graciousness

The Reformers confronted the Catholic church with five scriptural principles by which they sought to reform the church. If the 21 st century church is to once again transform the culture by the proclamation of the gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ, it must reclaim its heritage: the five solas of the...
In the last section of the golden book Calvin asks how the present life and its comfort should be used by the Christian. The question of use invites us to think about fit. In other words, says Calvin, we must let the use of God’s gifts “be governed by their author’s purpose.” [1] Imagine a group of...
Solos are easy. To perform a good solo, a musician or singer can simply lock themselves in a room and practice until the cows come home. They work on hitting the right notes, making sure their intonation is correct, and ensuring they follow the proper dynamics. I’ve played musical instruments and...
The raising of Lazarus from the dead in John 11 always elicits memories of what older preachers have said as they thundered through the text. I’m not sure who said it but someone somewhere once said, “Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb by name lest all the dead arise!” And I can imagine George...
I enjoy good children’s books, and not just to read to my children, but because they can be beautiful, fun, and moving. Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss is one of my favorites. It contains a page halfway through that is dedicated to the Waiting Place, drawn in dreary shades of grey, blue, and...
Goodness is a word that can obviously mean upright. Think of the oft used comparison between good and evil. But the word can also point up the benefit or qualities possessed by another. We might say something like, “The teachers are good here.” Of course, by that we mean that the teachers are the...
We see and hear it all the time people talking about faith; banners that say “faith, family, friends,” or “faith makes things possible” and another is, “when you’re close to the edge, faith is knowing you will be taught to fly,” and of course we just gotta have it, or so says George Michael. While...
“But the fruit of the Spirit is… joy.” Joy, that ultimate of teleological pursuits. It is the reason we exist. What is the chief end of man? It is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. [1] More than mere happiness, though not less than, joy is the deep culmination and end of all we were created...
Nothing tears at the inner fabric of our humanity more than ruptured relationships. Whether it be the heart of a family ripped apart through divorce, or rebellious children, a church fellowship shredded by conflict, or all the other levels and layers of human relationships that are the perpetual...
[Originally submitted in December of 2019, but retracted; see footnote number six.] Two weeks ago my wife went to Urgent Care during our morning Sabbath service to get important treatment. When she returned while I was leading our singing of the closing Psalm, she jubilantly waved at me through the...

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