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group of graduated students back view

A Charge to Our Graduates

This issue of The Reminder is a little different. The inside pages are dedicated to the wonderful achievement of four of our young ladies on the occasion of their high school graduation. We ought not to think that this has happened easily for them, in that, so many of the rites of being seniors have passed them by and have been canceled due to the virus. One last normal school day, one last year at camp, one last goodbye to…
Couple whispering in the ear

“As we listen . . . “

In Luke 8:18 Jesus warned, “Therefore take heed how you hear.” He had said earlier, “And hearing they may not understand” (vs. 10). The words “hear” and “heard” are also found in vs. 12, 13, 14, and 15. Later, Jesus would add, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it” (vs. 21).  Seems that hearing is important, especially if God’s will is being communicated. A disposition to hear, to hear carefully, to…
Portrait of a young pensive businesswoman holding a pencil

Thinking About a New Way of Thinking

The past two months have drastically changed our thinking. If you don’t think so, go into a public place and start coughing and see the reactions (on second thought, don’t do that). There will always be a “BC” (before COVID) means of thinking, and there will now be an “AD” (after distancing) thinking. However, this new way of thinking causes me to think of the parallels between the mindset of a disciple of Jesus. Here are some comparisons to consider: …
Globe Global Sphere World Cartography Earth Concept

On Conspiracies, Fear, and Christian Behavior

When tragedies and disasters occur—like our present pandemic—conspiracies abound. The temptation to believe them is strong because they make sense of an otherwise senseless event. They grant us the power to place blame at the feet of someone, rather than remain a victim of confusion. They provide comfort in the calamity by legitimizing themselves with partial truths and creating a common enemy (usually a corporation or government).  Our present culture is rife with false news stories that appear legitimate. We…
mountains in Landmannalaugar in Iceland

Our Strength

There are a number of interesting scenes presented in the book of Nehemiah. One, often overlooked, is found in chapter 8.  People were gathered in an open square to hear God’s word read to them. Ezra was the reader and it was an extensive reading, to say the least. All morning long he read. And, people listened attentively (Nehemiah 8:3). With reverence, people stood. Careful explanation was given to be certain the hearers understood the meaning of what was read (Nehemiah 8:8). …
Businessman thinking at office

Titanic-Sized Bad Decisions

I mentioned in my Wednesday devotional that the Titanic sank 108 years ago this past week (April 15, 1912). For a ship that was heralded as “unsinkable” and the greatest ship ever made, it proves the old adage, “pride goes before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction” (Prov. 16:18).  Some decisions using human wisdom are not able to be weighed accurately in terms of long-term consequences because man just doesn’t have the earthly wisdom to be able to…
Bible and praying hands

Proverbs for When You’re Sheltered-in-Place

Solomon has given us all much to chew on for over two millennia. Even now when we are in isolation, quarantine, shelter-in-place, or whatever you want to call it, his by-inspiration inspirational quotes still are speaking truth in the book of Proverbs.  Here are some lessons to think deeply about for those who are feeling the effects of 4+ weeks at home:  “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression”…
Medieval monk sitting at table and write, top view

  God and You 

Your attitude and behavior in any and all circumstances ought to be governed by your relationship to God.  Paul had been in a ferocious storm on the sea for nearly two weeks (Acts 27:27).  His relationship to God, however, enabled him not only to endure the stress, but to comfort and encourage the others on board: “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For…
Serious businessman thinking

Meditation

Psalm 1 shows the blessed (happy) man is one who, among other things, meditates on God’s law (2). Later, the ungodly are shown to be the opposite of the godly (4). One of the differences would be their failure to ponder over God’s great truths.  Is meditation really important? Are thoughts? Remember that the material things that surround us, our houses, cars, clothes, etc., were first a thought before they became a reality.  God has blessed humans with a great…
Scared woman covering eyes with hands, see no evil

A Great Persecution Arose

Things were going great at first. In the first chapters of Acts, the church was growing by leaps and bounds, there were great open-doors for the people of God, and the future was bright in sharing the message about Jesus. However, beginning in Acts 4, the problems started for the church in Jerusalem.  By the end of chapter 7, there is the death of Stephen and by chapter 8:1, the church scatters. Note this, up until the church scattered, there…
People with worried emotion

On COVID-19, Toilet Paper, and Worry

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke to people’s concerns and worries in a way that we would do well to heed. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus had just affirmed the fact that we cannot be about serving God, and also serving the things of this life because “no man can serve two masters.” As He then draws His conclusion for His audience, the refrain becomes clear, “do not worry” (Matthew 6:25, 27, 31, 34). What things does Jesus tell…
Happy diverse friends

Good Advice for Choosing Friends

Friends are a wonderful blessing from God – a gift given to help us become better people (Prov. 27:17). Yet they are only a blessing when we have chosen the right ones. “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Prov. 13:20). “Evil companionships corrupt good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). Therefore, we should try to surround ourselves with companions who are wise enough “to turn [you] away from the snares of…