When the Headlines Mention Crematoriums and Mass Graves

You consider yourself a fairly positive person.

You don’t load every text with smiley faces or wish everyone a nice day, but you’ve made it a habit to live by faith, to open your eyes to the good that God may be working through trials, to praise God in the storm.

But, when the evening news rolls footage of those who stagger, displaced, along the Syrian border,

when the headlines contain words like “crematoriums” and “mass graves,”

when weeping mothers appear on screen and you don’t need to hear the translation to understand their agony,

positive fades in the rear-view mirror of your soul.

These are Psalm 120 times. Times of distress, of lying lips and deceiving tongues, when even pew-sitters sense the urge to call upon the Lord. Continue Reading →

Christians Sentenced to Death – What Difference Does It Make to Us?

**Warning: This post may make you feel bad. ***Warning: That feeling may be appropriate.

There are moments in life that feel like a swift slap in the face.

No one courts that. No one wants to feel that pain. But, if it’s a slap that rearranges your priorities to align with God’s heart, then you will thank God even for that bracing offense.

I received that slap in 2014 when I read a report that Kim Jong-un had ordered the execution of thirty-three Christians reported to have been planting over 500 underground churches in North Korea. I receive the same slap when I read of the struggles of Syrian, Nigerian, Pakistani, Chinese, and Indian believers. Many struggle to literally hold onto life because they’ve chosen to follow Jesus. Continue Reading →

The Faith of the Redshirts – In Honor of the Martyrs at Home and Abroad

Redshirts.

If you know that reference immediately, welcome, friend. We can hang out and understand one another on a deep level. Some of you have no idea. That’s okay, too. I’ll explain.

In the world of Star Trek, sometimes the ship’s captain and his first officers must leave the starship Enterprise and transport to an alien world, so they form an “away team,” as in “away from the ship.” Key to every away team, as every Star Trek fan knows, is one or two previously unknown actors playing low ranking officers uniformed in redshirts. These crew members are expendable and serve one purpose.

They die.

Every time. Continue Reading →