I don’t think God Almighty would get very far in today’s military. His strategic plans for combat seem futile and foolish. Take Joshua at Jericho. God asked Joshua to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, a land He promised their forefathers. When they cross the Jordan and enter the land what do they see first? An insurmountable walled city. Not just straight up walls a few feet high, but 3-tiered walls that may have been the equivalent of a 10-story building. They can’t go around and leave this outpost at their rear; they must conquer it.  [Joshua 6]  God’s…

I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but raised across the state in Pittsburgh. The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, took place at the Pennsylvania State House, Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Fifty-six men declared their thirteen colonies independent from British rule. They became the “United States of American.” Nine of those men were Pennsylvania delegates, including one named, Benjamin Franklin.   This was the history I learned growing up in Pennsylvania. The Revolutionary War, the fight for independence was what I cut my teeth on.  One of my favorite memories is seeing and touching the Liberty Bell…

“What is the most important commandment?”  One day the Sadducees were debating with Jesus. What they were actually doing was trying to trap him with trick questions. A teacher of the law heard the debate and asked Jesus the above question. “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” …

I had a cousin, Tommy, on my father’s side of the family. He was a few years older than I. Tommy’s mother contracted German measles when she was in her first trimester and Tommy was born mentally challenged. It was before there were schools available, so Tommy spent most of his time in his room with his record player.  We visited them in Cleveland, Ohio, when I was around nine years old.  Tommy loved to play his records. The problem was, he’d get stuck on one song and would play it over and over and over again. That weekend Tommy…

I’ve been studying Joshua and Jericho for the current Sunday morning messages at church. I began by reading the Scriptures and then reading what commentators wrote about this passage. I wanted to find out more about the walls around Jericho, so I hit the internet. That can often be an iffy proposition because you don’t know just what credentials someone has when they post something. But I thought there were probably some archeological articles I could access. I wasn’t too specific when I began the search so what I got were numerous Bible Stories about Joshua and Jericho for children….

My phone was on the fritz. The charger port had become so loose that the only way to charge it was to set a large pepper mill in a certain place to hold the cord and phone together. Because we anticipate traveling a bit in the next months and I’m not sure I want to haul a large pepper mill with me everywhere we go, I ordered a new phone.  I have had this old phone for about five years. I don’t buy expensive, do everything phones. I buy ones that do just enough. As often as I drop my…

 Jesus had a lot to say to teachers, and not much of it was good.  Often it was mixed with words like “woe,” “hypocrites,” and “watch out for ….”   Jesus was angry with teachers (preachers) that led people away from God, rather than closer to Him. There are lots of ways to do that. You can preach outright lies, or half-truths.  You can preach one thing and live something different. You can adopt the ways of the world and preach “another” Gospel, one based on human thinking, wisdom and reasoning. Yes, there are lots of ways to lead people away…

I am always fascinated by our changing world. Everything changes, whether culture, societal norms, technology, education, medicine. Some changes are hard for me to follow, such as the ones that revolve around something as simple as my morning cup of coffee. First coffee was good for me, then it wasn’t, then it was but only in limited quantities, then it was good again if it was bold not light. (Whatever, I am still going to drink it the way I like it – strong , bold, and black!)  Some changes are hard for me to swallow.  I have a hard…

I opened my online newsfeed Monday morning and the first headline I saw asked me “What were the stars wearing?” at some gala event. If that was the first time I read that headline this year, I might have been vaguely interested. But it wasn’t the first gala event or award show where “stars” were wearing outfits that cost tens of thousands of dollars (and ones that they’ll probably never wear again). It wasn’t even the fourth or fifth time that headline has appeared.  I had to ask myself, are people really interested in what “stars” wear?  I also had…

Last week I knew that Sunday I was going to begin the “Shout” part of the “Seek & Shout” series we’ve been in for the last few months.  The “Seek” part was rather uneventful, as it centered around seeking “More of God.” In other words, learning to pursue and experience that abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10: “I have come that they might have life and that more abundantly.”  (Well. uneventful except for that one lesson on counting it all joy when you fall into various trials.)  I knew going into the week that the “Shout” part wasn’t…