Posted 2/27/15 at 3:13 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
It’s been over a month now since the hospital called saying simply, “Sir, you need to come to the emergency room. Now.” Nothing more.
The lady said it twice. I got the message.
We had had no warning that my wife Margaret’s death was imminent. We had welcomed family in over the Christmas holidays and Margaret had been doing pool therapy at the rehab hospital. She wanted to be more independent and was driving herself from time to time. Twice recently she had said, “It’s time for you to buy another car and give me this one.”
“This one” was the Honda CR-V which, because it’s built a little higher off the ground than the Camrys we’ve driven for years, was easier for her to maneuver. A year or more ago, we had given our other car to our local granddaughters. Margaret was putting 5 miles a month, at most, on it and Abby and Erin needed transportation. When we began looking for cars, Margaret picked out this Honda with the understanding it was her car. I smile at that. “Her car.” To date, at 2 years 4 months old, the odometer shows over 72,000 miles, almost all put there by her preacher husband going hither and yon in the Lord’s work. Still, she knew it was hers. FULL POST
Posted 2/25/15 at 11:53 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
As of 2010, the average American credit card holder owed over $8,000 to credit card companies. And while those with extreme debt pull that average up, it’s equally true that those who pay off their cards in full every month pull it down. The average college student owes about $20,000 in student loans by graduation, some three times that much, plus another $3,000 in credit card debt on nonessentials.
Credit cards facilitate impulse buying, typically for unnecessary and self-indulgent purchases. When using credit, consumers buy more, buy what they don’t need, and pay more for it.
Like being handed the controls of a deadly weapon with a hair trigger, many people are propelled by their credit cards into irresponsible debt that entails exorbitant interest, often 15 to 20 percent annually. (Even when it’s under 10 percent, it adds up quickly.) The person with a $2,000 balance (at 19.5 percent interest) is told he can pay just $75. But he doesn’t realize that the first $32.50 of that $75 is interest! He goes right on charging “sale” items and digging an ever deeper hole. FULL POST
Posted 2/25/15 at 11:46 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
I love coming across powerful but brief summations of God’s story. Sometimes it’s a paragraph or story, but often it’s two or three or four words.
We must emphasize that these are not isolated exceptions to the overall message of Scripture. Instead, they are small insights into the entire theme of God’s word.
Continuing the series….
1) Romans 8:31 “God is for us.”
The entire 8th chapter of Romans is a mother lode of spiritual riches if one has ever existed. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote several books on just this one chapter. But please focus on verse 31. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
This is the hinge verse of that great chapter. For 30 verses, Paul has been declaring that God the Father is for us, God the Son is for us, and God the Spirit is for us. Then, in essence, in verse 31, he says, “What do we have to say about all this? Just this: If God is for us, then who in the world can be against us?” FULL POST
Posted 2/24/15 at 2:18 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Most people who’ve enjoyed the children’s stories of Beatrix Potter, C. S. Lewis, or others who wrote of talking animals have probably never seriously considered the possibility that some animals might actually have talked in Eden or that they might talk on the New Earth.
We’re told that in Eden the serpent was “more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made” (Genesis 3:1). More crafty suggests that some of the other animals were also crafty. Animals were smart, probably smarter than we imagine; the most intelligent animals we see around us are but fallen remnants of what once was. The serpent’s intelligence was demonstrated in reasoning and persuasive speech. People typically imagine that Satan possessed a dumb animal, the snake, but the text doesn’t say that. Today Satan can speak through a human being but not an animal because people can talk and animals can’t. But the fact that he spoke through an animal in Eden suggests the animal had the capacity to speak. There’s no suggestion Eve was surprised to hear an animal speak, indicating other animals also may have spoken. FULL POST
Posted 2/24/15 at 2:12 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Tomorrow Juli and I are leaving for Armenia with World Vision USA alongside a group of bloggers from around the country. Talks about this trip began sometime last year, and we’re all very excited to embark on this journey together.
None of us have ever met prior to this trip, but our passion to help the efforts of this organization are what will unite us together. World Vision is currently active in 13 different communities in Armenia, with sponsors from the United States helping support around 7,800 children.
We will be spending most of our time in the northern region of Armenia near Gyumri, where in 1988 a devastating earthquake left the surrounding area in shambles. FULL POST
Posted 2/24/15 at 2:00 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Vignette: noun; a short descriptive literary sketch.
