Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Five Steps Toward Humility

We all have a pride problem. We come into this world believing we are #1 and that our wants, needs, and desires should be everyone’s top priority. Our hardwiring tells us that we deserve to be at the center of the universe and that other people – even God – should do our bidding. This is, as a famous politician put it, an inconvenient truth. Nobody wants to admit it, but it is still true.

Another part of our pride problem is that the God of the universe hates pride and loves humility. Which puts us all in a very bad position. For example, But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:6, 7) That the Lord opposes something should make us want to be on the other side of whatever that something is. Especially since, in contrast, He gives grace to the humble.

Those of us who follow Christ should want to pursue humility. But how?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rejoicing in Small Things

What small thing is God doing in your life? And how do you know it is “small?"

How do you measure God’s power and blessing? Numbers and size don’t always do it. For example, some churches have an attendance of 50,000. Does that mean God has withheld His blessing if the church you attend has an attendance of 85?

When Jesus healed a blind man, was that a lesser miracle than the parting of the Red Sea? Did Christ’s turning water into wine for a small wedding deserve less praise than when He fed the 5000? Was the raising of Lazarus less praiseworthy than the “many” who came out of their graves (Matthew 27:52-53) after Jesus' resurrection?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My First Colonoscopy

This past week I had my first colonoscopy, long overdue. I didn’t even intend to have it. I quite innocently asked my family doctor, "So does Kaiser still do colonoscopies for people my age?" And he said, "I’ll set it up." (Wait…what just happened?)

Colonoscopies seem to make quite an impression upon people. You never forget your first one – though, of course you try through years of therapy. Just kidding. It’s similar to, I suppose, your first roller coaster, or maybe your first car wreck.

Anyhow, I thought I might share some of my reflections, for the benefit of you who are yet uninitiated, and perhaps to the fond recollection of those who are.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What Makes God Laugh?

Does God have a sense of humor? Well, sure! He made us, right?

Lots of people say the Lord likes a good joke, and maybe He does. But there’s only one place in the entire Bible where God laughs. Psalm 2:4: He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

But this isn’t a pleasant, affectionate, indulgent laugh, like the chuckle you get watching children play. This is a mocking, ridiculing, scoffing kind of laugh. The NET Bible translates Psalm 2:4 this way: The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust; the Lord taunts them.