The Definition of a Christian

Here is an interesting fact. Christian is the idiom we use most frequently for Christ-followers, but that term ‘Christian’ occurs in Scripture only three times! (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Peter 4:16) Only three times – and it is not a term of endearment, but of derision, the name no one wanted to be identified by,…

The Quest for God

The gospel of John essentially begins and ends with the same question. It is the premier question, and it is at the heart of prayer, “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38; 20:15) Early in the gospel narrative, this is the question posed by Jesus to two of John the Baptist’s disciples. Then, after His…

Exercise for the New Year

We grow strong in the areas in which we exercise! If we exercise thanksgiving, we grow in gratitude. When we embrace the discipline of prayer, we grow in prayer, and intensify our sensitivity to God’s presence. When we give, a heart of generosity grows within us. When we love, we become more loving. When we…

Out of Gas

A PERSONAL STORY A number of years ago, while serving on the State Council for the Church of God in California, I drove to Sacramento for a board meeting. I was near empty when I pulled into the office parking lot. The meeting was scheduled to last until supper, but instead, it ran past ten…

An Island of Joy

North Platte, Nebraska is a relatively sleepy little mid-western town with a population of only some 20,000. It sits just north of I-80. It isn’t Lincoln or Omaha. Few today would know its significance. In the days before the interstate, North Platte was big. It was a railroad town. During WWII, it seemed that half…

Making Sense of Tragedy

When tragedy occurs, our minds spin and questions arise like combatants – resisting the initial news. Who? What? When? Where? With every layer we are relieved or more emotionally embroiled. Who? – “Well it wasn’t my child.” When? – “Couldn’t have been!” Slowly the pixels of information form a picture in our mind which informs…