Guest Authors

Writings from various sources occasionally invited/gathered to share their devotional/commentary material.
My wife, Pat, and I have been married for more than 30 years, and every day I thank God I married her! We're different in many ways, but we complement each other. Pat is a levelheaded thinker, while I tend to be a more impulsive decision-maker. I appreciate her strengths and have learned to rely on them regularly. In marriage, God wants us to learn to rest in each other's strengths.

It's exciting to have a wife who complements you, and if you marry in Christ, that's what happens. Your weaknesses she balances; her weaknesses you balance. God built this concept of complementing one another into marriage at the very beginning. After creating Adam, God said, "I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18), and then He formed Eve. Why? Because without her, Adam was incomplete.

Interestingly, that word helper is used throughout the Old Testament to describe someone of strength. Obviously Eve had a lot going for her. She supplied what Adam lacked. But Adam could receive what she had to offer, and she could receive what Adam had for her, only by submitting to each other.

The Apostle Paul had a lot to say about how husbands and wives should relate to each other, but before saying any of it he commanded, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21). Fact number one in God's blueprint for happy homes, then, is . . .
There has been a lot of confusion on the issue of whether or not we? re a Christian nation, and I'm not exactly sure why. But it is hotly debated in our culture right now. The reason I say I'm not sure why is because the historical record is quite clear. I think that Christians, though, often make inappropriate, unfounded, or inaccurate applications of some of the information, and I want to speak to that in just a moment.
As to the faith content of those who were our Founding Fathers, there can be absolutely no confusion about the fact that virtually every single one of them shared a Christian, biblical world view. There is some question as to whether every single one of them held to all the orthodox teachings of classical Christianity; but it seems to me that there is very little question as to what their religious persuasions and world views were.

There was a piece in the L.A. Times on the third of this August on the Op-Ed page entitled "America's Unchristian Beginnings." It is subtitled "Founding Fathers: Despite preachings of our pious Right, most were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus." There are a couple things that trouble me about this article, the biggest thing is the word "most" in the subtitle. "Most of our Founding Fathers" apparently were deists, according to this person's assessment. This is a canard that's been tossed around even by some Christians who ought to . . .
The presence of evil in the world is considered by some to be solid evidence against the existence of God. I think it proves just the opposite. The entire objection hinges on the observation that true evil exists "out there" as an objective feature of the world. Therein lies the problem for the atheist.

To say something is evil is to make a moral judgment, and moral judgments make no sense outside of the context of a moral standard. Evil as a value judgment marks a departure from that standard of morality. If there is no standard, there is no departure.

Evil can't be real if morals are relative. Evil is real, though. That's why people object to it. Therefore, objective moral standards must exist as well. This discovery invites certain questions. Where do morals come from and why do they seem to apply only to human beings? Are they the product of chance? What world view makes sense out of morality?

We can answer these questions by simply reflecting on the nature of a moral rule. By making observations about the effect--morality--we can then determine its characteristics and then ask what cause is adequate to produce it.

Four Observations about Morality

The first thing we observe about moral rules is that, though they exist, they are . . .
Apart from the power of Jesus Christ, I don't know how anyone can forgive a parent who has abandoned his or her family. Yet I do know that forgiveness is a prerequisite for finding personal peace. And I know also that Jesus Christ gives us the strength and resolve to forgive from the heart those who have deeply hurt us--as long as we are willing to allow him to work in our lives.

Although my friend Bill Conard grew up in a religious home, his father began to wander into other relationships and eventually abandoned his family. The family plunged into dire poverty and Bill and his mother had to work hard to provide for themselves and his brother and sisters. Bill became a troubled young man who never understood how his dad could walk away.

About six months after his dad left home, some friends invited Bill to a youth rally. He didn't want to go because he was starting to get involved in some activities he knew were wrong, but his friends pressed their invitation and he went. That night Bill accepted Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. As he walked home after the rally, Bill looked up at the stars and thought, My real Father is up there. He will never leave me!

Two years later Bill found out where his . . .
While doing business in the Post Office one day I noticed a rack holding PASSPORT application forms. Thinking that this was the beginning, or a first step to a long held dream of visiting a foreign country I took the envelope containing the forms. They were free.

You see my father was a member of the German Wehrmacht, the name for German Armed Forces, stationed in the Cherbourg area of France during the last year of the Second World War The invasion of D day came and shortly after the advancing American G.I.s overran the German positions and my father was taken prisoner, but not before being wounded with shrapnel in his left leg.

Compounds for German P.O.W. were none existent in France at that time so he, along with hundreds of other soldiers, was loaded onto a hospital ship to begin the long journey, via England, to the far off State of Texas, U.S.A. There in the northern part of that State, near the town of Paris, a prisoner of war camp awaited him plus the arrival of thousands of German soldiers, now Prisoners Of War.

The heavy black ink of censorship obliterated a good part of the postcards informing us of the state of his health and his approximate whereabouts. Now 61 years later I have a longing in my heart to go and see with my own eyes what my father saw as he stood on the plains of Texas and worried about his family in his devastated homeland of Germany. Yes there would be a vast difference between our two visits. I would be there willingly as a free person. He was there by compulsion at the point of a gun, a prisoner. Thus my interest in PASSPORTS.

Little did I realize that a few days later my thoughts would again turn to the importance of possessing a valid PASSPORTS. It came about in a most unexpected way.