The Ultimate Gift

Walmart is busy this time of year. So if you’re praying for patience, it’s the place to go. And Amazon’s working overtime to deliver goodies and gifts before the December 25th deadline. For many stores, Christmastime is perhaps the busiest time of the year. Why? Because everyone is shopping for gifts.

One of the many traditions of Christmas, is the exchanging of presents. One reason why some stores, *cough Walmart, begin Christmas in August. Businesses love selling stuff. It makes them money. And it’s also natural for us to like getting presents. Oh, the sweet, sweet dopamine that is released as we strip away the decorative wrapping to see what is inside. However, I would like to remind us, that though it’s fun to get, Christmas is not about getting; it’s about giving. Continue reading

Advertisements

Marvelous Things, Part I

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:29-33). Continue reading

To Love a Monster

Last night, I got to view Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald with some very good friends of mine. Though there are some fantastic views and great setup for what is to come, there is one line, said by Leta Lestrange, which stuck out to me more than all the magic and fantastic creatures that this film has to offer: “Oh Newt. You never met a monster you couldn’t love.”

Newt Scamander is one of the movie’s main protagonists, who is an odd character choice for such a role, for Gryffindor and Slytherin type personalities are the most prominent character choices for lead roles, yet Newt is an awkward Hufflepuff, who has a heart for magical beasts, many who are often misunderstood by the magical community. And Leta considers herself a monster, because of the dark secret she carries of a deed which she has done. Continue reading

Matthew 25

It’s sad that the Canadian Down Syndrome Society feels like they need to make this video; however, church, this means that we’re not doing our job. Like Jesus, we are commanded to take care of the least of these. As it says in James 1:27, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. Christianity is more than a Sunday thing. It’s loving and caring for widows and orphans, the least fortunate and the outcasts of society. Like our Savior who made physical contact with lepers and defended a prostitute, we’re supposed to care and to love for those whom society thinks is worthless. After all, doesn’t James also say that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26)? No, our works will not save us, but as Christians, we are supposed to be his light in this world, and as 1 John challenges us, Christianity is a lifestyle, not a list of obligations. Continue reading

GO!

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. GO therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20):

“The Ten Commandments in Covenantal Context”

The theme for Harding University’s annual Lectureship this past October, was “Written in Stone: The Enduring Value of the Ten Commandments.” I had the privilege of getting to listen to one of my Harding professors, Dr. Kevin Youngblood. Hey gave a three-part series of the importance of looking at the Ten Commandments in covenantal context. He gave useful background on the Ten Sayings, made New Testament connections, highlighted the importance of each saying, and gave thoughtful observations (such as the disturbing similarities between the statues of Middle Eastern bulls, which may have influenced the image of the golden calf in Exodus 32, and the appearance of the Wall Street Bull.) Dr. Youngblood gave a lot of good and thought-provoking information, (which you can listen to on the Lectureship’s website, at: https://scholarworks.harding.edu/lectureship/). Here, is one of those thoughts: