Archives For Faith

I was disappointed with the Lansing State Journal’s story about my friend Mark Bozzo’s death.  If the job was to report the news, the news was not reported.  Mark was so much more than a good person who had a big heart.  He was definitely those things, but so much more.  Mark was also a bulldog, who would be upset by being portrayed incompletely.  He’d especially be upset that the most important person in his life, Jesus Christ, was completely left out of his story.  I sent the following article in to the LSJ earlier this week, which did not get printed.  This is for you, Mark: Continue Reading…

I read Hebrews 2:14-18 yesterday.  Read it slowly, out loud, a few times:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.  For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

I am a person who struggles mightily with depression and anxiety. It comes and goes and is subject to a diverse array of stimulus.  I also have a lot of good ways of coping with it, which are sometimes enough to feel better and sometimes aren’t.

Usually when we think of Jesus’s atonement, we think of him as the substitute for our sins. We deserve a penalty for our sins, hell, and Jesus took that hell upon himself on the cross so we wouldn’t have to take it on ourselves for all eternity.  Then when the Judge looks at us, we are declared innocent (righteous). Not because of what we’ve done, but because of what Jesus did on our behalf.

All of this is true, praise be to God! But something even deeper hit me yesterday. Continue Reading…

One of my uncles died last week. He was 67. My dad is also 67.

I turned 35 today. If you cut my years on this earth in half and went back in time, it would be the summer between my junior and senior year of high school.

Blink.

Now I’m 35.

If you double the years I’ve already spent on this earth, I’ll be 70.

Blink blink.

It’s been a reflective couple of weeks for me. It’s a reflective time when I start realizing my parents and their siblings are the generation of people who are dying. Like when I was in 3rd grade and my grandpa died. I was sad, but also gained a pragmatic understanding: that’s what old people do, they die. Continue Reading…

INSTRUCTIONS: Make up an imaginary person.  This person could be truly imagined, like the Tooth Fairy, or you can pick someone who has died and make up imaginary things about their life, like a tall tale.

Now, you need to write down these imaginary stories.  You write down that this imaginary person rose from the dead and then went up into heaven.  Rather than be smart and keep it vague, you decide to be very specific about the way your imaginary person died: when, where, by whom (using famous historical figures), how, etc.  And you’re also quite specific in how your imaginary person rose from the dead, listing specific people who saw him, and the places where he was seen. Continue Reading…

Ever see the movie Gladiator? All that “Christians fed to the lions” stuff really happened! These were the Christians going around with the newly written books of the New Testament saying that 6 people that everyone would have known (most importantly, Jesus) had risen from the dead.  Being lion food is not much of a reward…makes one wonder what motivated them?

Easter Sunday is coming, which has a lot of people thinking about resurrection from the dead.  Two Sundays ago, I preached on how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead (and smelly) for 4 days (John 11).  This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the religious leaders to kill Jesus once and for all (John 11:47-53).  It’s sort of hard to disprove a religion where people keep coming back from the dead, after all.

This got me thinking about the significance of the other New Testament accounts of people being raised from the dead, and wondering if other religions made these same claims.  It’s sort of going “all in” once you say that 6 local “Average Joe” types that everyone knew had risen from the dead in spectacular, public fashion, most of them at their very public funerals, and you try circulating that story in the very town you claim it happened. (Knowing your reward for circulating it was persecution, torture, and death by the Roman authorities)

I did a little research…okay I posted in on my Facebook page…to see if other faiths/religions made such audacious claims of local people coming back from the dead or not.  If your God is able to make dead people come back to life, that’s a pretty good claim of authenticity. Continue Reading…