Joel 2:12-14"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessinggrain offerings...Keep Reading
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We near Easter as the disciples neared the resurrection. Indeed, we near our own resurrection as they neared his. Christ has gone, and yet we walk. But like those pinks and oranges, like the stars that break the black, the Spirit now breathes Christ into all the empty spaces....
"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:16-18)....
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11 ESV)....
“So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). ...
Ezekiel 18:2121 "But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die.I am constantly mesmerized by the apparent tension between grace and works in scripture.I am also always learning about the truth of God's character through scripture passages like...Keep Reading
Phil 3:10-1110 I want to know Christyes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.Mark Twain wrote, "The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." The answer to this why question is often times ...Keep Reading
Then Job answered the Lord:"Indeed, I am completely unworthy how could I reply to you?I put my hand over my mouth to silence myself.I have spoken once, but I cannot answer;twice, but I will say no more."(Job 40:3-5, NET2)Then Job answered the Lord:"I know that you can do all things;no purpose of yours can be thwarted;you asked,'Who is this who darkens counselwithout knowl...Keep Reading
James 4:1315Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.""I'm letting all t...Keep Reading
Psalm 130 (ESV)1Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!2 O Lord, hear my voice!Let your ears be attentiveto the voice of my pleas for mercy!3If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,O Lord, who could stand?4But with you there is forgiveness,that you may be feared.It's said that physical maturing is one long separation process. From the very moment a baby is born, it begins l...Keep Reading
Psalm 102:2, 1112 (ESV)Do not hide your face from mein the day of my distress!My days are like an evening shadow;I wither away like grass.But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;you are remembered throughout allgenerations.Lent is a solemn time of fasting, reflection, and preparation. It is appropriate to reflect on where we need hope in our lives. Our planet is in distress...Keep Reading
Psalm 51: 1-2, 10, 12"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."Sinour inevitable y...Keep Reading
Ps. 38:2122 Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation! (ESV)A number of years ago I briefly taught elementary school, and I noticed that my students just couldn't resist comparing grades with one another.This drove me bananas.I'm not much for competition to begin with, and the last thing I wanted was for kids to ...Keep Reading
Once chaos cracked the firmament, Its offspring drowned the land. Now sunlight strikes the atmosphere Like blows of Father's hand. What grace is light? What grace is Law? What grace is sacrifice To those who, born of flesh, confuse With sacrifice our vice? From chariots, you led us hence Through sea to holy hill. But though enslaved to whip and brick, By cov...Keep Reading