying, and horrendous conditions throughout New Orleans. In response to the horrendous conditions in New Orleans, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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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Jesus Born Again Anywhere

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Lk. 2:6-7) When my schedule permits, I visit some inmates in …

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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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What Jesus Knew

Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. (Jn. 8:6) The woman caught in adultery stands in the midst of the crowd ashamed of her actions and afraid for her life.  The Pharisees are feverishly using that woman to set up Jesus. Many of the townspeople are gathered around with great curiosity, some …

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