These are short excerpts from Scripture’s narrative of the salvation story which I find fascinating and in many cases, parable-like because in a brief story or a few lines they encapsulate so much of God’s message. They are so short, however, they often get overlooked. Only those who stroll slowly through the garden of God’s Word, taking time to notice the petal of each flower, only they see and appreciate and benefit. (I’m thinking of several articles with perhaps 20 vignettes in all.)
Take a look at these and see if they aren’t loaded with importance….
1) Lazarus on the front porch in Bethany. John 12:9-11.
Brought back from the grave after four days of bodily decomposing, the man of Bethany required no book tour or television crew to attract a crowd. He sat on the front porch in a rocking chair–that’s how I figure it, at any rate–so that people arriving in Jerusalem for Passover streamed out the Eastern Gate, down the Kidron Valley, and over the Mount of Olives for a glimpse of the man dead four days! No one had ever seen such a thing. The crowds kept coming. FULL POST
Posted 2/23/15 at 12:22 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
“A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her own hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates” (Proverbs 31:30-31).
(My wife Margaret collapsed around 11 am on Friday, January 23, 2015. After six days and nights of intensive hospital care during which she was completely unresonsive, she took her last breath of earthly air on Thursday, January 29. Her memorial service was held at our church on Monday, February 2.)
A longtime friend who saw on Facebook a photo of my wife of over half a century, said, “I don’t think Margaret ever knew how beautiful she was.”
I agree. Margaret Henderson McKeever was a victim of perfectionism, her own–which rarely let her feel satisfied with anything she was or had done–and that of a few significant others in her upbringing. I will not be dumping on them here; for the most part, they themselves were the victims of someone else’s poor child-rearing. Margaret overcame signifcant obstacles to become a wonderful Christian woman, a terrific pastor’s wife, a loving mother, a college graduate “with honors,” and in short, “somebody.” FULL POST
Posted 2/23/15 at 12:16 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
If your life as a Christian doesn’t look much different from those who oppose Christ, you might want to evaluate who you are following.
Jesus didn’t die on a cross so that we could continue living life for the world, but instead to pursue righteousness and the characteristics of Christdom.
1 John 2:15 states, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
This verse is powerful! God’s yearning for our life is to seek identity and purpose in him, rather than the shallow and misguided ways of the world. Does this mean we cannot enjoy music, movies and other types of media that are not “faith-based?” No. But does this mean we should stray from things that lead us away from pursuing righteousness? Yes. FULL POST
Posted 2/23/15 at 12:00 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
When I spoke recently at Watermark Church in Dallas, after one of the services a man from a Muslim country came up and introduced himself and his teenage son to me. The man told me, “Six months ago I was a Muslim. Now I am a follower of Jesus. I was baptized just a few weeks ago at this church. My son is going to be baptized soon.” His son smiled.
The man said, “My desire is to go back to my country and bring the gospel of Christ. I am studying the Bible every day. Please recommend one of your books that will help me go deep into God’s Word.” I gave him a copy of my book Heaven, partly because it is possible that if he returns to his country and brings the gospel to people, he will be arrested and even killed. I wrote him a note and gave his son another book and encouraged him to follow Jesus always.
I was just looking again at biblical passages on persecution and martyrdom that I compiled years ago. You might want to consider taking a few of these passages each day and meditating on them—they will change your perspective on life in this world as a Jesus-follower. FULL POST
Posted 2/19/15 at 2:18 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
I’m just back from a speaking tour in Texas (you can see some photos here on Facebook!), and I’m tired. So when my friend Rajdeep Paulus sent me this article I jumped at it. It’s awesome. And I hope these are messages we can all instill in our children. Here’s Raj:
Several years ago, about two weeks before February 14th, my husband graciously declares, “From now on, I’m in charge of Valentine’s Day.”
With four princesses and his wife to think about, this is no easy task to take on, in my opinion. To tell you the truth, hubby’s not into feeding the whole commercial industry on big holidays. But he’s a Daddy of four daughters, and he wants them to grow up knowing what it means to be treated with love and respect by a man, long before they ever start dating. Our oldest is now fourteen and the youngest is seven. FULL POST