Good News in a Bad World

Like a lot of other elements of the Christmas story, I think we have glamorized the shepherds. We dress up as shepherds for our Christmas plays, and figurines of shepherds are part of our Nativity scenes, but I don’t think we understand who and what they were in the culture of their day. Shepherds were at the very bottom of the social ladder. The testimony of shepherds wasn’t even allowed in a court of law because it was assumed they . . . read more ›

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 ›