Archive for the ‘Like Father Like Son’ Category

Expect the Unexpected

November 27, 2014
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candle“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

 Luke 1: 45-55

As we enter the season leading up to Christmas, it seems appropriate to reflect a bit on the moment of angelic visitation when Mary learned that she was about to become miraculously pregnant with the Son of God. (Read More)

Jesus on Women – Part 2

October 11, 2012
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Featuring Widows

In Part 1 of my series ” Jesus on Women” last week, we looked at several times in the Gospels when Jesus used women as the subjects of his parables and illustrations. Today, in Part 2 we will begin with one more parable of Jesus. It’s about a widow, which is a significant enough topic in scripture to focus on all by itself. We’ll be camping out mostly in the Gospel of Luke for this study.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)

(Read More)

Beware of Over-Focus on the Family

January 24, 2012
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Family is an important topic in the Gospel of Matthew. The book opens with a genealogy, and among the 42 fathers in Jesus’ lineage four notable mothers are also named, plus of course his mother Mary. In fact, the word mother occurs more in Matthew than in any other Gospel.

In Matthew Jesus quoted Mosaic laws about honoring parents and not cursing them. He even rebuked religious leaders for creating loopholes that released them from providing financial support to their parents.

Amongst all this focusing on the family, some other things Jesus said seem almost paradoxical. After speaking on the imminent persecution of his followers, he ended this way. …

Read the rest of my guest post about putting family in its proper perspective on the Kyla Joy blog.

Yes, Virginia, It’s Your Birthday

December 12, 2011
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Today is my friend Virginia’s birthday. Virginia was born 94 years ago in 1917 on a farm in the southside region of the state for which she was named.

Virginia is strong woman who has gracefully navigated a difficult life. She told me once about how as a child she watched her mother style the hair of her two older sisters and send them off to parties that Virginia was too young to attend. Little Virginia with freckles and straight hair was jealous of her sisters’ beautiful curls, clear skin, and exciting social calendars. “Your time will come, Virginia,” her mother would reassure her. Tragically, when Virginia was only 9, her mother died in childbirth. Virginia’s voice wavered when she told me, “My time never came.”  (Read More)

God’s Heart of Love

November 4, 2011
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In Week 6 of The Gentle Savior Bible study, I wrote the following:

In the Old Testament, God made laws about providing for the needs of the defenseless, but Jesus came and demonstrated that God wasn’t just the founder of a charity. God actually loves these people. The good news Jesus brought them was that God’s heart is moved by their suffering. He notices them. He finds them worthy of his attention. He values them so much that he wants to give them the kingdom.

In studying scripture for this chapter of the book, I realized that my heart for the poor and oppressed also needed to reflect the heart of the Father. I have a long way to go, but one of the first steps I took was to begin volunteering with an organization called Love in the Name of Christ. Their mission is to mobilize churches on behalf of needy people in Jesus’ name.

Our local chapter of Love INC has produced a booklet of “Love Stories” that recounts some of the many situations in which caring followers of Jesus have reached out to help people in need. There are some lovely testimonies to the power of Christian compassion here, and I hope you are inspired as you read them.

Download Love Stories (pdf)