On several occasions I have heard older preachers refer to divine discipline as being taken to the woodshed by God. In a previous time when people used wood as a source for heat, the shed was a good place to find a good paddle for spanking a wayward kid. No kid looked forward to a visit to the woodshed with mom or dad. Actually that is an unfortunate and misleading metaph...Keep Reading
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Everyone wants to be blessed. The problem is that we often view blessings as our gain at other’s loss. We are blessed if we win the lottery. Of course, that means that everyone else did not, and we got their money. We even tend to think that for God to bless us, others must not be blessed. And even further, we begin to feel that we are only blessed when we have more good things happening to us than are happening to others....
In marriage, the role of the husband is different from that of the wife, but the perspective and attitude are the same. Peter’s use of “likewise” or “in the same way” is common to both his instructions to the wife and to the husband and is probably referring to 2:13 where believers are exhorted to place their explicit trust in God by properly submitting to his delegated authority structures....
Since the new order has been launched in the resurrection of Jesus, every aspect of life is affected, including marriage. As all married people know, marriage can turn out to be not only different than expected, but difficult to navigate. For marriage to be anything like what God intended in the beginning, we need a new perspective. Peter is describing that new perspective in this whole section of his letter. He has already said that we have been freed and empowered to submit to God’s order by honestly respecting the delegated authority structures that allow society to function best. But just exactly how does the resurrection of Jesus affect the wife’s role in marriage?...
The previous proverbs have already said that wisdom is more valuable than gold or jewels. They have declared that God created all things by wisdom. It only seems natural that anyone wanting to make sense out of living in this wisdom-created world would want to embrace wisdom with all their might. So, where does one start?...Keep Reading
Everyone prefers to be blessed rather than cursed. This desire often leads some to try foolish shortcuts to get some special blessing. They long for a special person to favor them, or they look for lucky charms...Keep Reading
My father had not read the contemporary books on rearing children, nor was he influenced by the politically correct crowd that is willing to put parents in prison for corporal punishment. He had not been informed about "time out." He kept his parenting instrument with him at all times, since it was holding up his trousers. My nickname was "Buddy." My normal name was Dudley...Keep Reading
It is foolish to trust those who aren't trustworthy. It is a sure path to disappointment. There is a mounting heap of broken hearts because of it. "Con men" still get away with millions because people want to believe. In fact, we want to believe so badly that we will trust things that have no capacity to produce what we expect. We trust money to make us secure. It can't. W...Keep Reading
Traditionally various people find a way to feature what is important to them by wearing a symbol of it, like a necklace. Sometimes the physical symbol is given the power to bring good luck or to ward off evil influences. Wisdom says that if you are going to value something that much, it should be steadfast love and faithfulness. These two virtues should not only hang aroun...Keep Reading
God has always been faithful to provide what we need. He designed the family so that we could trust the wisdom available through the perspectives of both father and mother. Just like there was a serpent in the Garden, there are enticing peers out there, tempting the young to break the apron strings and try out their wings. It is alarming to see just how powerful peer press...Keep Reading
It is what we don't know that scares us. Since the serpent's first temptation, Adam's entire race has longed to know everything. When we don't know, everything is risky. Humanity has taken various approaches to this dilemma, including the ridiculous presumption that not even God knows---or worse, that there is no God and no fixed truth. That is a high price to pay intellec...Keep Reading
My father bought a small farm from my grandfather back when he was first married. He reared five children and sought to train them to work hard and accept responsibility. In his latter years, he piddled around with a few head of cattle and spent a lot of time sitting under the big oak tree in his yard. It was in that setting that a discussion took place that significantly ...Keep Reading
The disciples had met together with Jesus for the final meal. They had been walking on manure-strewn streets to get there. Their feet were smelly and dirty. Jesus took the towel and basin and began washing their feet. Peter protested, but Jesus shook him with the statement, "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me."...Keep Reading