In the original Greek, the gospel of John doesn't use the nouns "faith" or "belief," only the
verb, meaning "to trust in, rely upon, place one's confidence in." John's gospel leaves us
with "believing in" or "faithing in." Jesus states that his students already place their
confidence in God. Now he tells them to place their confidence in him -- no matter the
troubles around them or within them.
Kirsopp Lake nailed down the "active" part of faith, "Faith is not belief in spite of
evidence, but life in scorn of consequences." Martin Luther exhibited the confidence of
Bethany Peerbolte Mary Austin Dean Feldmeyer Christopher Keating Ron Love George Reed Thomas Willadsen
Raising one’s hand to ask a question may be the most courageous thing a person can do. When someone asks a question in my classes I take note, because they are the students I want to cultivate into leaders. Asking a question is risky. To raise a hand, one must admit they do not know something and risk others interpreting that as a short coming. Opening oneself up to rejection is counter intuitive to many leaders. Many feel a leader should be strong, flawless, always ready with the answers and a plan B. Hebrews and Mark tells of a different kind of leader.
It is a dark, damp, raining Wednesday night in a certain pastor’s church study. Gathered with the pastor are four men in their late fifties. They have their Bibles open. Their eyelids are barely cracked open. A couple of the men were wise enough to stop by a gas station to get a cup of black coffee to stay awake. This is the latest effort in this small town congregation that worships less than ninety people.
One thing which perhaps separates humans from other animals, is our sense of justice. According to the documentaries I see on television, other animals seem to be driven by basic needs such as hunger, survival and sex. Their lives are centred around satisfying those needs, and even though some animals display considerable domestic organisation and affection for others of the species, they're still driven by their basic primitive urges.
We could also say that humans are driven by similar urges, but our lives are very
Psalm 104 begins and ends with a unique call to praise. Instead of calling on others to praise the Lord, the psalmist instructs himself: "Bless the Lord, O my soul." This psalm and Psalm 103 are the only places in the Bible where this particular expression occurs. What are we to make of this unusual phrase?