Have you ever had a dream that feels so vivid that you sit up in bed and start to act on it, as if the events of your dream had really happened? In Jacob’s case, they had. His dream wasn’t just the normal processes of a brain filing away the day’s events. His dream was a vision deliberately given to him by God. [Read more…]
Oh, the heartache. Abraham had been promised not only the abundance of a multitude of descendants but the delight of a particular son. And here he stood, about to sacrifice that very son. God put him to the test, asking for what was most precious to Abraham: his son Isaac.
Genealogies are hardly spellbinding. Perhaps, like me, you are tempted to skip them in your Bible reading. Yet genealogies are a significant part of the Bible. The book of Matthew’s genealogy is a family tree of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God incarnated as the Son of Man. Matthew wrote his gospel primarily to the Jews. Strictly speaking, the purpose of this genealogy is to prove to Jewish readers that Jesus of Nazareth as the seed of Abraham and the son of David was the long-awaited Messiah.
Advent is a time for our hearts to be stirred and strengthened as we consider God’s unwavering faithfulness and unmatched love, shown in the sending of His Son.
On a night when you’re far from city lights and the sky is cloudless, the view is enough to stop you in your tracks. Plum-black backdrop, speckled with a thousand pinpricks of light. And the longer you stare, the more those thousand multiply into a thousand thousands. The dimmest distant stars reveal themselves.
Moving isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. Packing feels overwhelming, loading and unloading the truck are exhausting, and settling in seems never ending. (Who doesn’t have one box still unopened in the basement?) Then there’s the way moving often takes us far away from the places we know and the people we love.
“Anytime, anytime while I was a slave, if one minute’s freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it—just to stand one minute on God’s earth a free woman—I would.” – Elizabeth Freeman (also known as Bet or MumBet, was the first enslaved African American to file for and win a freedom suit in Massachusetts.)
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. It declared that all enslaved persons [only] in the Confederate States of America in rebellion and not in Union hands were to be freed. There is no one reason why there was a 2½-year delay in letting Texas know about the abolition of slavery in the United States. Some accounts place the delay on a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news, while others say the news was deliberately withheld. Despite the delay, slavery did not end in Texas overnight, after New Orleans fell, many slavers traveled to Texas with their slaves to escape regulations enforced by the Union Army in other states. [Read more…]
Christians around the world will soon be celebrating Easter.
Whether it’s circled in marker on our wall calendars or programmed in our phones, many of us are anticipating Easter weekend next week. Often our traditions emphasize either resurrection rejoicing or cross-centered sorrow at the expense of the other. Which is the right posture? [Read more…]