Will Your Christmas be Real or Fake?

You can have Christmas without Santa and his elves, without Frosty the snowman, without Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, and without Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. You can have Christmas without Mr. Grinch, Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim. But you cannot have a real Christmas without Jesus. Otherwise, it’s a fake Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. I like Christmas. But the problem is that we have made Christmas almost too beautiful with our horse-drawn carriages, snow, . . . read more ›

The Real Story of Christmas.

The Christmas story really starts with a tree – not a Christmas tree, but a family tree. It is interesting to note that both Matthew and Luke start their gospels with a genealogy. One is the genealogy of Mary, and the other is the genealogy of Joseph. Both were descendants of King David. The fact that the Christmas story starts with a genealogy shows us that it’s a real story that happened in a real place at a real time. . . . read more ›

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?

When wickedness is rampant, we wonder why God doesn’t stop it. We look around at our world today and wonder, “Why would God allow those terrorists to do what they did?” or “Why would God allow that injustice?” or “Why does God permit these things to happen?” God is fully aware of what is happening. First he reveals his grace before he brings his judgment. The Old Testament book of Genesis begins with the story of the Garden of Eden, . . . read more ›

Unlikely Champions of the Bible

When people write their autobiographies, you can always be sure they will leave out most of their shortcomings. Then you might see an unauthorized biography being published about the same person, and you think, “This will be juicy.” You want to know the untold story. The Bible is honest. It gives us its heroes, warts and all. That is not to discourage us but to give us hope that God can use people just like you and me. God takes . . . read more ›

Thoughts and Prayers: What the Bible and Jesus Really Say About Pain

The phrase “Thoughts and prayers for those in #sutherlandsprings” is something you will see a lot of on Twitter and other social media from well-meaning people who do not really know what to say when tragedy, like the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs happens. One cynical actor tweeted, in response to the prayers tweeted by House speaker Paul Ryan “The murdered victims were in a Church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive”. Then he went . . . read more ›