Showing posts from 2016

Evil Father—Good Son | 2 Chronicles 30-31

Welcome to Real Life . One person can hold incredible influence. Darkness had fallen on Judah. Ahaz, their king, turned his back on God. He embraced the detestable practices and pagan idolatry of the surrounding nations… even to the point of sacrificing a son in the fire to Molech. Symbolic of the completeness of Ahaz’s apostasy, he boarded up the Lord’s temple. All of Judah followed Ahaz’s evil example. God will not bless a person or nation in their pursuit of evil. With God’s protection removed, the Assyrians attacked and overpowered Judah. They carried off plunder and captives. This should have been a wakeup call. Instead, Ahaz foolishly believed his enemy’s strength had come from their god. And so, he also began to worship the god of Assyria. Ahaz was blind to the fact that he was the cause of Judah’s downfall. Royal Seal of King Hezekiah recently excavated.[1] Eventually, Ahaz died. His son, Hezekiah, was crowned king. As his first official act, Hezekiah re-opened the

The Narrow Road | Matthew 7:13-14

Welcome to Real Life . I know the verses well. I’ve heard them many times. Yet, when I read them the other day, they surprised me. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14) By faith, I gave my life to Jesus at age 16. This means that I have lived in the Christian community for decades. Many of my family members, friends, and associates are followers of Jesus Christ. I attend a church of 4000. Surrounded by the like-minded, I naturally begin to believe “everyone’s a Christian.” I couldn’t be more wrong. Even when America was primarily a Christian nation, many of us were Christian in name only. We attended church because it was socially acceptable. However, in reality, our hearts were far from God. (This was me, before I came to know and love Jesus.) But today, in many circles, att

Mercy, Not Sacrifice | Matthew 9:9-13

Welcome to Real Life . For a long time, I had this verse taped to the wall by my kitchen sink. I needed the daily reminder. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. Dad and Mom at "Boot Camp" My elderly parents were living in Florida when their health began to fail. After Mom lost her lower leg to poor circulation, she landed in a nursing facility for rehabilitation. These facilities do the best they can with the staff they have. But, I knew Mom needed more attention than they could provide. So, I devised a plan to move my parents into my home in Ohio for a 6-week boot camp and whip Mom back into shape. (I know...pretty naïve, right?) Those six weeks stretched into a year. [1] It felt like (and it was) a huge sacrifice. Our lives changed drastically. One morning as I read God’s Word, He spoke this verse to me… Go and learn what this means, Peggi : I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I had the wrong focus. God wasn’t impressed by my sacrific

Lunch Date

Welcome to Real Life . You’ve probably heard the question: If you could have lunch with anyone, past or present, who would you choose? Recently, I served on jury duty. As the judge and attorneys vetted our jury pool, the defense attorney asked a young woman the lunch question. “My grandmother,” she answered. “She’s no longer with us. I’d love to sit down with her one more time.” The attorney never asked the same question twice. I had no need to think of how I would answer. Even so, his question stuck in my mind. If not bound by time and place, who would I choose? My own dear grandma (long deceased), Jesus Christ (of course), Abraham Lincoln... Then, in an instant, I knew. If I could have lunch with anyone, past or present, it would be my father at age 40. Officer Cyril Salva, Slovak Army My father led an incredibly interesting life. In 1919, he was born Cyril Methodius Salva in Lúčky [1] , a mid-sized town in the newly formed nation of Czechoslovakia. He came of age

Dedication of King Solomon's Temple | 2 Chronicles 1-7

Welcome to Real Life ! It's a casual world that we live in. I am shocked by photos of men in suits and women in dresses at early 20th century baseball games (of all places). In contrast, today, we wear jeans everywhere:  work, church, weddings, funerals, and most definitely baseball games. I’m not complaining. I love my blue jeans.   Yet, when I read about the dedication of King Solomon’s temple, my heart yearns to participate in this highly formal, dressed-in-your-best, 21-day-festival to honor my God. It is difficult to grasp the magnificence of the Israelite Empire during Solomon’s reign. [1] In Jerusalem, silver and gold were as common as… stones! [2] Most wondrous of all, this national assembly witnessed a physical manifestation of Almighty God: When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory

Everyone is Judgmental | Romans 14

Welcome to Real Life . Am I a  judgmental Christian? “If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”  ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist Everyone is judgmental. We all make judgments, every day, on what we believe to be right and wrong.  Being judgmental is not always bad.   There are many things we should make judgments on. The Bible is clear, white and black, on thousands of issues. However, we face millions of choices over a lifetime. Many are disputable as to whether they are right or wrong . Disputable: not established as fact, and so open to question or debate. In Romans 14, Paul cites food, drink, and the observance of sacred days as disputable matters. But, before I discuss disputable, what is indisputable? For a Christian, an excellent baseline of indisputable truth is the Nicene Creed (325/382 A.D.). In fact, it was drafted by t