archives

Just Thinking

This category contains 55 posts

I Was Just Thinking … About Christmas Time!

Way back in 1965 I sang with four of my friends in the Oak Park and River Forest High School’s “Senior Follies.” One of the songs we performed was Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” But, as it turns out, Alphonse Karr was correct, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (the more … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Goodness and Holiness

In the midst of this series on goodness I thought it might be helpful to indicate the connections between God’s goodness and other qualities we associate with him. The following paragraphs, from some correspondence with a friend, provide some insights into these relationships that have been helpful to me: You asked if I would clarify the concept … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About the Saints’ Great Reward

… Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth …… Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God …Matthew 5:3-12 The traditions for celebrating All Saints Day vary, depending on a congregation’s theological and liturgical background. One of the ideas that ties all of the traditions together is acknowledging that … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Present Contentment

Hebrews 13:5 commands us to be content with our present financial circumstances, so that we don’t act unlovingly. A literal rendering of the Greek is “Be content with the present things.” While the “present things” surely include our possessions and money, they refer also to everything that is a part of our life situation. Surely … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Fear and Faith

Fear is real and rational when reality confronts us with what appears to be danger. However, when we perceive Jesus’ presence, our perception of reality changes. As followers of Jesus we can fight fear with faith by acknowledging that Jesus’ supernatural abilities are immediately available to us whenever he makes his presence felt. Consider Peter’s … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Managing Expectations

Their expectations surged as hope arose again. The Kingdom seemed so close while Jesus talked Of saving errant, lost and needy men Who’d follow on the path that he had walked. So as they walked, he wove another tale About a noble son who traveled long And far to gain a crown and thus prevail … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Exulting in Tribulation

“Exult in tribulation.” says Romans 5:3. And James joins with Paul, telling us to “count it all joy when you meet various trials” (James 1:2). But how is it possible to do this when life’s adversities inflict real pain and seem to darken our future prospects? These commands seem nonsensical until we remember that God’s … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Strengthening Faith

Paul’s sole objective was to work so that people’s faith in the Lord might develop and make progress. In Philippians 1:25 he said, “I will again be with you so that your faith (and resulting joy) might increase.” The faith of these Philippian Christians was already quite advanced. Every time Paul remembered them, he thanked … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About Responding to Grace

When John Newton wrote the song “Amazing Grace,” he celebrated the panorama of God’s grace, including the grace that saved him, the grace that brought him through trials, and the prospect of a grace-filled life of joy and peace in eternity, for which he expected to continue praising God after ten thousand years. Newton’s song … Continue reading

I Was Just Thinking … About the Panorama of Grace

Grace is all about joy! God’s grace is how he expresses and how we experience the fullness of his joy. John Newton, the former slave ship captain turned Christian pastor and poet, celebrated his experience of God’s grace in song. His poem, “Amazing Grace,” written in 1772 to illustrate his 1773 New Year’s Sunday sermon, … Continue reading