The G.I.’s Mite

Biloxi, MS, c.1974. My wife and I were brand new Christians, just beginning to learn of the faithfulness of God. Early in his own ministerial career, Jerry Savelle had come to speak in Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi. At a morning service, he previewed the approaching evening event, announcing that he would be preaching from Matthew 10, …

Tradition of Decorum

Religious Tradition requires “proper” decorum in church. But the scripture says: “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary.” (Ps.134:2) “Shout unto God with a voice of triumph.” (Ps.47:1) “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: “make a loud noise, and… “rejoice, and sing praise.” (Ps.98:4) You say you’re not an emotional person? …

Tradition of Communion

Tradition says don’t take communion if there’s sin in your life. But that’s not what the passage is about. Obviously, we all have sin in our lives! But it’s not about sin; it’s about faith. Paul reminds us to consider what we’re doing, and “discern” the Lord’s body. (1Cor.11:26-29) Jesus said, “Take, eat: this is my body, …

Wedding Tradition

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33 ) In March of 1995, our church was being visited with a great outpouring of God’s Spirit. My oldest son appoached me, hand-in-hand with his fiance. It was just a week before their wedding, …

God of Compassion

Catskill, NY, c.1996.  It was a Sunday night service. My pastor was away on one of his frequent jaunts to minister to churches in far-flung corners of the world.  As usual, he left the oversight of the home church to me. I stood near the front entrance. It was my habit to greet the people …

Traditions of Death

Luke 24:1 “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared…” The Plan Even before his body was laid to rest, they had planned and prepared to do this. (Luke 23:55-56) After all, it was a religious tradition. Isn’t it …

God’s Arm Is Not Shortened

Act 26:8 “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?” Catskill, NY, c.1990. Dr. James Finn was presiding over the Sunday morning service. His secretary was in the balcony videotaping the proceedings. As the song service drew to a close, there was a powerful anointing in the …

The Value of a Hungry Heart

With my E-Sword App open to Acts chapter eight, I come upon the familiar story of the Ethiopian Eunuch. Suddenly, the most obvious part of the passage strikes me as odd. He was reading Isaiah chapter 53. Right now, I’m reading about his reading. But I have a Smartphone; he most certainly did not! He …

Justice is Blind, but God Sees

Cairo, NY, c.1991.  “Pastor, I was 5 miles below the limit, but the cop gave me a speeding ticket anyway.” My dad was NYPD, so I tend to sympathize with the police in most cases. But I knew she was telling the truth. Martha’s beat-up old van screamed “drug mule,” especially in that part of upstate …

I See the Brother

  Catskill, NY, c.1987. It was Easter Sunday. It was a day for family. We probably had the only evening service in town that day. People stayed away in crowds! Besides, Sister Snotty didn’t come very often on a regular day. But she had company at her house that day, and her mother-in-law wanted to …