When Crisis Comes

What do we do when crisis comes? What should we do? How can others help?

Carolyn, a friend in her 90s, approached me at church after the morning worship service a few Sundays ago. She and her husband Alan had had a terrible week. The previous Tuesday she was hit by another car while driving, destroying her vehicle but leaving her mercifully with only a few bumps and bruises. On Friday there had been an electrical fire in her house. She and her husband were safe but their home was badly damaged. They were living in a nearby hotel and needed prayer. The couple, another friend and I prayed together immediately, and my family has lifted them up before the Lord several times in the past few weeks.

Continue reading “When Crisis Comes”

Noah’s Flood and the Cycle of Redemption

We sin, we repent, and then we sin again. Understanding Noah’s flood gives us hints to break the cycle.

The 2016 Presidential Campaign in the United States has begun, and most of the candidates have claimed the Christian faith. Only the candidates know their hearts, and while outsiders are told to “know a tree by its fruit”, to judge based on what a person does, no one can ultimately state whether or not another’s name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Some presidential hopefuls mention their religion and then hurry on to other topics. Others, especially evangelicals, reveal how their religion impacts their politics. The faith statements of the first group are taken at face value, but those of the later often engender special ridicule.

People who take the Bible seriously and try to order their lives by it have always been misunderstood. Whether Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox, those who study Scripture and try to follow it, all of it, have no lack of foes. One of the favorite games of those who oppose life-changing Christianity is to set up a caricature of what such Christians believe and then try to mock them into oblivion. Creation and Intelligent Design are favored targets, but so is the flood of Noah. This article will discuss Biblical and scientific issues around the Flood of Noah.

Continue reading “Noah’s Flood and the Cycle of Redemption”

The Book of Esther – Three Roads to Success

Are you obsessed with success? Make sure that you are defining success as God does.

Washington DC is the most success-obsessed place that we have ever lived. Growing up in Southern California taught me a relaxed pace, and moving years later to DC from El Paso, TX was a culture shock as big as any in America. The first priority for many people seems to be to demonstrate how important they are. Even children compete in everything, from traveling sports to amateur dance to yearbook design. More than any place we have ever been, parents push their little Einsteins from the cradle through high school to get the tiniest advantage, the “best schools” and most prestigious careers.

Such competition can be dire. Our obsession with success makes us stressed and intolerant. Elizabeth Lauten, a communications director for a member of Congress, recently resigned after making some ill-advised, but true, comments about the President’s daughters. Was this an overreaction? Such stress and unbridled competition can even make us suicidal. Self-destruction is a risk even for those who have “won” the competition. For example, female physicians have a 250-400% higher suicide rate than other females, and male physicians’ suicide rate is 70% higher than other males.

Continue reading “The Book of Esther – Three Roads to Success”

Listening When God Speaks – Genesis 41

God speaks to us, more often than we would like. He is not silent, but we are not listening. 

I was teaching 30s-40s adult Sunday School several weeks ago, studying the call of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1) and we were discussing how God speaks to man today. The expected answers came first; God speaks through His word (the Bible), He speaks through other people (the pastor, trusted Christian friends and family), and He speaks through circumstances (opening some doors to opportunity and closing others). These were all good answers, but none of them described how He spoke to Jeremiah in that chapter. The Weeping Prophet heard the word of God through visions and through the Lord speaking directly to his heart. I asked how many heard God in those ways and the room fell silent.

Does God still speak through dreams? Does he speak through visions? Did He ever? Sigmund Freud and modern naturalists would say no, that dreams are the product of the swirling mass of id and ego, or other psychological and naturalistic forces, within each of us. However, the Bible clearly teaches that God spoke through dreams and visions to men and women in the Old and New Testaments. Which is true?

Continue reading “Listening When God Speaks – Genesis 41”