Shared Adversity

We’re going camping this weekend. We are voluntarily giving up our comfortable bed, convenient bathroom (complete with delightfully hot shower), and custom-designed kitchen for a leaky air mattress in a small tent, a pit toilet down the path, a sponge bath, and a two-burner Coleman stove. Afternoon thunderstorms are likely, but at least they’ll settle the dust and bring some relief from the heat. There will probably be mosquitoes, and maybe even bears. We’ll spend a day getting ready to go, and another day putting everything away again, all for two nights in the mountains. We must be crazy. Continue reading

Happy Anniversary?

1979May - P&L Yosemite may79Today is our wedding anniversary. Pete and I made our vows, trusting God to help us keep them. Thirty-eight years later I can honestly say that Pete is still my best friend. I love spending time with him. We’ve been through good times, hard times, and some very exciting times. If asked, we’d say that we have a good marriage. Not perfect, but definitely good.

Today, Pete is in Missouri attending the International Conference on Computing and Mission. I’m home in Colorado, missing him. This is not how we’d plan to celebrate our special day, but we didn’t pick the conference dates. Such is life.

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Impacting India

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India. Complex. Overwhelming. Fascinating. It’s a land of flamboyant colors, intensely flavorful food, memorable odors. The city traffic is relentless—trucks, taxies, auto-rickshaws, buses, mixed with bullock-drawn carts and bicycles, motors rumbling, horns blaring. It’s a land of contrasts—city-blanketing smog comprised mainly of smoke from cooking fires, engine fumes and factory-produced dust, and blue skied villages; churches and idols; fabulous, bejeweled wealth dressed in business suits and silk saris, and too-thin families living under bridges or in back alleys. I can’t wait to get there, and I am relieved to go home again.

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Tidbit Tuesday: Happy Birthday, USA!

july4thShould Christians be patriotic? I’ve read dozens of articles on this controversial topic over the past few years, with devoted believers with sound reasoning weighing in on both sides. I admit to getting frustrated when I go to church around July 4 and it’s all about the USA instead of all about Jesus. On the other hand, this is the country in which God has placed us. Shouldn’t we care about it?

Christianity Today magazine recently posted what I consider to be an excellent explanation of why it’s fine to be patriotic, as long as your nation doesn’t become an idol. Do you agree? You can read their editorial and decide for yourself.

You Have God’s Blessing to Say ‘God Bless America’

Grouchy God?

wrath_of_god-224x300I recently heard a couple of comments that really bothered me:

  • “I don’t like to read the Old Testament. It’s all about God’s wrath.”
  • “Which one is true, the kind, loving Jesus or the mean God of the Old Testament? It can’t be both!”

While the person I’m quoting was patterning her image of God on her abusive earthly father, she pointed out a common belief—that God the Father is primarily an angry person—that while Jesus is our friend and brother, the Father has a big scowl on his face.

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A New Thing in Europe

For years, the church in Europe has been in decline. We speak of rising secularism, and the evidence is everywhere. Soaring cathedrals stand empty, with the buildings for sale. The German Spiegel Online reports:

Dwindling church attendance and dire financial straits are forcing the Catholic and Protestant Churches in Germany to sell off church buildings en masse. Some are demolished, while others are turned into restaurants or indoor rock climbing centers.

A cathedral in the Netherlands has been turned into a skateboard park. Others are becoming mosques.

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For a Good Time…

Think of the words we use to describe God—holy, omnipotent, faithful, loving, and so forth. We’ve all seen the lists and heard the sermons. The whole business of describing God seems so serious. We should show our respect, after all. But how often do we think of God as having a sense of humor? Does God ever laugh? Is God… fun?

If we’re truly made in the image of God—and the Bible tells us that we are—then our ability to laugh implies that He laughs too. So why don’t we ever talk about this aspect of His personality?

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