Obadiah: Big Brothers and Pesky Squirrels

Obadiah is the book for big brothers who gloat. The letter is address to Edom which is the nation of Esau. God has harsh words for the nation that stood by and watched their little “brother Jacob” carried off by strangers. They stood by and “rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of…

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Some of you have been asking about the recent hub-bub surrounding the release of the film “The Golden Compass” (to be released on Dec. 7th). Many Christians have expressed a very reasonable concern with the books (and now the movie) because Philip Pullman, the author of the “His Dark Materials” trilogy has openly declared his…

The Other People that Live in My House

My wife and I are increasingly aware of the fact that we do not live alone. There are other people in our house. They have moved in sort of gradually it seems, making their presence known in various ways over the last number of months and years. The thing is that I think we would…

Observing Times

I noticed in the first lesson this morning from Dt. 18 that one of the practices of the surrounding nations that the Israelites were to utterly reject was that of “observing times” (18:10). I was reminded of Gal. 4:10 where Paul is concerned for the Galatians since they are observing “days, months, times, and years.”…

Looking Backward and Forward

This is the last Sunday of the Christian Calendar. Next Lord’s Day is the beginning of Advent. Some of you are already preparing for your family Advent celebrations, and beginning the following week, we will begin having Advent services on Wednesday evenings. Advent dwells particularly on the themes of God’s coming. It remembers that God…

Last Sunday of Pentecost: Exodus XX.10: Fifth Commandment

Opening Prayer: Father, we are in need of your teaching, your instruction, and your direction. We do not know how to honor our parents as we ought, and we recognize that this is because we have not honored you and your church as we ought. Teach us how to bestow honor on those fathers and…

Building toward the End

We’ve considered over the last couple of weeks the fact that our modern casual dating culture is a perversion of the gospel and that part of reestablishing a Christian culture of love and marriage is the reestablishment of real parental authority and guidance in this realm, particularly by fathers. But these are enormous steps to…

Constitutional Christianity

While the Constitution is clearly pluralistic to some extent, insisting, for example, that there be no religious test required to hold office in the federal government, there are still points at which the writers of the Constitution allow their Christian bloomers to show. Of course there are generic references to the “Creator” and the “Almighty”…

Parish Life at Baal Peor

While doing some background reading for Ps. 106, I reviewed the story of Israel at Baal Peor (Num. 25), the Moabite shrine that probably looked a lot like a modern day strip club. As the wrath of God broke out against Israel in the form of a great plague, Moses called the judges together and…

Thanksgiving

My son and I were sitting at the table this morning talking about the day ahead of us. I tried to explain a little about Thanksgiving, and how we celebrated in order to give thanks to God for his many blessings. I told my son that I was very thankful for his mother, his sister,…