Jesus’ disciples heeded his call to go with him to the other side of the sea. They went with him to a place they did not want to go, a land of gentiles. This trip required a great sacrifice of both time and energy. Still, they heeded the call and went. Yet, instead of finding reward, they encountered hardship.
A great storm arose on the water that day, filling the ship with water that threatened to capsize their ship and take their lives. They put all their hopes in this man, and now they feared their hopes would be dashed to pieces with their ship and them in it.
I was invited by a friend to a Christian music festival when I was sixteen. Having not grown up in a religious home, I expected no more than a fun time with my friend. However, after a speaker presented the gospel message that first night, two seemingly contradictory feelings gripped me. I was at once deeply afraid. These people really believed all this. And, at the same time, I was deeply attracted. I never met a kinder, more joy-filled, cooperative group.
Distracted activity can rob us of what is most important in life. Take Martha for example. You would want Martha on your team. Quick to roll up her sleeves, never shy of going the extra mile, Martha got things done. When Jesus came to Martha’s town, Martha was likely the first person to invite Jesus to visit her home.
It has been said that Christians are so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good. While this may be the case with some Christians, this ought never to be the case with the Christian faith. Continue reading →
In the Book of Acts, Philip the Evangelist is led to a very prominent and prosperous Ethiopian eunuch. When Philip comes up to this eunuch’s chariot, he hears him reading a scroll of the Book of Isaiah, “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” (Acts 8:26-39) Continue reading →
“It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesmen.” These are the words of Abigail Adams, wife of the second President of the United States, to her son.
The recipients of the Apostle Peter’s First Letter contended with great difficulties. They were pockets of churches in what is today modern Turkey. Many of them were planted by Jewish converts to Christianity that were exiled from Rome. They left neighbors, livelihoods, and the places of their youth, likely never to see them again. Continue reading →
At the time of writing this article, toilet paper and hand sanitizer are nowhere to be found. Flour and sugar are quickly disappearing from shelves. There are over 179,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, resulting in over 7,000 deaths. No vaccine is yet publicly available. In Pennsylvania, testing kits are in limited supply and schools are closed. Continue reading →