Well friends, we’re all one week into the national emergency due to the COVID-19 virus. How y’all doing? I’m sure the answers are all over the board. And our answers say much about us — things like where we work, what personality type we have, where we gather our information. But most importantly, this is a great time to find out what we truly value. Testing has a way of making some things clear to us that we can’t see when life is easy, when nothing is asked of us. And what is testing but a time of being asked for things? Let’s dig in this week and see how Jesus handles this, and what it has to teach us, and let’s see why his answers let the crowds utterly amazed.
It was bad. Evil queen, invading army, and locusts-laying-waste bad. It was “you’re gonna tell your kids and your grandkids about this” bad. It was so bad the prophet Joel literally told the town drunks to wake up and weep because “the wine is gone.” Bad. They were grim, brimstone-and-fire days. Most wouldn’t survive. But God (through Joel) adds, “Rend your heart and not your garments. Even now you can turn to God, because he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and a
One of my favorite films is The Shawshank Redemption. Although innocent of the murder charges against him, Andy Dufresne endures almost two decades of inhumanity in one of the country's most brutal prisons. Incredibly, he seems never to despair, encouraging the other inmates always to hold on to hope. At the end of the story we learn why: During those two decades Andy has been chipping away at a tunnel which ultimately becomes his passage to freedom. "Hope is a good thing," h
I’ll never forget the conversation. It probably saved my marriage, and maybe my faith. At the time I was an uptight, overworked and ill-equipped young husband, dad and missionary. It was an intense season where I felt the weight of all my various responsibilities heavy on my shoulders. I couldn’t see a way out. I was losing hope and in a moment of almost raging despair, I unloaded all of this on my wife Jane. I fully expected her to confirm my bleak, desperate assessment and