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Showing posts from February, 2013

Resisting Temptation

The Lectionary includes the passage about the temptation of Jesus as the reading for the first Sunday of Lent every year.This passage is important as we consider how our Savior was led by the Spirit to the wilderness for the purpose of fasting for forty days and being tempted by the devil.
How have your first two and a half weeks of Lent gone?Have there been many temptations so far?Are you finding your journey exciting and surprisingly pleasurable?After I visited the actual wilderness where He went in February of 2012, I will never think of the Wilderness journey Jesus took the same.I fully entered the wilderness using all my senses to see, hear, feel and taste its offerings.I found it to be the opposite of what I expected.A few days before, I had driven through it on our journey from Galilee to Jerusalem.Driving by the wilderness confirmed my impression that the wilderness wasn’t inviting, and seemed a rather harsh and bleak environment, especially compared to all the previous fertile…

The Trees are Naked!

The transition from Winter to Spring is a lovely metaphor for Lent.It is convenient that in the Northern Hemisphere, Lent begins at the end of winter and ends with the first buds of spring.On a recent nature walk I came upon a four-year-old boy and his father.They had stopped on the path waiting for mom and baby to catch up when I happened to pass by.I overheard the conversation between father and son.The little boy was enraptured by the tree that was right in front of him.With a distinct giggle, the little boy exclaimed, The tree is naked!The father seemed confused as to how to respond to his son’s preoccupation with what he described as a naked tree.He rattled on about how the leaves had fallen off because of winter, but the child insisted that the tree was naked, implying that it was somehow defected.He didn’t accept his father’s reasonable explanation.

As I passed, I pondered the profound reality this little boy, like the boy in Hans Christian Anderson’s famous fairy tale—The Emper…

The Ethics Behind Ethical Behavior

This week we celebrate Ash Wednesday—the beginning of Lent on Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day on Thursday. I had already written the devotion before I was looking at the calendar.This devotion about ethics has led me to consider the Lenten Season of penitence to prepare for Easter as the perfect time to focus this year’s Lenten series on our desire to eliminate sins from our earthly experience.Not an easy task to achieve, but well worth living your life trying to attain!So for Lent I will offer you a series that encourages you to think about the wonder of ceasing from sin and wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day hoping you feel God’s grand love for you!
The Ethics Behind Ethical Behavior
Every year my professional counseling license requires that I take a 3 hour ethics course to keep my status.It is the only subject that is required.Over the decades I have been to every kind of ethics class, including a stand-up comedy version.The ones taught by lawyers are the worst.After listening to t…

Spiritual Progress

Lately I have been thinking of the spiritual life as climbing a ladder.The rungs of the ladder support you and take you above to a place that is higher than earth’s gravity (the world) will allow you to reach.You are grounded by the rungs of the ladder; however, the rungs are held firm as a place for you to stand by two poles.Spiritual progress is like climbing a ladder: you need the rungs and the poles in order to climb higher.

The rungs on the ladder can be thought of as formed from the cross of Christ.Jesus, sent from the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit, is the firm foundation that we stand on as we progress towards our ultimate destination, which is intimacy with the Trinity.The outcome of spiritual progress is oneness with God.Sometimes we lose track of this purpose, but Jesus never did.He prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one.
If you are not making the spiritual progress that you recognize in others or in the saints, perhaps you should think about th…