Shanah Tovah: שנה טובה

The Feast of Trumpets A new year means both reflection and rejoicing A Good Year Leviticus 23: 23-25 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy… Continue reading Shanah Tovah: שנה טובה

Faithful through the Ages

The God who worked wonders in the past is faithful to keep His promises still (Psalm 77:14; Psalm 86:15). To say we live in troubling times is an understatement. Every day some new catastrophe floods the news cycles: natural disasters, crime, social issues, education, politics, and uncertainty about the economy threaten our personal well-being and… Continue reading Faithful through the Ages

Activate!

Sometimes God's answer to prayer is us. remix: Hanna-Barbera/Justice League Wonder Twins (CC BY-NC-SA) My brothers and I grew up in the 1970s. Saturday mornings were for cartoons of fantastical places and magical powers (and the occasional monster-puppet.) Typically, some distraught character would cry out for help and in the blink of an eye, a… Continue reading Activate!

Remix, hymns, and theology

The songs we sing as we worship matter. Photo by Alexander Wark on Unsplash Sunday morning music can be uplifting, moving, theological, inspiring, and introspective. Music can set the mood, prepare the heart and mind for the sermon, and connect the singers to the practice and experience of worship. Sunday morning services have a predictable rhythm: a song… Continue reading Remix, hymns, and theology

Grace and Gopher wood

How Noah responded to the grace of the Lord and what that means for us GRACE: charitos (χάριτος) Charis (Χάρις) appears more than 150 times in the Bible, mostly in the letters written by Paul. The first usage of the concept, however, is not for first-century Christians, but for pre-Abrahamic Noah (Genesis 6:8) when the… Continue reading Grace and Gopher wood

Jeremiah 29:11

 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. That sounds so good, doesn't it? Living in this crazy world, where evil seems to prevail, we want to believe that hope for a future of peace and good well-being is… Continue reading Jeremiah 29:11

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. "I can do hard things" is the current cultural parallel to this verse and is the meaning many cultural Christians intend when they call on it as inspiration to achieve something. But Paul was not advocating that believers be like the "Little Train that Could," approaching… Continue reading Philippians 4:13

The Dogwood

There is a legend about the dogwood tree. It’s a lovely little story with absolutely no basis in fact about the role of the dogwood tree in the crucifixion of Jesus. The flowers form a cross, the central portions represent a crown, and each petal is pierced and stained red. The spring blooms come near… Continue reading The Dogwood

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Defaulting to Grace is going to be a book! To celebrate, I've decided to share bonus content to subscribers only. You may already follow me through WordPress, but I invite you to subscribe (free), too. As a subscriber, you'll be first to know about the publication process and timeline along with some sneak peeks at… Continue reading Subscribe for bonus content

I have seen the Lord

THE POWER OF A WORD “I have seen the Lord!” Can you imagine? Mary from Magdala watched him die a violent and tortuous death. He was dead. She saw his last breath. She witnessed his battered, broken, bloody body removed from the hateful cross. She followed the men who buried him so she would know… Continue reading I have seen the Lord