Some years ago, I was asked to write a monthly article for the newsletter of the church we attended at the time. The following are the results of that assignment.
March: New Life
Skies long draped in dull slate grey, or heaped in dark quilts, threatening snowy storms, or, at best, thinly spread with pale blue sheets back-dropping the sun’s pale yellow orb, joyfully begin to respond to the sun’s new-found energy. The shades of grey begin to give way to deepening, warmer blues as the sun shines brighter and brighter.
New Year’s Resolutions
“Happy New Year!” What resolutions are you making? Why is it that the first half of this greeting brings smiles, while the second half often brings a groan? The dawn of a new year seems like a natural time to start afresh, to determine to put negative things of the past behind, and to plan and work for a more positive future. Yet, as our groan at the word “resolution” reminds us, we’ve aimed for this kind of change many times but somehow our resolve dwindles and very little positive change actually results.
They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
The love of God, that resulted in God giving His Son to save us, is to be the sign of the church. Just as in the early church, this love can be put into action every day in the churches — the gathering of believers — in our homes. How can this perfect love, this great mission, be put into action in our cell churches?
The Cross of Easter
Easter is about the resurrection. But the resurrection would have no value if there were no cross. As the apostle Paul reminds us, the cross in integral to the resurrection.
Choosing Educational Options
Another school year is drawing to an end. Students are looking forward eagerly to summer holidays with nary a thought about the school year that starts in September. But parents are often thinking ahead, wondering what educational options might be best for their family.
“What are you doing to celebrate Pentecost?” Have you ever been asked that question? Each year we make big plans for Christmas and Easter, but many of us barely know anything about Pentecost. Yet for Christians, Pentecost was a truly important event.
“To you… we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.” As we reflect on Remembrance Day, we are called forth to “keep faith” with those who have gone on before us. This is true not only of our remembrance of the veterans of past and present earthly conflicts who have fought to preserve our freedoms. We must also reflect upon the sacrifices of those who have gone before, and even now serve in the battles in spiritual realms.
As we embark once again upon the Christmas season, let us reflect for a moment on what Christmas is really about. On the evening Jesus was born, the angels appeared to the shepherds and proclaimed the good news: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:14) What does this proclamation of peace and goodwill have to do with us today?
Vicki is my mother. She calls me up just to say hello. She likes to get together for coffee, just to chat. She even takes me out to lunch, just to spend time together. When she is working on a project, she asks for my input. She is interested in my plans and goals. When I am discouraged, she encourages me. She gives me good advice. She shares her feelings with me, too. She invites my family to her home for meals and movie nights, and my teens can’t wait to go because “it’s just like family”! She equips me spiritually. Vicki cares about me and values me. Surely you are my mother, Vicki.
My Summer Vacation
Summer’s over, school is starting again. And most students are hoping that their teacher won’t assign that inevitable composition: “My Summer Vacation.” Still, it’s a question well worth considering: How was your summer?
Taking the Leap
Reflecting on our church, it seems we’re on the edge of a great chasm. We can either step off and be caught up by God in a great, new, eternally important adventure, or we can just walk along the edge, keep doing just what we’ve been doing, but know forever than somehow we’ve missed the greatest thing that could ever happen to us.
In his devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, “Guard jealously your relationship with God. Jesus prayed ‘that they may be one, even as we are one’ nothing between. Keep all the life perennially open to Jesus Christ, don’t pretend with Him. Are you drawing your life from any other source than God Himself? If you are depending upon anything but Him, you will never know when He is gone.”