My email brought a link to a video called, “It’s Not About the Nail.” The message promised that men would find it hilarious and women would wind up wondering if men would ever get it.
I’m a man. I found it hilarious. I also recognized that, apart from the stereotypes of the different conversation styles on Mars and Venus, the video points to a more profound truth. Men and women fall into this subtler trap equally.
So men, watch the video. It’s hilarious. Women, you’ll probably find it hilarious, too. If not, bear with me.
When my youngest sister was about three, Mom needed a serving spoon at supper. So Sis jumped up to get it for her. She grabbed a slotted spoon, and when she looked at it, she said, “Broken! I’m sorry!” and started to cry.
Cute story. I know a grown woman who left church after a sermon on how God loves everyone and commented that she had never felt so condemned in her life! Not such a cute story.
Recently I read about a poll that found that the people who most actively care about the environment are much more guilt-ridden than those who care far less.… Read the rest
Every once in a while, someone will make the news by declaring that some event is God’s judgment on, well, fill in the blank. The immediate reaction in the media is outrage, often well deserved. Unfortunately, such dustups obscure an important fact: God’s judgment must come upon America. Let me approach the subject with three stories that, at first, will seem wholly unrelated.
Tom, a friend of mine, once told me about the first car he ever owned. To make a long story short, he never thought to change the oil. Of course he never read the owner’s manual.… Read the rest
Christians readily agree with the statement that God is all-powerful, all-loving, and all-sufficient. But when trouble turns up, how many of us really know how to respond as if we believe it? We turn to idols instead.
Our idols aren’t quite the same as those of the ancients, but they work the same way. We trust our own resources more than we trust God. Certainly God expects us to use our own resources much of the time, but we must not trust them. We must trust God. Otherwise, whatever we trust instead becomes, functionally, an idol, the god we truly worship.… Read the rest
Everyone wants to succeed at what they try. The alternative is failure. Successful people know failure. They have learned from it, worked out problems, and tried again until they succeed. That’s the way the world works. Unfortunately, the world also has pitfalls that can ultimately destroy the successful if they’re not vigilant. The Bible has many examples. Let’s look at Gideon.
Lots of people seem to get upset with preachers because they’re always talking about money. Those same people wouldn’t have liked Jesus’ ministry very much, either. Almost half of his parables (16 of 38) have to do with money.
And that’s not all he had to say about it, either. Here’s a portion of the Sermon on the Mount:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
Fear is one of Satan’s weapons to keep Christians from living in the freedom that Christ purchased for us. Fear keeps the lonely from reaching out to other people. Fear keeps us all from leaving our comfort zones to reach out for any goals at all.
We naturally experience fear when we experience adversity, obstacles, or failure. We shouldn’t give into it just because it’s natural. We have supernatural advantages, just as Jesus did in the Garden.
Some people seem to thing sin is a good thing. It means fun, pleasure. Remember when Weight Watcher soft drinks were advertised as “sinfully delicious”? The sculpture pictured here was taken on the grounds of Treasure Island Casino in Las Vegas. It seems more like an enticement than warning. We all know that God hates sin, though. Let’s take a closer look.
Every society wants justice. That’s every society throughout the world beginning in prehistory. Take away superficial differences, and it appears that every society has similar views of what justice means. We’ll look at a passage from Exodus that would probably not be controversial anywhere.
Justice is hard to get when thugs take over. See the latest headlines from Syria. But I’ll bet even Assad’s courts have dispensed justice whenever it has not been against the regime’s interests to do so.
On the other hand, it doesn’t take an evil government to pervert justice. Ordinary human nature can do quite nicely at that even with the best of governments.… Read the rest
North Carolina has just become the 30th state to enshrine the definition of marriage as one man and one woman in the state constitution. I am pleased by the outcome, but dismayed by the process and the rhetoric.
In the local newspaper, proponents and opponents of the marriage amendment lobbed scriptures back and forth as if a couple of verses settled the matter. That’s wrong for at least three reasons.