Trust is a precious and rare commodity in the world. It is easily damaged and destroyed by thoughtlessness and selfishness. To place ourselves or a part of our hearts in the hands of another is a delicate step.
We have learned therefore that trust is not to be extended lightly. We’ve become skeptical, even hardened against hurt. Love is a jittery bird, easily frightened.
Coupled with our desire to see before we step, such reluctance to trust prevents us from having a full and free relationship with God. He deserves our unreserved confidence. He never fails his people. He always comes through. He never forgets a promise. Continue reading
The people of God in some regions of the world, Brazil included, are locked in a necessary battle for their identity. Within their midst false teachings have arisen. Such teachings may emanate from newcomers. Often, however, trusted brethren change their message. Where they once proclaimed the truth, now they preach a modified gospel, which is no gospel at all, but a distorted version of it. Continue reading
Women need a feeling of security, say many writers in the field of marriage and counseling. That observation seems to hold true in our experience. That security often means physical and financial security. Though today it’s socially anathema to say it, a woman often looks for a husband who will provide these things for her. She wants to feel protected.
This was Naomi’s prayer for her daughters-in-law, after the death of her sons: “May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Ruth 1.9.
At the same time, we all need security. Let’s first define our terms. The dictionaries give something like this: “1. freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety. 2. freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt. 3. something that protects or makes safe; defense.” No one can live on the cusp of danger. Continue reading
Do you ever feel alone? When we feel that way, we’re probably not really alone. Feelings don’t do a good job of reflecting reality. They’re a result of our interpretation of events and situations. Since our views of reality are often skewed, our feelings seldom reflect what’s really happening.
But let’s say, for sake of argument, that there are times when we’re really alone. Isolated. Estranged. Closed off from people. What would that be like? How would we really feel? Continue reading
The internet is awash with talk of fake news. It almost seems like those who talk most about it are most guilty of it. It wouldn’t be the first time for something like that to happen.
The whole fake-news brouhaha appears to be politically motivated. Media groups pledge to root it out. They’re the same ones who were in the bag for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Something’s rotten in Denmark.
But we can expect such things from the world. Corruption and dishonesty are to be found at every turn.
In matters of the Spirit, however, we look for truth. We spurn human theologies and traditions in order to discover the right path of God. That search must turn to the Bible, where it will find its goal. Continue reading
With the arrival of a new year, new resolutions and plans appear in the mind. It’s good to reevaluate one’s goals and objectives, analyze past performance, and plan for better results.
Usually, plans made at the new year tend to be ambitious. The exercise gyms, for example, have their best attendance in January. That’s understandable. But neither should the small, incremental changes be despised. To borrow the language of Zechariah, let us not despise the day of small things, or as NET puts it, “small beginnings” Zech 4.10.
Sometimes it’s easier for us to nudge up our efforts in small ways than by big changes. Tweaks can often accomplish more than drastic measures. Continue reading
One writer described the year 2016 as the year of disruption. I dare say he’s correct in many ways, speaking as he is from an American perspective. Disruption was true around the world as well, with Brexit, Fidel Castro’s death, China’s growth, Venezuela’s continued death spiral, and a host of other sad tendencies.
Brazil was no exception. President Dilma was impeached and removed from office. The economy slowed and joblessness grew. Corruption went beserk. Continue reading