Because no one is innocent

Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

Recently I had a discussion with a young man about religion, worldview, and the meaning of life. I operate from a biblically-informed Christian ethic. My friend was making a case for an all-inclusive, multi-faceted approach to ethics and morality in which “love thy neighbor” is the driving force.

“After all,” he said, “there are many ways up the mountain. Budda, Confucius, Jesus…they all taught basically the same things. Treat others with kindness. Be honest. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

I agreed that, on the surface, the “love your neighbor” morality makes many religions seem…


Nobody is going to do it for you!

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Tonight I asked my wife, Donna, if, after supper, I could jump in our car and drive all night to the Gulf coast so I could experience Hurricane Sally as she roared ashore. Of course, like always, Donna didn’t think it was a good idea. She never does.

Riding out a hurricane, chasing tornadoes across the plains, watching from a distance as supercell thunderstorms build, explode in fury, then dissipate are all items on my bucket list. The pure adventure and moderate risk involved in these exploits have an unusual romantic appeal to me.

I’m not sure why, but I…


Scripture Prompt

It all comes down to this…

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Perhaps the most famous conversation in the Bible is the one Jesus had with the Pharisee, Nicodemus, as recorded by the Apostle John. We can assume that John witnessed this exchange, and he recorded it exactly as it happened.

Nicodemus was a teacher of the law and a learned man. John said this discussion happened at night, probably because Nicodemus had his reputation to protect since Jesus was a controversial figure among the Jewish leaders.

The key passage I want to consider starts with the verse that almost everyone can quote. But it’s important to read and evaluate this verse…


Christianity is not simply about ‘loving enemies, washing feet and selling all you have for the poor’

A group of people at a Christian worship service
A group of people at a Christian worship service
Photo by Abel Tan Jun Yang from Pexels

In a recent Twitter exchange, Tyler Huckabee, a senior editor for Relevant magazine, made a statement that Christianity:

“is about loving enemies, washing feet and selling all you have for the poor.”

His comment was in response to a tweet by Jack Posobiec that said “Christianity will have power.”


Why do I feel such a sense of loss?

Image by Darcy Rogers from Pixabay

I had just finished a morning bicycle ride and decided to stop by my elderly father’s house to check on him. Dad was sitting under his balcony sipping on some coffee while his springer spaniel, Beatrice, was exploring the yard.

As we chatted, a young house finch landed awkwardly on the chair right next to Dad. It was obvious the finch was just learning to fly. We could hear the anxious mother calling out commands as she sat on a branch in the tree above.

I said, “Dad, turn slowly and take a peek at the little finch sitting next…


Taking dominion includes playing in a way that glorifies God

Photo by Dorothy Castillo from Pexels

We all do it. We all recreate. If you want to start a lively discussion among friends or even strangers, just ask them what they like to do to have fun.

Those of us who seek to live an integrated life in which our faith in God is actively woven through every fabric of our existence had better develop a theology that includes recreation as a vital element. Otherwise, we could be accused of being inconsistent in our systems of belief.

I have devoted much time in reflection and study of this topic. Perhaps this is because I enjoy playing…


You do believe it, right?

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After Jesus was brutally ridiculed, tortured, crucified, and buried, and after His resurrection, He appeared to his followers, several times.

Jesus instructed His eleven disciples to meet with Him one last time, at a mountaintop in Galilee, where He gave them some final instructions before ascending into Heaven where He was seated at the right hand of the Father. Jesus said to them:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…


God can use even the most reluctant person to fulfill His purposes

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I wrote an earlier post about a trip I took with my son to deliver his newly purchased sailboat, Orenda, to his home port of Charleston, South Carolina. You can read about that adventure here. I left out an important aspect of the story because it’s a yarn that deserves its own telling.

We were grounded at an inlet near Beaufort, North Carolina. …


We had run aground, and all we could do was wait

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Several years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of spending almost two weeks aboard my son Jeff’s newly acquired sailboat, Orenda, as he delivered her from her previous homeport near Oriental, North Carolina to his home marina in Charleston, South Carolina. It was a 300-mile trip filled with excitement and wonder as well as frustration and anxiety.

Jeff has lived and boated in an ocean environment for several years, but this excursion was an adventure which added quite a few novel experiences to my limited, Midwestern-oriented repertoire.

Even though Jeff and I would have preferred going offshore on the ocean…


Fear the Lord and turn away from evil

Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

The history of the nation of Israel as recorded in the Old Testament is one where the people fell into a pattern: when they feared God and followed His laws they were blessed.

But when the people forgot their God and turned to their own ways or the ways of the pagan nations around them, they got into trouble. Then they would cry out to God and He would deliver them.

For a while, the people would honor God and His anointed leaders, but before long they would forget and the whole cycle would start again.

Moses had warned them…

Mark Thogmartin

I’m a follower of Christ, a retired educator, an associate pastor, a worship leader, and an author. I’m married with 3 adult sons. I like to do stuff outdoors.

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