Which Bible looks more like your Bible? Continue reading
But church folks can minister to families struggling with mental illness in effective, loving ways. Continue reading
Yesterday in church Pastor Gearl recognized all the moms in the audience. His message was about how important a good mom is to her family and to others. I wish you could have been there with me.
I can’t believe it’s been 11 years since Jesus called you home. I sure do miss you. I can’t count the times I’ve wanted to pick up the phone and call you. I loved to call you and share some way God blessed me, or tell you about something exciting or fun I did that day.
My conversations over the years with you and Dad created some of my most precious memories. Though we spent most of our lives living a thousand miles apart, I loved being able to pick up the phone and connect with you just to chat.
You gave me something few of my friends here share. For almost 60 years you gave me consistency. You stayed married to each other, despite some extremely difficult times. No matter where I was, or what I was doing, or not doing, I could always pick up the phone and dial 712-246-2655. You were always there. I often brag about my hometown and my wonderful growing up years in my loving family to my friends. Most of them marvel at the wonderful childhood I enjoyed in our small Iowa hometown. Many of my friends have never known the consistence and security you and Dad gave me.
I know we didn’t have a perfect life, either. I know I gave you more than my share of grief and heartaches. For all those, I am genuinely sorry.
I have to confess, Mom: the day you died, I was absolutely jubilant. Not because you died, but because I knew where you were. Your suffering from the cancer that took you from us was over. Not only was I jubilant because I knew where you were. I was jubilant because I knew that someday we would be reunited and basking in the love of Jesus in God’s Kingdom forever. We’ll never be apart again. We’ll never know pain or suffering or sorrow or dismay or any other health problems. And you’d never have to fuss at me again to pick up my clothes.
What a glorious day that will be!
Until then, Mom, please know that I love you and miss you still. I am grateful for everything you were to me, everything you gave me, everything you taught me, and everything you did for me.
I will always love you,
Your loving son, Steve
You might be a Pharisee if . . .
you catch yourself saying, “You can’t talk to me like that!”
you think life is not always fair.
your prayers are more self-talk than talking with God.
you catch yourself mumbling, “Did you hear about…”
you believe you’re more spiritual than your friends.
you justify your anger because you know you’re in the right.
you enjoy receiving praise from other believers.
you believe you’re pleasing God by following rules.
you believe you’re humble.
you don’t think you need anybody’s help”.
outward righteousness is better than heart holiness.
you celebrate the failures of others.
you obsess over the opinion of others.
you are convinced your opinion is the only right one.
you’re quick to criticize others when they disagree with you.
you think “Christians” who don’t agree with you are “compromisers”.
you feel good when you catch someone’s Scriptural error.
you look down on people who are not on your spiritual level.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness
and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee
and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself
and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—
robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not
even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said,
‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other,
went home justified before God. For all those who
exalt themselves will be humbled, and those
who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
If someone asked you to define Christmas in one word, what would you say? Continue reading