Looking for the Living Among the Dead

Easter Jesus Christ Risen living among the dead

Why do you look for the living among the dead? -Luke 24:25

A Dead Sparrow

The bird hit the big picture window like a bug hits a windshield. It didn’t fair well. The little sparrow fell to the deck floor some six feet below the point of impact, which was marked with feathers stuck to the surface of the glass. It lay on its side at first, then it slowly rolled over and extended its legs up toward the sky. It was almost cartoonish. The only thing missing were a couple of ‘Xs” over each eye. My kids heard the “THUMP” and ran out onto the deck where the bird lay.

“We need to pray for him dad!” They insisted.

Wow. This is awkward. I had taught my kids about the power of God, and the power of prayer, and the importance of faith. It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith. I had faith alright. I had faith I’d be planting that sparrow in the back yard with all our other dead pets. But what could I do? My kids were expecting a miracle.

So we prayed. Continue reading

Help, I’m Married to a Stranger: Genesis 49:29-31

marriage counseling

“Bury me with… Leah.” -Jacob, Genesis 49:29-31

“The primary problem is… learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” -Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Ethics, Duke University

Married to a Stranger

It’s impossible to know what your spouse will be like tomorrow, or next year, or next decade. Because life will change him, or her. Finishing school changes him. Age changes her. The hirings, and firings, and battles at work change him. Where she lives changes her. A loved one dying changes her. Having kids changes him. You can’t really know who you will be married to, in the future, because they’ll change.

It’s inevitable: at some point in your marriage, you’ll find you’re married to a stranger. It happens to every one of us.

It happened to Jacob right away. Continue reading

Is Satan a Person? (I wish someone had told me this when I was young)

Satan real

Young man: “Satan isn’t really like a person, right? I mean there’s evil in the world, and there’s such a thing as evil–as a force. But Satan, if he did exist, would be just one person. He would be limited. He couldn’t be everywhere at once or anything. So what could he really accomplish in the world?” Continue reading

Love Like Jesus–Encourage and Commend: Matthew 11:11

encourage, commend, compliment

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist… -Matthew 11:11

How Jesus Loved People

Jesus loved people by commending them publicly. Here in Matthew 11 we see Jesus commend John the Baptist publicly. Jesus commended the faith of the formerly blind Bartimaeus when he said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” (Mark 10:54) Jesus commended the woman who anointed his feet with perfume when he said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Jesus commended Peter when Peter called him the Messiah, he said, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah…” (Matthew 16:17) And on, and on it goes.

Jesus commended people–often.

How to Love Like Jesus

Lighten up.

Encourage, commend, and even–dare I say it–compliment people. Do it today, just for today, focus on commending and encouraging.

Jesus did.

You can too.

Let your conversation be always full of grace… -Colossians 4:6

[Image via Paul L Dineen, Creative Commons]

Bible on History Channel Draws13.1 Million

Bible History ChannelLast Sunday at 8 PM I watched The Bible miniseries’ (episode one) on the History Channel. First I had to recover from the shock of seeing actual history on the history channel, instead of Swamp People and Pawn Stars. Then I had to decide if I liked it. Continue reading

The Redemptive Power of Connection: Genesis 50:7, 9, 11

Connection to Jesus Christ[To see the last post on Genesis go to The Consequences of Calling Your Own Shots–Genesis 49:29]

So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him—the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt—

Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.

When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning.”

Genesis 50:7, 9, 11

What’s All The Fuss?

I was involved in a huge funeral once. Two friends died in the prime of life, in an ATV accident. They were firefighters and we had this huge procession through town with fire department vehicles. The streets were lined with well wishers. There were even helicopters flying overhead above the procession. One helicopter flew a giant American flag underneath. Another filmed the whole event in high def. Had my two friends been insurance salesmen none of that would have happened. It was their relationship with the fire department that resulted in such an ambitious funeral.

Jacob’s funeral was a much bigger deal than my friends’. Every single one of Pharaoh’s officials were there. Every dignitary from the nation of Egypt was there. All of Joseph’s family was there. Chariots and horsemen were even there. The funeral lasted a whole week. This thing was huge. When the people of Canaan saw it, it was easy to recognize someone very important had passed away. But why? Why was Jacob honored in such spectacular fashion? Continue reading