Sparky

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.” – Ezekiel 3:17-19

At a growth group meeting last night, someone mentioned that as Christians we are like lighthouses to the world.  “Lightouse” – now that’s a term that I haven’t heard in a while.  A dear brother mentioned it because we were engaged in trying to understand a passage in Scripture that says, “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” – Philippians 2:15b.  Almost immediately, my memory took me back to our trip to the beautiful garden Hawaiian island of Kauai back in 2004. Continue reading

Last Days

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The children shivered with fright inside a make-shift shelter.  With each deafening explosion that rocked the flimsy shack they were in, they gripped their arms more firmly around their parents – for those who still had even one around.  The nights were especially dreadful.  Blinding darkness covered the entire snow-covered landscape.  The entire country, perhaps even the whole world, was bereft of heat.  Destitute outbursts of helpless screaming echoed intermittently between whispers of prayer. Continue reading

Ambassadors

“And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.” – Matthew 24:6

North Korea’s recent claim of successfully testing a hydrogen bomb put the US military on high alert in the region. Though doubt was raised as to the legitimacy of this latest provocative move on the part of Pyongyang, it brings to mind our progressive march towards highly sensitive, tense global events that makes the geo-political climate highly vulnerable. Continue reading

A Whiz and a Blur

“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” – Deuteronomy 30:19b;20

As many people are drawn to contemplate upon the new year that’s coming, I recently came across a phrase that someone had posted on Facebook.  It says (I’m translating here because it was originally posted in Tagalog), “I will avoid things that make me fat…like weighing scales, mirrors, and pictures!”  It seems like our disdain for weight gain has always been triggered by what we’ve done with our diet in the month of December. It seems that guilt then carries over the following month, which of course is the start of the new year.  And don’t get me started on debt gain!  January can really be a sad month when many are dealing with diet and debt issues. Continue reading

Salvation is Still Free!

“For by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8

Our son, Jed, recently celebrated his 9th birthday.  It always amazes me how time flies and even more amazed at how fast our children grow up.  I couldn’t help but recall memories of the remarkable growth of their observation and insight. Continue reading