Playing Fair

As we continued in our series, Telling Our Story, yesterday morning, we ran into an uncomfortable truth. Sometimes life is unfair. Sometimes it is unfair and sometimes it seems like God doesn’t do anything to fix that. We see this in the story of Stephen, one of the original deacons appointed by the church and who was having a powerful ministry until the unfairness of life struck him down. This isn’t an easy conversation to have, but it’s one we must have. Let’s do it together.

Playing Fair

This past February some of our brothers and sisters were gathered for worship in the tiny African nation of Burkina Faso. The landlocked country is about the size of the state of Nevada. It is also home to an active and ongoing attempt by Muslim radicals linked to the Islamic State to gain control of the nation in order to enforce their will on it. The believers worshiped that morning like they had done so for years and years together. This particular morning, however, their praise was interrupted by shouts and gunfire. Terrorists burst into the sanctuary with guns blazing. Twenty-four worshipers were murdered in cold blood including the church’s pastor. A dozen more were injured in the gunfire and many more still were kidnapped.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 12:13-14 Part 2

“David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.””  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

These are two of the hardest verses I’ve yet encountered in this slow walk through the history books of the Hebrew Bible. In the first part of this note I began sharing about what has given me such trouble. I started out fairly easy. Here I will get into the real problem for me (and possibly you too). As I said before, here goes… Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 12:13-14 Part 1

“David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.’”  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

I have put off writing this note for several days. I’ve resisted because I haven’t been sure I’ve wanted to wade into this mess. I’ve read this passage before many times because I’ve read this story many times. But, I’ve struggled with it this time in ways I haven’t before. Rather than just sitting on it, though, I decided to let you in on the struggle. Here goes… Read the rest…

The Man Who Got It

In this second-to-last installment of our series, Hard Sayings, we wrestled with the power of the cross.  Just how big is the grace Jesus won for us there?  It can save a normal sinner, sure, but can it save the worst of them?  We’re actually faced with a harder question here: Do we want it to?  Is Jesus’ offer of life to anyone fair?  Keep reading to see the answer.


The Man Who Got It

Do you remember your parents ever doing something for your brother or sister that they did not do for you?  What was your immediate complaint?  That’s not fair!  Actually, you probably said it with a bit more…emotion in your voice.  That’s not faaaaaaiiiir!!!  Worse yet, do you remember your brother or sister or cousin or a friend or, really, just about anyone, getting something you were convinced in your heart of hearts they didn’t deserve?  What did you say then?  About the same thing: “That’s not fair!” Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Ecclesiastes 9:11

“Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Thanks to the influence of Eastern religious movements in this country, we have a fairly common phrase for when something unfortunate has happened to someone.  It comes in many forms, but the simplest (and cleanest) statement is this: “That’s Karma.”   Read the rest…