I have the habit of writing down something everyday that I am thankful for--a person God has put in my life, an event in which I see his hand (or maybe don't yet see it but want to), a special gift or an answer to prayer. Psalm 50 verse 23 (NIV) says, "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." The practice of giving thanks makes me better able to see what God is doing.
Seek and you shall find," Jesus told the disciples who crowded around him for his mountainside sermon. In the first chapter of his classic, Basic Christianity, John Stott points out, "We do not find because we do not seek. And the truth is that we do not seek because we do not really want to find." (p.25) Finding the truth would put demands on our lives, and the last thing we in the twenty-first century want is Someone else telling us what to believe or how to live.
Basic Christianity is a clear, compelling and, well…, basic look at the essence of the gospel designed for those who have rejected the institutional church without really considering Jesus Christ himself. It is for young people who have grown up in the church, but never thought through their own faith, and for those who grew up outside the church and have never been introduced to Jesus as anything other than a myth or a swear word. It is for those who are prepared to seek, committed to living whatever they find to be the truth.
November 11, 1918. Armistice Day. The day that ended World War 1--the war to end all wars--the war that opened one of the bloodiest centuries in history. We are a lot less idealistic than our fore bearers were then. Cynical even. Wars will never end. That's biblical, isn't it? Jesus said the end times will be marked by wars and rumors of wars. As I write, the news is of Iran's nuclear capability. I tremble to think of what such a fanatical government would do with that kind of power. So should we invade? Look what happened as a result of our last attempt to stop the use of "mass weapons of destruction"? Call me cynical.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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