• Bible Studies

    Daniel’s Prayer

    With all that is happening in Ukraine this week it is difficult for me to focus on the assignment this morning. I would much rather go into a rant about Putin and the lunatics in this country who are supporting his invasion of a sovereign country in the vain hopes of recapturing a lost dream of domination and empire. That is what I would like to do but that is not what we are going to do. This morning as our final lesson in Daniel we are going to look at Chapter 9 and the prayer of Daniel. But before we do that we should take time to look back…

  • Bible Studies

    Daniel 7: The Four Beasts

    For thousands of years we have been curious about the end of the world. Some of the earliest literature in the we have is focused on how the everything will end. For the past 100 years in this country, Bible studies on the end times and Christian fiction have been best sellers. The more dangerous and filled with conflict our lives have become the more these books have increased in sales. The world seems like it is constantly on the eve of destruction. Wars and rumors of wars are good news for book sales about the doom awaiting us. Likely, everyone here read Hal Lindsay’s “The Late Great Planet Earth”…

  • Bible Studies

    Ezekiel 34-37

    Four weeks ago we met the young Ezekiel who is called to be a whistleblower and to expose the corruption and degradation of the priests and leaders of those who have been left behind in Jerusalem. Instead of deliverance from Nebuchadnezzar they are going to be overwhelmed by his armies. God has left the Temple and Jerusalem. All that will remain in Jerusalem is what will remain in this world when the Church departs – a world without pity, mercy, justice, hope or pleasure. Only complete delusion. Evil that has been boiling below and ever present in the world will be revealed. What has been hidden will be obvious. In…

  • Bible Studies

    Daniel and Belshazzar

    With nothing being said, King Nebuchadnezzar has died and his son (or maybe his grandson) has assumed the throne. It’s gone so quickly, hasn’t it? We first met Daniel as a young man only five chapters ago and now here he is at 85. We know almost nothing from history about Belshazzar but what we do know suggests that he was a ruler serving under another ruler named Nabodinus. We don’t know but for the purposes of the story we’ll refer to Belshazzar as the King of Babylon as at the time of this story Nabodinus had just been killed in battle and so Belshazzar may have been giving this…

  • Fred's Blog

    A Proper Calling

    Tomorrow afternoon I am going to interview Roy Goble about his new book, “Junkyard Wisdom Rebuilt” and one of the themes in the book and Roy’s life is his relationship with his father. I want to know more about that as it sounds like we had similar experiences. Before he died we took week-long trips together to walk and talk. Years ago while riding the train through the Canadian Rockies, I asked him to reflect on giving. While he had practiced giving all his life, I had never seen anything in writing. Dad talked it out with me while I scribbled some notes. Roy quotes John Chrysostom in his book…

  • Bible Studies

    The Faith of Nebuchadnezzar

    Last week we looked at some of the common themes in Jewish humor – especially the theme of irony and outwitting the oppressors. There is a German phrase for what we sometimes feel when we read the stories of what happens to those who made life difficult and even life-threatening for Daniel and his friends.  It is “schadenfreude” or rejoicing over the misfortunes of others – especially those we despise. “They got what was coming to them” is how we put it because most of us believe or hope that is how the world works. People eventually get what is coming to them and there is always a certain amount…