Category Archives: Christian

Increasing and Decreasing

cross shadowAs my faith grows, my anxiety should lessen. (Philippians 4:4-7)

As my hope is strengthened, my discouragement will diminish. (Isaiah 40:31)

My self-absorption is gradually replaced by a focus on others.  (Philippians 2:3-4)

My critical spirit yields to compassion, empathy and  love for all I meet.
(John 13:34-35)

–the old, sin-deadened I– must decrease. Christ in me must increase: 

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Five Forgotten Founders

1776Thomas Kidd’s July 3rd blog post over at Kuyperian Commentary is entitled “The Top Five Forgotten Founders.” In reading it,  I was pleased that I had actually heard of two of these men, even though my knowledge comes exclusively from the excellent Broadway musical, 1776. Since the other three men were entirely unfamiliar to me, I thought perhaps that my Sunday readers would find the list to be worthwhile, too.  Continue reading

The Hobbit 2: A Desolation of Tolkien

Smaug 1111I couldn’t put it off forever, I suppose.

Regardless of how thoroughly I enjoyed Tolkien’s books (or maybe BECAUSE of it), I’ve dreaded the thought of viewing the second Hobbit movie…,

…especially considering my well-documented feelings on the first installment.

Since a good friend offered to screen it for several of us in 3-D in his home theater, this seemed the least painful way to experience what would undoubtedly be another travesty of page-to-film corruption.

**From this point on, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. Thus, “read at your own risk”… even though I was likely one of the last persons on the planet who had NOT already seen this movie.** 

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A Single Eye: Reflecting on Spiritual Sight

Open BibleI have been meditating on a verse of Scripture for the past few days…or not exactly meditating–more like, revelling in it:

 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.   (Luke 11:34  ESV)

Some translations read single or sound or clear, instead of ‘healthy’…all of them have seemed appropriate to me recently, since for at least two years I had definitely NOT had two eyes which were sound and clear. Continue reading

Weight, not Volume

marshmallowsIt is a truism that things are often not what they seem. I was struck recently by a verse of scripture which suggests that volume (the apparent size of something) is far less important than weight (its true value). 

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We’ve all done it: we open a package–it’s a big box, suitably heavy. But what’s inside looks so much smaller than the outer wrapping promised. We are hard-pressed not to feel disappointed.  Why does size excite us so? Our Let’s Make a Deal impulse is to take whatever looks bigger: Do you want what’s in the box? No, let’s choose what’s behind the curtain! Continue reading

Both Sun and Shield: of fathers and Our Father

light and cloudsI came across this thought while re-reading an old journal this week. It struck me as appropriate in honor of Father’s Day, and in observance of the imminent official start of summer, to look at our Heavenly Father as described by the sons of Korah:

The Lord God is both sun and shield. He will give grace and glory.”  Psalm 84:11

“Was the psalmist being clever?” I wondered.  Is this a contradiction? Or a paradox?  How can God be both my light and shade? Both tanning bed and sunscreen?  Both sun roof and umbrella? Continue reading

Tough Parenting Choices Make Us Think of the Ultimate Parent

Runestad

Ric Runestad

Ric Runestad is a resident of Fort Wayne and an occasional guest editorial writer for our evening paper, the News-Sentinel. I opened to the editorial page on Thursday and read a remarkable piece of apologetic–a really fresh response to the timeless question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

You can read the entire piece by following the link. I’ve reprinted a slightly abridged version, along with a follow-up thought I had about it.

[Not knowing how to contact Mr. Runestad directly, I can only hope that he won’t mind.]

The young couple sat holding their newborn baby as the stranger entered the hospital room…

Without preamble he began. “I represent a company that wishes to make you an offer. A ‘bargain’ we will call it. This new child of yours is just what we are needing for an experiment.

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Speechless in the face of Grace

Kawai piano goodBesides being the artistic director of a faith-based theater company, I am a piano teacher. I started teaching piano when I was 18 years old, and with the exception of a couple of breaks (my last two years of college, and between the births of son #1 and son #2) I’ve been teaching ever since.

The annual Spring recital, right after Memorial Day, has been a tradition for my students for over twenty years. It’s the night when we celebrate their progress and their accomplishments. They play their most difficult pieces. I mention awards they’ve won. We showcase any graduating seniors.

It’s NOT a night about me.

Except that this past Tuesday, my piano families decided that it was.  Continue reading