Bad Things, Man, Bad Things

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

“S**T HAPPENS” 

Now, lest any of my friends be offended, I’m simply relating a bumper sticker I saw many years ago, (only without the asterisks).  And regardless of the French, doggone it, it’s just true.  Bad things happen, to good people!  And it happens when good people try to do good things!  I don’t like it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Of course, we’re in good company.  Here’s one of my fave recounts of two heroes in my book, Continue reading “Bad Things, Man, Bad Things”

I have a problem…

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

I have a problem.  Wait, I’ll call it a challenge since it doesn’t sound quite so sinister.  It’s actually a blessing…and a curse.  So here is my humble confession:

I’m enthusiastic.

Which, all things being equal, is not generally considered a bad thing.  If you’re a cheerleader, that is.

And I never was, a cheerleader I mean, at least not in the “rah-rah-go-team”, pom pom and kicks sort of way.  But I have a recognized (dare I say ICD-9 coded??) innate ability to grab onto a project, or a Continue reading “I have a problem…”

Kingly Cave-dweller

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

I love people of action.  You know them, the “ready-aim-fire” types as opposed to the “ready-aim-aim-aim…” types.  (I read that on a dorm wall somewhere.  Love it.  There’s a third option that tends to describe my personality: “ready-fire-aim”.  But that’s for a different post.)  And David, the shepherd/king/song-writer certainly fit the bill of “ready-aim-fire”.  But being a man of action also meant that he was a man of many enemies as well.  Doing Continue reading “Kingly Cave-dweller”

Where’s the door?

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

Tolerance.  It’s the buzzword in everyone’s vernacular these days, and it’s bantered around like an explosive tennis ball.  It’s the holy grail of attitudes.  It’s the banshee of political careers. 

But no one appears to want to be tolerant of my apparent intolerance.

Of course, it hasn’t always been that way.  I am quick to agree that many intolerances are wicked—racial prejudice is at the top of my list.  But I’m really quite thankful that the Bostonians threw the British tea into the harbor (no offense intended to my Anglican readers), happy that Neville was replaced by Winston and that no one said “ho hum” concerning Pearl Harbor.  I’m also quite pleased that some guy Continue reading “Where’s the door?”

Beware of Tag-a-longs

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

Saul/Paul has now found some acceptance, thanks to his new friend Barnabas, into the ranks of the Christian family in the town of Antioch. These were not spiritual lightweights pulling up chairs for a tea party.  Here’s the story: Continue reading “Beware of Tag-a-longs”

Agabus, by any other name, would still be, um…different.

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

Agabus—now there’s a name you don’t hear very often, if ever.  He’s only really mentioned twice in the early church account of Acts, as a prophet, which means he was a bit open to doing unconventional things….but that’s a different story.

The first time we see him is in the town of Antioch in the middle of Continue reading “Agabus, by any other name, would still be, um…different.”

Saul: the storm before the storm

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

As much as I love Old Testament accounts, I would like to fast forward to another man named Saul; this one lived during the time of Jesus’s sojourn on Earth, and had undoubtedly heard about Him, if not having witnessed some of His miracles/speaking engagements firsthand.  Saul is a really interesting character in his own right.  A Roman citizen by birth (which was nothing to sneeze at in those days), he was also on the fast track to the very powerful Continue reading “Saul: the storm before the storm”

Obadiah, the unsung hero

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280

Ahab and Jezebel, now there’s a dynamic duo.  Ever notice that there aren’t a whole lot of babies girls named Jezebel?  Doesn’t take an anthropology degree to figure out why.  Here we are now in the time of the heavy duty prophet Elijah.  King Ahab and his lovely queen have been seriously thumbing their noses at God, even more so than some of their predecessors, and God sends a Continue reading “Obadiah, the unsung hero”

Transforming more than the language

 

tran(t)sˈfôrmər/ noun

noun: transformer; plural noun: transformers

  1. an apparatus for reducing or increasing the voltage of an alternating current.
  2. a person or thing that transforms something

 Thank you, Google.  There is now, however, another somewhat more colloquial definition that most everyone under the age of 30 knows, that highly marketed and financially successful Continue reading “Transforming more than the language”

Shields at full

A few more thoughts on the story of our hero, Shammah, lest we leave him fighting in a field of lentils.

Back in the day, names usually signified something—an important characteristic of the person, or an event when the child was born, something like that.  Names were important, not just something to throw around casually.

Many are familiar with the name “Shammah” as one of the covenant names of God, meaning “There” or “Present”.  (1) The name “Shammah”, used in this context and for this soldier of Israel, actually means “desolation, horror.” (2) Gag!  Whatever happened for this poor baby to get such a moniker?  Who knows, but the name stuck, as names generally do, particularly when we don’t want them to…

It gives me pause to consider why God would allow one of the mighty men of battle to have a name so closely sounding like His own,  yet with entirely opposite meaning.  Just a few thoughts:

  1. Many times it is in the very place of utter abandonment and horror that God chooses to show Himself the most astonishingly present. (Consider the cross, for example…)(3)
  2. Even when circumstances seems the most desolate, the fight continues, must continue, will continue. (The Philistines weren’t just going to call it a day and go home.) (4)
  3. God is not intimidated by numbers, for OR against. His name of Shammah, His presence and power, are ready to work through us and for us as we stand our ground. (5)

Thanks for readin’!!

  • Strong’s Concordance #8033
  • Strong’s Concordance #8047
  • Romans 8:28
  • Hebrews 12: 1-2
  • Philippians 4:13