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Showing posts from March 15, 2015

Control

All of us desire control (power) over our circumstances. Some go as far as to think that if they were born into a powerful family they would have the control they desire. Others seek control by oppressing or stealing from those around them, whether it is physically, psychologically, or spiritually, but that kind of control is fleeting and carries with it punishment. Further, some gather money to get control but money departs and so does the power they thought it had. We seek to control our environment by building a house that has heating on the cold days, cooling on hot days, water without going to a well, a refrigerator to control our food, a washer and dryer to control the use of our clothing, and, well, you can think of other ways we seek to control our circumstances. All of this is to no avail because all of this fails to put permanent control in our hands. The AC, the refrigerator, the washer and dryer all break when we need them most. What we need to be doing is resting in the …

Finding our Way

Lost in the Colorado mountains was a memory I will never forget. As the student ministries pastor, I was also the churches camp director. We had a large plot of land which was named Camp Eden nestled into a valley between to ridges west of Denver. One day while guiding a group to the top of a mountain in adjacent national forest, I decided to take a short cut back to camp so I could leave for Denver earlier. I knew the path zig zagged and thought if I went straight down the mountain I would continue to cross it, but that assumed the path didn't move off to either side, which was what it really did. So, after about an hour of travel down the mountain, I noticed that I had not crossed the hiking trail and that the trees were much denser than I remembered. I became concerned. The further I walked, the more I felt I was not going in the right direction and the afternoon was drawing to a close. I didn't want to think about spending the night in the forest at 9,000 feet with no foo…

Finding Jesus

Joseph and Mary made their annual trip to Jerusalem for the Passover. Their devoutness was evident in doing this and when Jesus was twelve years old they took him with them. Possibly not since he was an infant had he been back in Jerusalem and this would be a special trip. (Luke 2:42-45) The Passover was a seven day event and Joseph and Mary did not leave until it was over. Usually families caravanned with others going back to the same town or area and so here we see them traveling together. Their custom was also to put the women and children in the front and the men in the back, possibly to keep everyone together and to have better discussions. Jesus was not missed for a day, Joseph thinking he was up in front with Mary and Mary thinking he was in the back with Joseph. However, when they stopped to camp for the night, they could not find him. Alarm began to overcome them. Here they had been entrusted with this unique son and after twelve years they had lost him. Who knew what had h…

Sensitivity

Outside of Donkey in the movie Shrek we humans don't see many donkeys talking. But, when it does happen, it would surely be time to listen. Moses shares the story of Balaam, a Gentile seer, who was asked to curse the people of Israel for Balak, the king of Moab. Israel had just been successful in battles with Sihon and Og and was marching forward on their trek towards the Promise Land. Moab stood in their way. It was common for kings to seek a curse on their adversaries before going into battle with them, so, Balak, aware of the defeats experienced by two other kingdoms, solicits this curse from Balaam. Balaam was a greedy seer and kept hoping God would change his mind as Balak continued to up the ante on his request. Both are acting like spoiled children seeking to get there way. So finally, God allowed Balaam to go but prohibited any kind of curse on Israel. On the way, Balaam's donkey sees the Angel of the Lord before him. He stands in front of him in the road with sword d…