advent wreath announces his coming
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Wonderful Counselor: Jesus, the Wise One

Photo by Max Beck on Unsplash I feel like I need a wonderful counselor while I'm wading through my Christmas shopping. Why? Because my inbox is filled with so many "wonderful offers!!!" Online Christmas shopping has begun in earnest and…
open hands offer gifts of color

Justice, Generosity, and the Kingdom of God

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash When Isaiah says, "Cleanse yourselves," do you and I immediately think of justice for the poor and marginalized? I usually don't. Instead, I think of my pet sins and my personal battle against them. In…
surprised by confetti

Surprised By Grace & Judgment, Isaiah 15-24

Photo by Erik Brolin on Unsplash Are you surprised by God's grace? Not always. We often take his grace for granted. What about his judgment? Does that surprise us? Actually, it shocks us, because we think, like Santa Claus, God will always…
movie trailer take 1

Coming Soon: The Day of the LORD, Isaiah 13 & 14

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash If "The Day of the LORD" were a blockbuster movie, Isaiah 13-14 could be its movie trailer. In these two chapters, the prophet flashes scenes of devastation interspersed with heart-rending love…
Do these signs make you sing?

The Unimpressive Shoot Who Makes Us Sing

The election 2020 candidates have all tried to impress us, but it's the unimpressive "shoot from the root of Jesse" who will make us sing.Today we cast our vote. What will tomorrow bring? The end of campaign rhetoric at the very least.…

Real Hope for Real Times Isaiah 9:1-7

Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash Sometimes my hope seems like wishful thinking more than the real thing. As we face our nation's elections one week from today, wishful thinking won't cut it. Positivity will fall short. Slogans and campaign…

In God We Trust? Ancient Words for Today’s Headlines

 Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash  "In God We Trust" is stamped on the back of every coin and dollar bill in my wallet. But it's the $20 on the front that I often trust in more. "We all have control issues," said the preacher…
Three Steps to Worship

Three Steps to Stop a National Crisis: Isaiah 6

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash  Three steps. That's what the advertisers always promise, right? Three easy steps to lose weight, stop smoking, write a best seller or ... (fill in the blank).But what if it's not just a…
"Jesus Saves" painted on a yellow gas meter

The Power of Words: Isaiah 1-5

Photo by Shane on Unsplash Winston Churchill didn't just see clearly, he spoke powerfully. His words steadied England during the worst year of World War II. His words also filled a book I read this past year, The Splendid and the Vile by…

Isaiah for Dummies: New Blog Series

image creditDo you feel like a dummy when you open Isaiah? I do. That's why I've entitled this new Blog Bible Study series Isaiah for Dummies. Much like its many practical counterparts-- Windows for Dummies, Football for Dummies, etc.--this…