“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV
How To Fail To Guard Your Heart
The writer of Proverbs chapter four is sharing wisdom with his sons. He spends much of the chapter admonishing them to listen to his words and to value wisdom highly. Then, toward the end, he says what he says in verse 23, “Above all else, guard your heart . . .”
It’s 3:30 in the afternoon, at the time of this writing, on the 4th of July, Independence Day. And I’m thinking about patriotism. I wonder about it sometimes, patriotism, because sometimes it can lead to decisions that hurt another human being simply because someone isn’t from our own particular country. So I get that there are problems with patriotism. Those problems make me wonder what God wants from us. They make me wonder if he wants me, and you, to be patriotic.
We left off in our study of the book of John with Jesus allowing his disciples to be battered about by a storm. There may have been a good reason for that. If you’re interested you can read the last post from the Gospel of John here: What It Takes To Be Glad About Jesus: John 6:16-21.
The Work Of God
The morning after the storm, what the crowd saw was that Jesus sent his disciples over to the other side of the sea of Galilee in a boat, and then he himself hiked up a mountain to pray. What they didn’t see was Continue reading →
I have to confess, I was reluctant to write and publish this article about anger, because I’m concerned it will make people angry. But maybe in spite of my better judgment . . .
If you follow my Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ accounts you know I put up scripture on these almost every day. More than one person has criticized me for it, but what can I say — I’m a Jesus nerd. I’m completely fascinated by this ancient Jewish Rabbi, so much so that I just can’t help myself. I want to learn all that I can about him, and I want to share him with others. Anyway, recently, on Facebook, I posted the words from Jesus, “. . . I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…” (Matthew 5:22) And a friend of mine, Danny, asked in the comment section, “What do you think is meant by ‘brother’?” Continue reading →
Emergency vehicles on scene at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando
I just want to share a few thoughts on the Orlando Shooting. Thought number three in particular is the most difficult and it applies to you, and to me.
1) It’s a horrible tragedy. This was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Fifty died, and fifty-three were injured. My heart breaks for the victims and their families. They’re in my prayers and I hope they’re in your prayers too.
2) We need to guard against acts of terror in the most sensible and effective way possible. This is where everybody wants to go when they discuss the Orlando tragedy. This is the part that’s most popular in the media and in the blogosphere. I have my own opinions, but the purpose of this blog isn’t to offer up the actions I believe we should take to prevent attacks like this one. The purpose of this blog post is to focus on something more difficult.
3) The hard part, the most difficult thing we need to guard against, is this: Continue reading →
By now, like most basketball fans, you’ve seen Damian Lillard’s 37-foot game winner that sent Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder home for the season. And you also know it’s undeniable that as good as Lillard was last season, he’s made a big leap to an even higher level this season.
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” John 1:42-43
Nate Larkin, Samson And The Pirate Monks
I recently heard a man speak by the name of Nate Larkin. Nate wrote a book called Samson and the Pirate Monks, and in his book and during his talk he spoke of the different personas he developed as he navigated life. For church and when he was in the presence of God there was Saint Nate. Saint Nate was good (at least on the outside), he memorized scripture, and he said all the right things. He polished that persona to perfection. Nate was great at looking bright and shiny to other Christians. But later, in high school, he found girls weren’t attracted to Saint Nate, so he developed another persona he calls Date Nate. Date Nate was smooth and fun and cool. And you know what? It worked. He could find dates when he took on the Date Nate persona. Then he met the girl of his dreams. But the only problem was, she didn’t like Date Nate. So he invented yet another persona he calls Mate Nate. And that worked too. The girl of his dreams married Mate Nate. Awhile later Nate entered the ministry. But he did so while carrying a dark secret: he was a sex addict, addicted to porn since his teens. After a few years working for a church, Nate noticed several high profile Continue reading →