The Blessing of Blending

There are different stages of marriage. We’re all familiar with the honeymoon phase. Then there is also the juncture when you realize you’ve been married longer than you were single. From there people go to the stage where they really can’t remember much of what it was like before they were married. The most importantContinue reading “The Blessing of Blending”

Something to Shake our Heads About

SMH is social media for “shaking my head.” That’s how the story of Jacob’s twenty years in Paddan Aram (Genesis 29-31) will leave us. It sounds like an ancient reality show. There’s deception, jealousy, power plays, lying, cheating and stealing. For seven years it’s “The Bachelor.” Then it morphs into “Real Housewives of Paddan Aram.”Continue reading “Something to Shake our Heads About”

Settling in at Babel

The Babel story speaks to us on at least a couple of levels. It is most obviously an account of the rebelliousness that started with Adam and Eve and characterizes the early history of the world and is recorded in chapters 3-11. It’s God’s will for the people to “fill the earth” (9:1), and itContinue reading “Settling in at Babel”

One Is All You Need

How are we to understand the dialogue between Abraham and God where Abraham approaches Him and passionately pleads with the Almighty not to “sweep away the righteous with the wicked” and to “do right” (Genesis 18:23ff)? Any way you look at it, it’s an extraordinary conversation that we can’t afford to treat as trivial orContinue reading “One Is All You Need”

On a Hill Far Away (3)

Is there a more tender scene in Scripture than when the doe-eyed Isaac asks his father where the lamb is for the burnt offering? If that doesn’t pierce your heart you probably need to check for a pulse. And if we find it difficult to read, what must it have been like for Abraham? Yet heContinue reading “On a Hill Far Away (3)”

On a Hill Far Away (2)

And who is God? He is someone who tests (Genesis 22:1). This is in direct conflict with the consumer approach to God that views Him as Someone whose sole purpose in creating the entire universe is to make us happy (rather than holy). Consequently, anything that gets in the way of a never-ending stream ofContinue reading “On a Hill Far Away (2)”

On a Hill Far Away (1)

There are passages of Scripture that are profoundly rich, deep and endlessly expansive. They seem to tower over other texts and have a life of their own. They challenge, inspire and speak to us on multiple levels. That’s more than a subjective impression, Christ said as much in Matthew 22:34ff and again in 23:23. IContinue reading “On a Hill Far Away (1)”

Moving out of Memphis

I have been driving through Memphis a few times a year for the last twenty years. Some years it’s more than that, but there’s never been a year when I didn’t make at least a few trips through the city. Going through Memphis is like traveling through any other large cities—you need a fairly highContinue reading “Moving out of Memphis”

Doing Without by Looking Within

Genesis 26 begins by informing us that there is a famine in the land (v. 1). Isaac is “without.” We are reminded by the writer of the famine that occurred earlier during Abraham’ life and are told that what is being experienced by Isaac is not that. A famine is never good news but itContinue reading “Doing Without by Looking Within”