In the fall of 2003, a string of wildfires claimed two dozen lives in the US. The flames had spread fast, and firefighters begged people to leave their homes in Southern California. But many hesitated. Some wanted to take the time to pack clothes, while others wanted to battle the inferno with garden hoses.
Ever wondered about this line from “Amazing Grace”? “’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.” Grace teaches my heart to fear? What’s so scary about grace?
Uncle Mark (not his real name) had his big toe removed because his arteries had become blocked after years of smoking 60 cigarettes a day. My husband and I used the traumatic event to talk to our kids about the consequences of destructive habits. We realized just how much Uncle Mark’s story had impacted them when a few days later we heard our son telling another family member to quit smoking or his big toe would need to be cut off!
Q: Why does God seem to act differently in the Old Testament than He does in the New Testament? How would you respond to nonbelievers that call God a murderer and a perpetrator of genocide, based on Old Testament accounts? In the Old Testament we see God primarily as a God of judgment and wrath, but in the New Testament…
The other day I read two passages in Deuteronomy and Numbers with similar messages. They caused me to recognize more deeply the consequences of disobeying God and failing to heed His warnings. Put succinctly: Moving forward without God’s leading, permission, or assistance, regardless of how we justify our words or actions, will lead to His judgment.
Recently, our family took a trip to visit my parents in a distant state. Our two boys love their “Grams” and “Pa,” so they were excited to see their grandparents. They were also excited to miss a week of school, to travel by aircraft, and because we had tickets for all of the guys in the family to attend a local university football game. As you can imagine, my boys counted the days leading up to the trip, something that was both excruciating and immensely exciting for them.
For many years my wife and I put off doing some major remodeling to our home. Finally, the carpeting that was more that 35 years old and the kitchen cabinet doors that were falling apart caught up with us. So this year we employed operation clean start! It was out with the old and in with the new as the main floor of our home received an extreme makeover. Now that the process of restoration is nearly finished, it’s amazing to see and experience the difference!
A young man and several friends drove to a ski resort, went through a gate that contained warning signs about the dangerous condition of the slopes, and started snowboarding. On the second trip down the mountain, someone shouted, “Avalanche!” but the young man couldn’t escape and perished in the cascading snow. Some in the media severely criticized him for being a novice, but he was actually an “avalanche-certified backcountry guide.” An avalanche researcher said that seasoned skiers are most likely to be seduced into faulty reasoning. He said, “[The young man] died because he was lulled into letting his guard down.”
Recently, someone close to me was made anxious and sad by the words of a friend. The individual shared some difficult past experiences in an awkward attempt at “helping” my loved one gain insight into a hardship she was facing. But, unfortunately, the friend lacked a filter! More was shared than should have been shared, and it caused my family member to experience fear and distress.