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God's Color Palette in Human Design

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When we look at our world, we see so much nuance in what the Almighty created. There is great detail, an incredibly refined variation of beautiful arrangement and design. The reality of life and its manifestations are a glory to Him, a testament to His great power and awesome character.  I am grateful God created humankind the same way. Here too we see nuance. We are not all one color or race. Since God fashioned us this way, we need not be color blind. God created our colors. The wonderful palette He used to do so is cause for celebration, rather than division. Nor do we need to be uncomfortable with those different than us. Instead, our colors and differences can be a fascinating delight which draws us toward one another.  While there is one God and one Savior, there are many cultures with diverse experiences and expressions. This brings glory to God, who gave us life and does not create with dry, characterless sameness. Is there anything God touches that is not filled with wondrousl

Being Before Doing

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In church settings, there is a great deal of focus on the outward. We are continually reminded the world is watching us, with focus on what we do, what we say, how we say it, with exhortations to tell people about Jesus at all times. Much of the emphasis is on a bustle of doing, with continual reminders to stop the must not be doings. None of this is wrong. It is indeed important. If it becomes our sole focus, however, we may end up preoccupied with washing the outside of the cup.  There can be little of the right doings, with less of the sinful not doings, unless there is first being. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons public figures fall. So much driven outwardly displayed and observable activity. In time, it defines the life. How folks see us is far less important than our bended knee before almighty God and where our hearts are with His Son. Where are we on the inside? Activity can sometimes become a purpose in and of itself. A vital relationship with our Lord, as we seek to d

The Weight of Despondency

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Job was a man who went through more than most of us ever will. In Scripture, we read Job’s friends sat with him for seven days and seven nights, as they saw the gravity of his suffering. Not many in our culture would be willing to go to such a length for someone in deep need. How wonderful this was. They were on his level with him, sharing his pain.   Yet, the rest of the book of Job is filled with the opposite. Lofty speeches, scolding, pat answers, and blame. The more Job spoke from the depths of his depression, the more they were not really listening. Did the frankness of his words scare them? Did they wish to be right? Were they more concerned with fixing him, then understanding his heart? Already suffering, how lonely that must have been for him. Job had a lot of questions in his misery. In the end, God did not answer any of Job’s questions. He basically said, “I am God”. In the presence of such magnitude, that was enough for Job. During the clouds of our difficulties, it is heali

Hard Truths

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In our day, we live on a crazy merry-go-round of universal arrogance, enmity, and rage. It spins round and round, with few seeming willing to get off the ride. This makes for little dialog on issues of human experience. Whoever shouts the loudest wins. On the one hand, in the tolerance and similar movements, we find a viscerally intolerant attitude. It has hit a fevered pitch. Using the terminology of what this idea means, it nevertheless displays a very real hatred. On the other, we often find human bullhorns in opposition. Rather than engaging folks where they are, absolutes are stressed with the same energy and attitude of the general enmity of our times. This too reaches a fevered pitch. In the Christian view, there are hard truths. These are moral foundations, not malleable putty open to redefinition. They define the true human condition, that of sin and depravity. We hold Jesus at His word, as being the way, the truth, and the life. Those truths are absolute, as unchanging as God

The Purpose of Art: Beauty or Ugliness?

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  These are troubled times. There are few who would regard themselves as “whole persons”, free of some level of inner brokenness. Foundational truth has been rejected, leaving ourselves floating in a gray and dusty void. If the contemporary mind explores any notion of the profound, it finds emptiness and meaninglessness in a self-centrally defined existence. Expressions of nihilism and moral disintegration abound in movies, TV, art, and music. To push the boundaries is the only stimulation a society in moral decline can find to entertain itself, expressing and imbibing its deadness. Artists can be a voice to highlight beauty and meaning. By reclaiming the positive inspiration of the beauty of artistic expression, creativity edifies society rather than reinforcing emptiness. Art can be a light resisting the despairing nothingness so prevalent. Ultimately, creativity glorifies God. Art is a witness to the God who is truly there, the eternal God who is. If individuals with personality

What Child is This?

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In the larger cultural sense, baby Jesus is a benign, safe, and religiously sentimental symbol conveying a warm feeling one can easily dismiss. In this common view, Jesus forever stays a baby.  Yet, Jesus did not stay this way. Scripture does not allow us any view which obscures Christ's singular, uncommon, character. The sublime truth of the Incarnation, of Jesus Christ’s humble birth as a baby is of utmost importance at Christmas.  The implications of Christmas, though full of wonderful hope, bear a sobering reminder. Why did Christ come? Scripture makes it plain Jesus was not born, nor did He live, merely to inspire others. He came to save us from our sin. The hope is not abstract, not mere emotion. The purpose is redemption for our rebellion against almighty God.  This same Jesus-born of the virgin Mary, born in time, space, and history-became a man, lived a perfect life, suffered and died for our sin, and rose again from the dead. This same Jesus is the Lord of glory, reigning

A Profound Rescue

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In the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:12-14) Jesus shares a truth about God searching for a sheep which was lost. Considering much of my life was crushed by mental and emotional problems, I used to wonder why God waited so long to restore and transform me. Why didn’t Jesus go after me like the parable pictured? I was lost, suffering tremendously. Did He abandon me and leave me all alone as I descended to ever greater degrees? At the time I needed Him most, where was He? Considering the restored life I enjoy now it is not something I dwell on, but it was such a long painful time, it did leave scars. During a bible study at church, we had gone through the book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller . What an eye opener about human behavior and God’s care for us the study was. It was then I realized my perspective was wrong. Jesus did go after this lost sheep. God has healed and restored me immensely compared to the defeat I knew, where I have become much stronger th