Recent Posts

I’ve always read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as if the events happened seamlessly, one after another and, to be honest, a little bit “by magic.” I have always taken it for granted that God somehow just “did something” and that everything happened pretty quickly. This time through, I took a deeper look into the story – into the details and the drama –  for the miraculous ways God worked through (instead of “in spite of”) history and people.

If you are traveling internationally, a passport is a critical tool. It tells the world who you are and where you are from. Depending on where you are visiting, where you are from can prevent your entry or can open all kinds of doors. Similarly, where your heart comes from can have all kinds of effects.

Sometimes, it's what you don't say that is the most encouraging.

As the news about Jesus spread beyond the epicenter of Jerusalem and was believed by people outside the original Jewish community, one question that quickly arose is, "Just how Jewish should these new people be required to become?" Some wanted high performance and high standards: all the Jewish laws must be kept!

Sometimes, having two bosses can work (right now, I have four), especially if these bosses are working towards complimentary goals and the competing time demands can be managed. In this kind of setup, it is mostly a matter of sorting out what each boss needs at any given time, and on a good day, many of our actions can be applied to meet multiple needs. (The lesson plan I prepare for one department can be used when I guess lecture at another, for example.)

Can this idea of keeping two bosses happy be applied to our view of government? Jesus seems to think so.

For a short while before he wrote Peanuts, Charles Schultz wrote a comic strip called Li’l Folks. What I love about that title (and apparently, Schultz preferred it, too: he is reported to have hated the name Peanuts) is the hint at the depth Schultz was aiming at. He did not write comics strictly for children. He wrote about the human condition, the condition that all “folks” must deal with, big and little.