Bible Note #52: James 2:5-7 & the Problem of Wealth

Photo by GAC I think I can safely say that James has a very low opinion of money and the accumulation of wealth.  Along with Paul, James gets his ideas about money and wealth from Jesus.  Jesus and all the New Testament writers are concerned about money and the accumulation of wealth because they believed … Continue reading Bible Note #52: James 2:5-7 & the Problem of Wealth

Bible Note #51: James 2:1-4 & Valuing What Jesus Values

I enjoy fishing.  I’m not very good at it, but I do enjoy going out to the water and trying to catch fish.  As I share this with you, we are a day away from the opening of trout season in Pennsylvania.  Opening day can be a pretty crowded time on the water around here.  … Continue reading Bible Note #51: James 2:1-4 & Valuing What Jesus Values

Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking

There is no question that our Christian faith can become corrupted.  And, of course, one of the ways that our faith can become corrupted is when we adopt bad or wrong doctrines.  That’s why it’s important for us to learn our theology carefully and well. The base of an abandoned steel-making blast furnace; photo by … Continue reading Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking

Bible Note #48: Justice for the Weak–Ezekiel 34:11-22

Here God proclaims his love.  God proclaims the bias of his heart.  God proclaims the direction of movement of his heart. photo by GAC Above all, he is for the weak.  Above all, he is for the vulnerable, the wounded, the broken, the lost.  (Does this sound familiar?  “For the Son of Man came to … Continue reading Bible Note #48: Justice for the Weak–Ezekiel 34:11-22

Bible Note #43: Peter’s Denial & Following Jesus–A Lenten Meditation

Peter’s Denial and Following JesusDrawn from Mark 14 Peter was standing by a fire in the middle of the courtyard of the high priest’s compound.  He was standing among a group of men.  He was trying to be inconspicuous, trying to sort of blend in.     He was chilled to the core, so that the … Continue reading Bible Note #43: Peter’s Denial & Following Jesus–A Lenten Meditation

Bible Note #42: Studies in James #1–James 1:1-4

In Matthew 7, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the story of two houses.  One was built on solid rock.  The rains fell, the wind blew, the floods of life came, but that built on solid rock house stood firm.  The other house was built on sand.  The rains fell, the wind blew, … Continue reading Bible Note #42: Studies in James #1–James 1:1-4

Bible Note #41: Building Up and Healing with Words

“Speaking recklessly is like the thrusts of a sword, but the words of the wise bring healing.”  Proverbs 12:18 [NET] This verse is built on a recognition of the power of words.  And the couplet begins with a warning about the destructive power of words.  It is very tempting to launch out now on a … Continue reading Bible Note #41: Building Up and Healing with Words

Pastor Note #51 — Here’s How I Do It: The Devotional Life of One Christian

Every so often people ask me about my devotional practices.  I don’t think I’ve ever written about that before, but it strikes me a something that some folks might find helpful.  I don’t share what follows as if to say that everyone should pattern their devotions after me.  In fact, my own pattern of devotional … Continue reading Pastor Note #51 — Here’s How I Do It: The Devotional Life of One Christian

Prayer Note #24 — Haggling With God–Genesis 18:16-33

In its simplest sense, prayer is conversing with God.  The Bible contains lots and lots of conversations between God and human beings.  Each one has its own character and tone.  Some are quiet and gentle.  Some are angry.  Some are frightened and frightening.  Some are simply fascinating and surprising.  This conversation between God and Abraham … Continue reading Prayer Note #24 — Haggling With God–Genesis 18:16-33

Prayer Note #23 — A Bible Study on Prayer, Psalm 84:1-12

The Bible has a lot to say about prayer.  Some of the places where we find wisdom and instruction on prayer don't actually use the word much or even at all.  In Psalm 84, the word, "prayer," appears once, yet the entire psalm is about communing with God.  And communing with God is certainly the … Continue reading Prayer Note #23 — A Bible Study on Prayer, Psalm 84:1-12