Bigger Plans

May 15, 2014

It’s probably one of the more memorized verses of the Old Testament. If someone has memorized anything from the book of Jeremiah, this one is probably it: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (29:11). Nice verse; great promise. Let’s memorize it. But let’s understand it first. Judah was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and carried off to Babylon in 586 B.C. Jeremiah, still back in Judah, writes to his countrymen in exile. He tells them they are going to be there…

Why Would You Go?

May 1, 2014

Of course she shouldn’t come. I mean, she is welcome and all. That’s not the point. It is a prayer breakfast sponsored by an evangelical group. I have been to a handful of them. Good food. Fun to run into people you haven’t seen for a while. It’s kind of a who’s who thing. I’ve enjoyed the keynote addresses. The Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall is generally full for the event. This year, however, a few people who typically go say they are not going. Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland isn’t going to go and give her usual opening greeting. None of…

Casseroles, Cartwheels, and Beards

April 24, 2014

When I was young, our family piled in our Suburban for a week’s vacation somewhere. I loved orange soda at the time. The details are foggy, but I remember sitting in the back seat with my own two-liter bottle of Orange Spot. As we chugged down the road, I chugged down my soda—all of it. Before reaching our destination, I was so sick of orange soda I wouldn’t touch it for years. There are many other examples. At the beginning of his trip, Applebee’s sounds pretty good for dinner to the salesman out on the road but by the end…

Brother vs. Brother

April 3, 2014

The Civil War was a nasty confrontation. New estimates have bumped figures beyond 750,000 deaths. Given the war lasted four years, the math equates to 500 soldiers dying per day—every day. Added to this was the familial aspect—many accounts of family fighting against family—brothers even at war against one another. One such example was the brothers James and Alexander Campbell. James lived in Charleston and fought for the South. Alexander lived in New York and fought for the North. As providence would have it, the two brothers found themselves pitted against one another at the Battle of Secessionville—the Union Army’s…

Who Outlives Who?

March 27, 2014

Things I hope will outlive me: My wife My children My testimony Evangelical Reformed Church My children’s children My retirement account Things I hope I will outlive: Certain sins (I wish I could say all) Obama Care The Twinkie on the shelf Any unforgiveness Any regrets What are things you hope will outlive you? What are things you hope you will outlive? So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be…

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