I’ve been thinking recently about the plight of orphans in the world. There are so many children throughout the world who have been orphaned by AIDS, by poverty, by neglect, by crime, and other tragic circumstances. I applaud those Christian families who have taken on the noble responsibility of rearing one of these special children. It is the duty of the church (believers) to care for these young people.
As I have contemplated this topic, a beautiful story from God’s Word came tumbling into my weekly curriculum preparation for our church’s children’s program. You all know the story. Continue reading »
There’s something about a parade that I haven’t been able to put my finger on until recently. Last summer, my family and I joined our friends Bob and Claudia Beauprez in a parade in the city of Fountain, Colorado. At the time, Bob was serving as a U.S. Representative. Because of my affinity for Bob and the values he champions, I began to get to know and support other elected officials. In the summertime, that means walking in parades!
Now I know that most of you picture a parade as a festive processional with floats, huge blimps, marching bands, and all sorts of other wonderful art forms. I used to look at them that way too. When I would take my family to see the 4th of July parade in downtown Philadelphia, we went for sheer entertainment value.
Now, I look at parades differently. Continue reading »
As a music pastor, I regularly consult songbooks. Some are old, very old; others are very new. I’m glad that at times in history people have made the effort to write out the songs of our faith. Today, we have thousands from which to lead the church of God in worship. It is a blessed heritage to me.
Of course, the Old Testament book of Psalms is also a songbook, one of the oldest in history. There is much historically of interest about the book. Yes, it has 150 Hebrew poems written over a span of a thousand years. We know David as the author of 73 of them, but let’s not forget about Asaph, Solomon, the sons of Korah, Heman, Ethan, and even Moses and their contributions to the book. Interestingly, as I attempt to navigate with biblical clarity through the worship wars of my age, the book of Psalms often strikes a relevant note. For example, did you know that the Hebrew title of the book of Psalms is Tehillim, which means “praise songs”? See, it’s not a bad term to use! Continue reading »
Taste is a sense for which I am especially grateful to God. I love food. I am one of the people you will occasionally meet that likes it all. I love meats of all kinds including liver. I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t like, including the wonderful okra, brussel sprout, squash, and asparagus. I love fruit of all kinds, domestic and tropical. I enjoy the differences in taste of wheat, rye, pumpernickel, barley, and oat. I appreciate the fine cheeses. I salivate over the product of the sea: crabs and scallops and lobsters and swordfish and salmon and clam. I like it all.
Of course, food can be prepared in a manner that titillates the tongue. The prime rib that is perfectly cooked to medium rare, moist and tender. The freshest baguette from a patisserie in Paris, with a warm exterior crust and melt-in-your-mouth doughy inside. The pasta at al dente which marries perfectly with a freshly prepared marinara. A red-ripe apple right off the tree with a crispy bite and sweet juicy flavor.
Hungry? Continue reading »
“Whenever truth begins to emerge onto a higher plane, there are those who close their eyes to the wonder of its possibilities. Strange to tell, many prefer a dead conscience to a live obedience. They will fight to the death to preserve an old order with self-will at the helm, or to prop up a stale theology where narrow dogma provides the ruling dictum. All God’s highest principles are wide-embracing truths, however, not constricting ones, as all hearts that love Fatherhood above the traditions of their elders must recognize before the light of eternity breaks at last upon them.”
Some interesting thoughts from a fiction writer, eh? Check out Dream of Freedom, page 149, by Michael Phillips.
“America’s Helping Youth…Is Your Church” was posted this morning over at SharperIron. It was written after covering a White House event here in Denver for SI. I hope you get a chance to read it and give me your feedback.
The article can be found here: http://www.sharperiron.org/2006/08/11/americaâs-helping-youth-is-your-church
The discussion thread can be found here: http://www.sharperiron.org/showthread.php?t=2981
I remember playing tag when I was little. Wasn’t very good at it. So, imagine my surprise when I received an email from my good friend Andy Efting saying simply “You’re it!” I didn’t have a clue what he was referring to. After some patient explanation from Andy, I realized that the game of tag had invaded the blogosphere and I had been tagged, twice. This game, however, is a little easier to play, so I will indulge. After all, it’s a “book tag,” so I want to do my part to promote literacy in the world! Here it goes: Continue reading »
[This article was first published at www.sharperiron.org on July 28, 2006.]
For centuries, economists struggled to answer the seeming disparity between the value of diamonds and the value of water. This paradox was discussed by great thinkers such as Copernicus, Locke, and Smith. Water is essential for life and has many purposes but is far less valuable than diamonds which are mostly appreciated for their beauty alone. Shouldn’t water carry the greater value?
In time, two theories developed in an attempt to answer this elusive question. The first dealt with the intrinsic value of the two items. Diamonds are more valuable then, because they require great labor in mining and refining and cutting and polishing. Water can simply be brought to the surface of a well through a single bucket. The second theory, proposed by Englishman William Jevons and Austrian Carl Menger, became known as marginal utility and answered the question subjectively. If a man in a desert is dying of dehydration and is offered either water or diamonds, which do you imagine he will choose? Continue reading »
As the trial saga of my friends continues on, the waiting game wears long and hard. It reminded me of a song I sang in our church a few years ago in a time of waiting we were experiencing. Here are the lyrics of that song to meditate on today: Continue reading »
Eight months ago, a dear family very close to me underwent criminal accusation and was attacked even on issues with home schooling and discipline within the family. There has been no substantiation of any claims and no evidence presented to validate the charges. The family is involved in Christian ministry outside the United States.
Well, after eight months, the criminal trial is finally taking place. I would greatly appreciate the prayer and fasting of Christian brothers and sisters specifically today for God to be glorified through the trial and that the truth will become very clear. Pray for strength and peace for the family members involved.
There is the possibility that the whole ordeal could come to a close today if the Lord so blesses, otherwise the trial could be delayed and extended for months. Please pray today!!