“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days”.(Ecclesiastes 11:1 KJV) Have you tried throwing bread into a river or lake? Did it come back? I doubt it! It’s more likely that a duck snapped it up or that it drifted away and out of sight. So, what are we to take away … Continue reading Casting bread
Who needs another book about prayer when there’s already so many? But this one’s got a chapter called, “Yellow Card”, and others called, “Lord, I can’t find you”, “Not about duty”, and “Let it all out”, so there’s something different about it. This book doesn’t tell you the right way to pray. Rather it describes lots of different ways, and deals with awkward questions
What language does God speak? If it’s ancient Hebrew, I’m stumped and can’t pray! God isn't bound by language and doesn't judge our grammar and vocabulary.
When people turn to prayer as a last resource, they are being logical. It’s as reasonable as gasping in a quick breath and swimming along a flooded passageway to find an uncertain escape route. It’s better than giving up. Prayer in hopelessness contains an improbable grain of hope.
“Deliver us from evil” (a phrase from ‘the Lord’s Prayer’) doesn’t mean “make us nicer people”. Rather, it asks God to protect us from a force that can trap or imprison us (otherwise why would we need deliverance?) Yes. Evil is a force, and it’s not just the Bible that sees it that way. Science fiction often treats evil as a force – for instance, in the Star Wars films. In the Bible passage that introduces the Lord’s Prayer the original Greek speaks of the evil and some English versions translate it as the evil one – in other words, the Devil. But does anyone still believe in the Devil, demons, or evil spirits?
I’m writing this during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic when the whole world is anxious and many Christians are talking about ‘spiritual warfare’. All prayer is good, but not all types of prayer are right for everyone. This unseen virus offers a metaphor for the forces to be fought in spiritual warfare. But we must be selective.
My previous blog, “How Temptation Works”, explained the subtle workings of temptation. It helps to understand how temptation works, but we also need to understand how to overcome it.
Grace. Free forgiveness. Undeserved acceptance. The Gospel of Christ is unique among religions. It turns upside down the idea that salvation depends on our good deeds. It doesn’t. God’s forgiveness, and our future destiny, depends entirely on God’s generosity. But that doesn’t mean that morality has no part in our faith
People assume that heroes don’t feel fear. They are wrong. Brave people feel the fear but act in spite of it. Those who have no sense of fear are not brave, but naive. People of faith experience doubt, but act in faith. It’s not the way we feel that counts, but the decisions we make. Doubt takes you down to the depths, where you discover your foundations and find that they are strong
The story of Achan can be uncomfortable reading. His condemntation was harsh, but was it just?