What A Handshake!

There are a select few people that I have met who simply by the shaking of their hand and a few words of greeting from their mouth have made such a deep and lasting impression on me. Ray Engel is one of them. For those of you who knew Ray you’ll quickly resonate with me on this. Besides his actual hand shake (which I would always brace for because it was like a vice closing on me), his smile and encouraging words never seemed to be absent. His joy was contagious. His intentionality of greeting everyone who came into church was inspiring. You got the feeling that he knew his role and his role was to lovingly welcome people. I will miss him greatly.

I was reading through 2 Corinthians 5 a few days ago, Ray came to mind. Continue Reading

The Beauty of Our Union With Christ

Theology can have a “bad rap.” Unfortunately for some, when they hear the word “theology” they think of big books, dry professors, and endless debates about terms and definitions that cause either defensiveness or boredom—either way it leads them to avoid it altogether. But theology (the study of God from the Bible) deserves another shot, for when theology is done right it can lead to doxology.

“Here we go again. Another fancy word!” Oh, but please be patient with me, for there is much to be gained from good words. Continue Reading

Christ and a guilty conscience

The other day, one of our boys started acting oddly. He had been pleasant, talkative, and enthused earlier in the day, but quite suddenly became withdrawn, quiet, and emotional. It wasn’t the first time this particular child had a swing like this, but it soon came to light that his actions were because he had done something wrong and felt guilty about it. His conscience was vexed, and he reacted by retreating and resisting us.

It’s hard to say exactly what was going through our little boy’s mind, but he clearly felt and knew something was wrong. Interestingly, the guilty feelings and subsequent reactions were largely brought out by my presence. Seeing me prompted him to remember he had done something wrong, and the guilt came on more strongly.

Does this sound familiar to you? Continue Reading