JESUS

A dark place and a big God

A dark place and a big God

One of my oldest friends, Mike, recently lost his 25-year-old son. Mike was my very first best friend. We went to swimming lessons together, played superheroes together, went to “Herbie the Love Bug” movies together and for much of our young lives went to church...
Becoming less

Becoming less

“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30). As I was pondering the above statement from John the Baptist, it brought back a memory of a day when God used one of my sons to humble me just a bit and remind me of who is important and who isn’t. I was...
Do you have to believe in Jesus to be saved?

Do you have to believe in Jesus to be saved?

“Pastor Mike … ” He paused for a moment with tears welling up. “I grew up in the church and lately I am having a hard time believing that all this could be true. Don’t hear me wrong, I want to believe! I just can’t. It all seems too good to be true. I feel like I am...
Blankets and bathrobes

Blankets and bathrobes

The service had not begun on time and quiet whispers echoed in the quaint sanctuary. Nearly every pew in the sparsely decorated church was full as we anxiously awaited the beginning of the annual children’s Christmas pageant. It was the Sunday before Christmas, the...
Without incarnation there is no Christmas

Without incarnation there is no Christmas

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made … The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us (John 1:1-3, 14)....
​He is not here

​He is not here

Professors have a reputation for being absent-minded. Actually, my experience has been that the students often find their minds are absent when the professor hands out the exams, but the professor’s mind seems to be very much present. Frank Pollard tells a story...
​From deity to dust

​From deity to dust

It is almost unheard of for anyone who has been a somebody to become a nobody. For example, how ridiculous and insane it would be for Donald Trump to voluntarily surrender all the glitz, glamour and glory—all the presidential power and prestige—that is his to become a...
Young Christians at “Together 16” in Washington

Young Christians at “Together 16” in Washington

A generation that gets it. July 16, 2016, was a historic date for America. It is a historic date for our generation. A historic date for the Church. In Washington, D.C., there was a gathering of hundreds of thousands of young people who desire to see change in our...
Praying the last seven words of Christ

Praying the last seven words of Christ

It is significant that Jesus prayed from the cross. While experiencing the worst torture a human being could endure, he prayed. Most of us, in such moments of anguish, would succumb to the suffering. Our prayers would be diminished to one word: “Help!”...
Eyes on the rim

Eyes on the rim

While walking through a nearby neighborhood, I saw something that brought a smile to my face and a fond memory to my mind. It was a warm day in the dead of winter. An older elementary-aged boy was shooting free throws in his driveway by himself. He had his school team...
Living with hope in the New Year

Living with hope in the New Year

Having put 2015 to bed and having greeted 2016, I like to take a look back and remember some of the people who left us during the previous year. This is not to be morbid—after all, the title of this column is “Positive Perspective”—but it doesn’t...
Christmas is the kiss of God

Christmas is the kiss of God

In his book Mortal Lessons, Richard Selzer, M.D., writes: I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face post-operative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. She will be...
Speak up in 2015

Speak up in 2015

Blogs are full of advice this time of year. Thoughts on new habits, new products, new forms of entertainment, and foods you should never eat again have filled cyberspace already in 2015. It makes sense. When there is a new beginning, it is a good time to begin new...
“Don’t say ‘Merry Christmas!’”

“Don’t say ‘Merry Christmas!’”

On December 23, a passenger was tossed off a plane at New York’s La Guardia Airport because of his reaction to an airline worker who wished him a Merry Christmas. The man was waiting to board American Airlines Flight 1140 when the gate agent began welcoming...
What did Jesus’ grandparents think?

What did Jesus’ grandparents think?

Maybe it’s because we have been blessed with nine grandchildren, but I began to think about Jesus’ grandparents. Who were they? Obviously, Mary had parents. So when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, where were the grandparents? Back in Nazareth? Probably. What...
The Rescuer chose us

The Rescuer chose us

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:3-4). It was Christmas break my sophomore year of college. I was driving home for the winter break on...
Autumn leaves but Jesus does not

Autumn leaves but Jesus does not

Carol and I drove to northern Indiana recently to meet her sister and husband for lunch. Along the way, we saw some beautiful autumn scenery. As we drove, I said, “Well, I guess this is our fall color tour.” We laughed because we don’t always get to take a color tour,...
Seek and save

Seek and save

Jesus saves! It’s more than a bumper sticker from the eighties. It is the truth. It is only through Jesus Christ that humankind has the possibility of forgiveness of sin and the hope of being reconciled to God. How soon we can forget this thought. Many people think...
Purple Fish

Purple Fish

Filled with humor and heartwarming stories, author Mark O. Wilson presents in Purple Fish an approach for sharing Jesus that is engaging, nonthreatening, and genuine. Rather than a canned program or script, Wisconsin pastor reveals his “fishin’ with a...
What are you living for?

What are you living for?

If you have been paying attention to the news, you are aware of the Ebola crisis in Africa. A recent report tells us more than 1,000 persons have died as a result of the virus. Ebola is a viral infection that almost defies treatment. The current crisis is the worst...
A mobile epiphany

A mobile epiphany

I recently drove by the national headquarters for Mobile Epiphany. The corporate website says the company’s “…unique technology is able to centralize the flow of your business process while mobilizing your work force onto today’s powerful mobile platforms.” When I...
​Resurrection generosity

​Resurrection generosity

The Easter story is a story marked by extravagant generosity. Even the events that led up to resurrection day are filled with evidence of others giving with no strings attached. For some, the Easter season is a time of mourning. For others, the message of Easter gets...