Search

TruthNotes

Timeless truth in a changing world

Category

Current Events

E62FB14E-10E4-4BF1-BB55-B4D97C96AC7A

 

Christmas isn’t about pomp and pageantry. It’s not about the gifts or the feast or how many people are in church. Christmas is all about God’s grace.

Sure, we get that, but what does that mean? To get a full picture of “grace,” join me in taking a look at the word in Greek. In this article I wrote for the Concordia Publishing House blog “The Word Endures,” I explore the nuances of God Extending Grace to us at Christmas and beyond.

 

Photo is A Blessed Birth by Carol VanHook

Advertisements

When You Aren’t as Generous as You Think

image

“Over half of the members in this congregation give less than the price of a Happy Meal every week.”

These words were spoken in a sermon about stewardship, and they’ve stuck with me ever since. Churches seem to be perpetually behind budget, nearly always in debt, and is it any wonder? If half of the members are giving $5 or less, how can we expect to sustain our congregations? Granted, this includes all those members “on the rolls” who don’t actually come, but let’s face it––tithing is not a common practice in our culture today. Sure, people can spend money on cable and Internet and cars and sports and lessons and… But church? Tithing is foreign to many people. So as I sat in church that Stewardship Sunday while the pastor discussed giving, I admit I felt a little swell of pride. Ah, I thought to myself smugly, but I DO tithe. I’m a faithful giver. But upon further reflection, I came to a startling revelation. I’m not nearly as generous as I’d like to think I am.

Continue reading “When You Aren’t as Generous as You Think”

Preparing for Harvey

image

I was completely unprepared for Hurricane Harvey. Granted, we don’t live in the immediate danger zone, but being only a few hours from Houston, we knew we’d be getting heavy and persistent rains. The country roads in our area get washed out during heavy rain, and other roads flood, making them impassable. Kids basked in the novelty of having their first day of school cancelled. Flash flood warnings popped up all over. Towns not too far from us had forced evacuations due to rivers flooding. In the face of such inclement weather, certain preparations are advised. Stock up on food in case you’re stranded for any length of time. Make sure you have plenty of potable water on hand should your water be contaminated by the fallout. Keep bags of ice handy in case the power goes out and you need to keep your refrigerated food from spoiling. All excellent advice. And I didn’t do any of it.

Continue reading “Preparing for Harvey”

Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom

image

At what age do kids learn to be bored? Is it something they develop on their own, or do we inadvertently teach it to them? I explore those questions in this article for Raising Godly Children, and although I didn’t plan it this way, it’s a great follow-up to my post from yesterday about going tech free.

The Tech Free Challenge

image

Only in America would someone go for a week without technology and then blog about it. Last week my kids and I challenged each other to go the entire week without our phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. (Okay, I issued the challenge. They went along with it very grudgingly.) It was a perfect time to do this, since school isn’t in session and relatively few people need to get in contact with any of us. I did allow phone calls, but that was it. So what would we, a typical modern family, do without our screens for an entire week? I envisioned dramatic changes and unintended consequences, but to be honest, the whole thing was pretty anticlimactic. I guess you could say the experiment was a failure.

Continue reading “The Tech Free Challenge”

Upcoming Events

image

 

Okay, so it’s not exactly a book tour, but I do have a couple of events coming up in the next few months! More details for each are included in the “Events” menu tab at the top, but here are the quick highlights:

Continue reading “Upcoming Events”

Read Like a Lutheran

image

The start of summer is widely associated with Memorial Day, so by those standards, summer is here! And what better way to celebrate summer than by entering a summer reading program? Concordia Publishing House is sponsoring a reading program for the entire family–adults and kids alike. The title is “Read Like a Lutheran,” and they have lists of books for each age group, and your name will be entered for a prize when you reach a certain number of points! I’m already signed up, as are my kids. If you have any number of CPH books around your house, you may already have enough to attain your goal. Arch books for the kids, for example, or (ahem) Our Faith From A to Z all count. As for adults, Grace Alone is on the list! Check your church library or swap books with a friend if you’re looking to expand your repertoire. What a great opportunity to curl up with some books! Happy reading!

Tolerance… or Propaganda?

Coexist
Tolerance is everywhere, and tolerance is everything. From the Coexist bumper stickers to the Google Doodle for April 1, 2017, symbols depicting all worldviews “getting along” together are prevalent. Nor is this sentiment confined to bumper stickers and Google pages. Pushes for tolerance are getting more blatant. A recent Coca-Cola commercial features the entire family fawning over the pool boy (including the teenage son). Even some children’s books are venturing into this realm, like the 12th installment of Captain Underpants, which includes characters who are gay (in this case, “Old Harold and his husband.”) And a quick internet search of “preschool books about homosexuality” reveals there are a number of books on the subject, from Mommy, Mama, and Me to Daddy’s Roommate. The objective is clear: make children believe, from a very young age, that this behavior is normal and acceptable. It’s something to be not only tolerated, but accepted and embraced. But here’s the question: is this tolerance, or is it propaganda?

Continue reading “Tolerance… or Propaganda?”

What Would Jesus Do?

image

If one is to believe everything one sees about Jesus, one might come away with some very dangerous views about Him. Take, for example, the picture above, citing definitive “proof” from the Bible that Jesus supports the homosexual lifestyle. I’ve heard people make the assertion that Jesus overturned the moneychangers’ tables in the temple to fight economic injustice. I once read a pamphlet that portrayed Jesus as a dualist when He says, “I and the Father…” In my recent blog about the women’s march, more than one person challenged my “narrow-mindedness” by claiming that Jesus would have marched beside those women in support of women’s rights in America. And when all else fails, there’s always the “Judge not, lest ye be judged” card people can play to tell others, in effect, to mind their own business. The problem with all of these claims, however, is that they are blatantly untrue.

Continue reading “What Would Jesus Do?”

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