As we remember our fallen men and women in uniform on Memorial Day Weekend, I think of my husband’s role as a soldier in the Korean War. He was just 20 years old when drafted into the army and had not been is the United States for even a year. His father died when he was eight-years old. He, his mother, sister, and two brothers were on the Soviets’ deportation list to Siberia because they were part of the intelligentsia. They were fortunate to escape Latvia as the Soviets were invading. But they had to leave everything behind except for the clothes on their backs and what they could carry in a few suitcases.
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain. Continue reading The Old Rugged Cross
One thing we can learn from the resurrection of Jesus is that what looked like a dead end is just the beginning of new life. The same applies to the life cycle found in nature. Spring has arrived. Trees and plants are coming to life. Soon they will be in full bloom fulfilling the purpose for their existence. Continue reading Resurrected Life
Ambition, Power, and the Grim Reaper
This photo of the Grim Reaper fascinates me. It tells me most people are uninterested in him and are oblivious to him. No crowds form around him. The people sitting behind him and the woman walking and reading a book probably don’t see him and her surroundings. Continue reading The Grim Reaper
Many people like to say that Jesus was somehow resuscitated and therefore freed himself from his prison tomb. What do you think? Continue reading Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Jesus’ passion refers to the suffering, both mental and physical which he endured before his death. Continue reading Jesus, a Man of Sorrows
Someone has done something terrible to you. You can either forgive or not forgive the person who has wronged you.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
Mindful that hate is an evil and a dangerous force, we too often think of what it does to the person hated. But there is another side we must never overlook. Hate is just as injurious to the person who hates. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity.
Let us look more closely at what happens to people who do not forgive others. Continue reading Why Forgiveness is Important
Hearing the roar of an overhead helicopter
My heart fills with sorrow.
Instinctively, I think I should seek shelter because
Images of starving and dismembered Yemeni civilians
Come to mind.
I see a child crying over his dead mother and sister.
Bombs have destroyed all surrounding buildings.
Their rubble litters the ground.
Poor child. What is your future? Will you have food to eat?
If you survive and grow to be a man,
Will you seek revenge from the destroyers?
Or will you with the help of other survivors
Be able to bring all power struggles to an end?
And will you and others be able to bring
Peace on earth and good will towards everyone?
Pharaoh and his people believe he is the god above all other gods and that he is in charge and no one dare challenge him. Moses knew Pharaoh would not recognize any gods of his slaves. He believes they are powerless, especially since their God cannot prevent their slavery.
Moses asks Pharaoh to allow the Israelites “to go a three days’ journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord our God, or he will fall upon us with pestilence or sword.” (Ex. 5:3) We learn that Pharaoh hardened his heart and does not let the Israelites go. Instead he increases their burdens in meeting their daily quota of making bricks.
So what is a hardened heart? Continue reading Who Are Today’s Pharaohs?
Nothing is more adorable than a new born baby especially when the child is our own. As proud parents, we start to plan a successful pathway into the future for our baby. The possibilities are unlimited.
When Mary accepts God’s invitation to be the mother of Jesus, she is overjoyed with thoughts of greatness for herself and for Jesus. The visits of the shepherds only reinforce these beliefs. But Mary soon learns when she presents the baby Jesus in the Temple that her dreams are a mirage. Simeon, an old man who believed he would not see death until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah, takes Jesus into his arms and thanks God for letting him see the salvation of the world. Then he says to Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35)
No mother, however insensitive, wants to hear the future of her precious child to be tragic. Yet Jesus is a gift to her and to the world. Among the many gifts we give to each other at Christmas, the most important one is the gift of Jesus. Many do not open or accept this gift. Why? Continue reading The Gift of Life