There is Much to be Thankful For

As we talk about giving thanks I’m not going into this holiday season with blinders on. Over 258,000 Americans have died of Covid or Covid-related illnesses this year. Unemployment reached levels unheard of since the Great Depression with 33 million unemployed in April. (Unemployment will go back up as the total number of cases and hospitalizations rise and things shut down again.) Theaters, restaurants, airlines and hotels may never been the same, or so it seems. On a personal level, we all know someone that has been quarantined, hospitalized or died from Covid-19. Some families have been hit hard.

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From the Inside Out: Book Review

6133JR5d3+LFrom the Inside Out: Reimagining Missions, Recreating the World by Ryan Kuja

Ryan Kuja grew up watching cartoons interrupted by commercials from the Christian Children’s Fund. I remember those commercials from my childhood as well. Young children, starving to death with distended bellies, surrounded by flies and narrated by compassionate voices designed to elicit a donation. Some organizations asked for a donation, others wanted you to join the organization, make a monthly pledge, sometimes in exchange for pictures or letters from a child you would personally sponsor. As a 7-year-old watching cartoons, Ryan Kuja wanted to do something. Adults either look away, change the channel, or do the good Christian thing and write a check (or today use their credit/debit card or PayPal from their phones).  Continue reading

A Biblical Perspective

bibleIf you are a follower of The Master’s Table, or a former student, or have ever listened to me preach, teach Sunday School or lead a small group of any kind, you know by now that I do not pick up a recent newspaper and use the headlines for talking points about Bible prophesy. During Advent I talk about prophecies of the Messiah being fulfilled by Jesus’s birth and the events surrounding it. During Easter and Pentecost I talk about prophesies Jesus fulfilled during his earthly ministry, his death, burial and resurrection, and the promise we have of his future return. What I have never done is point to earthquakes, volcanoes, war in the Middle East or any other current event while quoting snippets of scripture and saying “See, the Bible says so.” I’ve seen preachers and other church leaders look foolish when Mikhail Gorbachev did not turn out to be the antichrist, Saddam Hussein was not the Beast described in Revelation and the world did not end in 1988 despite the list of 88 reasons that it was going to. Continue reading

America Is Not The World

world mapMany of us in the United States are so richly over blessed that we are out of touch with the rest of the world.  I remind my students a few times each year that America is not the world, and it happened again today. Continue reading