February 5, 2012: How God Keeps His Promises

Mary Poppins said, "Promises easily made are easily broken." Our culture seems to reflect that sentiment. Corporations promise integrity to stockholders, only later to be caught embezzling. Spouses promise "til death do us part," but rush to a divorce lawyer at the first hint of real trouble. Pastors promise moral fidelity and later fall victim to the most grievous acts of unfaithfulness. It can lead one to wonder if anyone keeps promises anymore.

January 29, 2012: Where Are God’s Joshuas?

If you are from Alabama and over the age of 35, then Jan. 26, 1983, is as etched in your memory as Nov. 22, 1963, was to our parents' generation. The last Wednesday in January 1983 is the day Paul "Bear" Bryant died. Although I am not from Alabama (I proudly hail from Georgia.), I have vivid memories of that day. I was sitting in a small café on my college campus when the owner, who had been listening to the radio, suddenly cried out, "the Bear's dead!" I immediately walked outside and wept. College football's greatest coach (the one who put southern football on the map) was dead.

January 22, 2012: The God of Second Chances

In the Summer of 1988, I was a rising junior at a Baptist college in Georgia and an excited new Christian. A Christian co-worker had told me about his sister-in-law, a student at a large state university. At his insistence, I called her and set up a blind date. I arrived at her apartment and was shocked to learn my friend had told the truth: She was beautiful!

Seventh Sunday of Easter: Our Ascended Lord

Our passage is but one text, yet it pictures three different time periods for Jesus. In effect, it is a 3D picture: Past, present and future. The ascension shows His act of returning to His heavenly throne, His present ministry to the church and His future hope for the church.

Sixth Sunday of Easter: When Philosophy Meets Theology

The Super Bowl, professional football's mightiest conflict, takes place early each year. Two conference champions enter, and one ultimate champion emerges. Would that philosophical conflicts were settled that easily and forthrightly! Conflict over ideas can pit nations against each other (remember the battle of communism vs. democracy in the Cold War?) and even a nation against itself (e.g. America's monumental battle of states' rights vs. federalism).

Fifth Sunday of Easter: Fanning the Flames

October 8, 1871, is a date forever etched in the consciousness of Chicago, for it was the date of the Great Chicago Fire that ultimately cost more than $200 million. The exact origin of the fire has been debated through the years, and the original story of Catherine O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern has been debunked as the fruit of a reporter's imagination.

Proper 23 The Grateful Leper

Our passage today helps us assess our gratitude as it points out certain characteristics essential in developing an attitude of gratitude. These lepers help us see ourselves and where we are on the "G.Q." ladder. The take-home principle in this story is: Gratitude to Jesus deepens as our awareness of spiritual estrangement becomes personal. Three key words unfold the story of the Grateful Leper.