A rainy October morning turned into the most beautiful afternoon, perfect for a picnic (Heritage style of course)!
Throughout the Bible, Abraham surfaces as one of the most important characters in the story line of redemption. When he first arrives on the scene, he is the son of a pagan idol worshiper (see Gen 11, cf Joshua 24:2). The text in Genesis 12 presents nothing special about Abram, that God would choose him above others. Why then does the rest of the biblical narrative speak so favorably about this man who clearly struggled with pride, doubt, and even cynicism?
As a parent I am quickly realizing that my greatest responsibility is helping her develop a platform on which she will build her entire worldview. I know that foundation needs to be biblical truths, but how does that unfold? God is the same today, yesterday, and forever, but when is she ready for the God that justly wiped out the world?
Everyone told us that becoming a parent ‘changes you’. I also remember hearing my parents say, “There are some things you won’t understand until you become a parent.” They were right. I’m still surprised by how much I’ve learned in 6 short months! I understand more clearly what unconditional love feels like.
One of the great truths taught throughout these Psalms is the steadfast love of God, this Hebrew concept of hesed. Hesed is a Hebrew word with a broad range of meaning, but it most often occurs in the context of the phrase “steadfast love.” It is often associated with God’s faithfulness to his covenants of promise, as it is in Exodus 34:
This week, we are singing two songs about the blood. Have you ever thought of this as odd? For thousands of years, Christians have heralded songs using grotesque metaphors, such as “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins.” The reason for this harkens all the way back to the Old Testament beginnings of the nations of Israel. When God confirmed his covenant with Israel at Sinai, this is what the Bible records...
Paul’s somber warning to the Corinthian church stands as authoritative for the Church today, charging each and every believer in Christ to approach the Lord’s Table in humble self-examination. The weight of such a charge should be felt each time the believer approaches the ordinance, and yet life’s concerns and busyness often prohibit well-meaning disciples from properly preparing for this sacred rite. Moreover, there is confusion about the nature and content of this self-examination that Paul is commending.
Throughout Church history, practices in evangelism, worship music, missions, discipleship, youth outreach, and so much more have morphed and adapted to certain cultural norms. Many—if not most—of these changes have more to do with form than function. For example, the Church’s mission is always to make disciples—that’s function. Yet over the years, discipleship has taken place in different contexts according to certain cultural norms. Currently, Sunday school programs are seeing a decline, whereas small-group, in-home discipleship is on the rise.