Thanks for Answering the Call

On Veterans’ Day this year I had the unusual privilege of welcoming the Governor of the State of Indiana to Lighthouse Christian Academy in Bloomington, IN. Lighthouse is the small, Christian, K-12 school which my children attend. Governor Pence graciously offered to be the keynote speaker at our annual Veterans’ Day ceremony.


Listen Up!

Everyone is talking about Ferguson. I can add nothing new regarding the grand jury decision and the specifics on the ground. Most of us can do nothing about it either. However, many say that we need to take time to listen given the height of emotions and the various reasons for them in our current race-relations climate. For instance, Lecrae’s thoughts can be found here. Thabiti Anyabwile longs for the same here.  We need to listen, even if we think the speakers might be wrong. Very little is being said about how to listen. Listening on the internet or to the television is not sufficient. It does not count for much. This post is written to encourage us all to dialogue face to face with those of other ethnic heritages.

Biblical authors like Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:17) and John (1 John 1:14) longed to see those whom they addressed face to face. Paul did the hard thing and looked Peter in the face when he disagreed with him (Galatians 2:11). Jesus looked directly at those with whom he disagreed (Luke 20:17), and he was moved with compassion when he saw hurting people (John 11:33). Face to face contact changes the dynamic. […]


For Your Thanksgiving Day Table

If you are looking to read one of the old American Thanksgiving Day proclamations around your table this year, here is the 1781 proclamation by Thomas McKean, President of the Congress of the United States.

Remember that this proclamation was issued a week after Cornwallis had surrendered at Yorktown. Notice the detailed list of specific reasons for thanks to God – if you had to make a similar list for our nation this year, what would you include?

President Obama usually issues his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation on Thursday; you will find it at www.whitehouse.gov.

 —

By the United States, in Congress
Assembled.

PROCLAMATION.

Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, the Father of Mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States of America in their important struggle for liberty against the long-continued efforts of a powerful nation, it is the duty of all ranks to observe and thankfully acknowledge the interpositions of his Providence in their behalf; – Through the whole of the contest from its first rise to this time the influence of Divine Providence may be clearly perceived in many signal instances, of which we mention but a few: –

In revealing the counsels of our enemies, when the discoveries were seasonable and […]



Immigration and the Law of God

Toward the end of his speech last week on immigration, President Obama quoted from the Bible when he said:

Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too.

My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

The outcry about the president using Scripture has been loud.  Some debated which Scripture he was quoting.  Conservatives appeared to be angry he used a Scripture quote, noting his failure to apply it in other situations such as same-sex marriages.  Predictably, liberals laughed more at the conservative reaction than questioning […]



Lessons from a Humiliating Failure

Have you had this nightmare? Your child is on stage in a school play; she is in the middle of a solo which she has performed flawlessly in every rehearsal and on previous nights, when suddenly her voice wobbles and then chokes. You can’t believe it’s happening, but there she is, humiliated and devastated, her hands covering her face trying to block out the hundreds of eyes watching her while the rest of the cast try to improvise around her failure.

Except that for my wife and me it wasn’t a bad dream. It happened to one of our children (who shall remain nameless, at a time that will remain unspecified!).

After first of all pouring out love, comfort and sympathy, my wife and I then began to talk with our daughter about some of the lessons God might be teaching her even through something as difficult as this.

Our starting point and overarching principle was that Romans 8.28 really means what it says. All things really do work together for the good of those who love God. God is good and wise and in control of everything that happens. He can use even huge catastrophes to bring about good things—if he could […]


Play The Longest Game

This coming Sunday will be my last sermon in a long series through the book of Revelation. As I’ve been considering some of the bigger lessons God has taught me through the series, I keep coming back to the importance of having an eternal perspective on this life’s ups and downs. It’s said that chess masters are often successful because they are playing beyond the current move. Instead of just wondering what the best next move is, they’re thinking about the next two or three (or seven or eight) moves and how their current move can be used in the long game of success. 


Qualifying our Ever-So-Merciful Consciences

The church is called to be a merciful people. Jesus has called us to extend mercy as we preach the gospel through the nations.  Sometimes, it seems, at least here in the U.S.A.,  as though we go out of our way to footnote, qualify, and  give restrictions on how that mercy is to be distributed. We often err on the side of doing nothing rather than on the side of doing too much. If I am ever in a position where I need mercy extended to me…  I hope that the church errs on the side of grace. Maybe loving our neighbor would cause us to do likewise.

Or maybe not…. we should check the footnotes to be sure. 


GenRef Podcast: Christian Apologetics with James Anderson

It was our pleasure to speak with Dr. James Anderson, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary. Specializing in religious epistemology and philosophical theology, Dr. Anderson brings to the table a wide array of insights into the subject of Christian apologetics.  Join us as we speak with him about defending the faith.