We live in a world that accuses followers of Christ of being hypocrites. Sometimes God’s people seem to treat His Word like an à la carte line, opting for the commands and precepts that suit  personal interests. Maybe it’s time for us to do a personal assessment?

I find that most of us read the Parable of the Two Sons in Luke 15 through the filter of years of tradition rather than good interpretation. The clincher of the story comes when Jesus tells the response of the older son to the father’s gracious receiving back of the younger brother! The main message? Missed grace!

My earthly dad died in January. He had been sick for years. My dad loved me in many ways and I’m a product of some of his wonderful aspects. But, we didn’t always see eye to eye. Through the years my dad and I sorted all that out and talked it through. At his death, we had nothing that separated us.

As you look at the effect of your life, are you hoping for a splash or a ripple? Check out this video about The Navigators hope to see hundreds of thousands of everyday people, who in the context of a community of friends, are experiencing and advancing the Gospel in the normal pathways of life.

You don’t have to wander too far from home or read much news to be reminded that our culture and world are broken. As a whole, we don’t reflect the heart and desires of God. How do you personally respond to that?

Lately I’ve been amazed at the opportunities to invest in the next generation – both believers and nonbelievers. If we had the time, we could be coaching and mentoring people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s full-time. Full-time mentoring is not God’s plan for Pam and me right now, as I’m currently serving as U.S. president of The Navigators, so we take the opportunity to build into the lives of a few men and women God has placed in our paths.

In Colossians 1 Paul says:
 
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross…he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation (Colossians 1:19-22).

One of the not-so-wonderful tasks that follow a “total loss” (one of our new insurance terms) is itemizing every object that existed in our home the moment before it went up in flames. It’s called taking inventory.

 
Jesus said that a person’s life does not consist of the abundance of their possessions (Luke 12:15). I can attest that this is true. After having lost almost everything, do you know what our hearts miss most?


While sifting and sorting through what remains of our home and our earthly belongings, Pam and I sweated and wept as we looked through the ash heap and twisted metal that had fallen down to the foundation of what was our house. As we dug through various “rooms”  (imagine ashes and remains from the second story guest room, the first story dining room, and the basement storage room all in a 13X14 space) we saw a pattern: Not much survives 2,000 degree heat! What does remain? Metals, porcelain, fired clay pots . . . . We found things like china plates, coffee mugs, porcelain figurines and Christmas ornaments, flatware, copper pipes, and clay pots—much of which only exists in the form of interesting jigsaw puzzle pieces.

That day brought this passage to mind:

The last couple posts about fiery experiences in my life raise the question of God’s protection as described in Isaiah 43:2,3. What does it mean that “we will not be burned”? What does God’s promise of protection really mean?