Disagreement with other Believers

Although among Christians, there are essential areas of unity, disputable issues are prevalent.  I believe at least two foundational principles are non-negotiable: Jesus is the only way for salvation, and salvation is by His grace and not by our own merit.

There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name (than Jesus) under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Churches and individuals have divided on innumerable (irreconcilable?) differences. Some may involve interpretation of Biblical doctrine including creation, the end times or the Holy Spirit while other disputes may focus on current issues, opinions, or conscience. Should Christians drink alcohol? Will pets go to heaven? Should there be gun-control? Recycling?

Whatever we do or say, we are representing Christ to others in the church and world.

If we have a different view than another believer, what should govern our interactions with him/her? Paul’s letters give us several instructions.

1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophesy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have faith so as to move mountains, but if I do not have love, I am nothing.

1 Timothy 1:5 The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

1 Timothy 1:6-7 Some men straying from these, have turned aside to fruitless discussion…even though they do not understand what they are saying in which they make confident assertions

2 Timothy 2:14, 16-17,23-26 Solemnly charge them not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers…Avoid worldly and empty chatter for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene…Refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition.

 Sometimes I get pretty intense about what I think the Bible says or what I believe is the correct thing to do. But overall, I want to put on love because I will be spending eternity with these brothers and sisters who think differently that I do. I don’t want my life to be characterized by proving I am right but by loving well.


Cross-Cultural Marriage

KASo Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife and he went in to her.  Ruth 4:13

 For anyone familiar with the book of Ruth, you know that Boaz, a prominent Israelite from the tribe of Judah chose to marry Ruth, a Moabite, a foreigner from a different nation and culture. The Lord blessed this cross-cultural marriage covenant between Boaz and Ruth, not only in their days but across the generations.  Ruth and Boaz are the great-grandparents of King David, and both their names appear in Matthew in the lineage of Jesus, the Messiah.

This month we are celebrating a wedding. Several people have asked how I feel about the marriage. Why do they ask this? Our daughter, Katie’s skin is light and Anthony’s skin is dark. Until recently, I would have said Anthony is African-American, but I discovered his mother’s background is a mixture of Polynesian, Filipino and Hispanic.

Anthony is a wonderful man who makes Katie laugh and treats her kindly. I am excited for them and pray they will remain close to the Lord their entire lives. (I don’t know how anyone can stay married without the Lord!) When they first began dating, my biggest concern was whether if Anthony was as devoted to Jesus as he was to Katie.   However, as the years have passed, I have observed them attending church, serving in nursery together and sharing life with other believers. They have both grown closer to God. After meeting Anthony’s grandparents, I knew that they have been praying for him and his future even as we have prayed for Katie and hers.

In case you still have reservations (prejudices) about cross-cultural marriages, I urge you to consider a union between the greatest diversity of cultures. For those of us who comprise the Bride of Christ (sinful humans washed clean by the blood of the Lamb), our Bridegroom is none other than our divine Creator, Jesus, who left heaven to make a way for us to enter into an eternal marriage covenant with Him.

Trailer for Heaven

My son and son-in law eagerly awaited the opening day for the movie, Avengers – Infinity War. Long before its release date, they could be found comparing trailers for the movie trying to get glimpses of scenes and anticipate its debut.

While sitting on my back porch, watching the clouds move across the sky, I pondered Revelation 1:7, and I was captivated anticipating that glorious day!


Behold He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

 As I read further into Revelation, I caught more glimpses of heaven in chapters 4 and 5. Even as watching the moving clouds heightened my anticipation of seeing Jesus come with the clouds, singing worship songs praising the Lamb gave me a preview of the glory that awaits in heaven. My singing was joined with voices from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Korea, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Sierra Leon.

They sang a new song saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals for You were slain and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them a kingdom of priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth….Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing….forever and ever. “

 The foretaste just whets my appetite for the premier.  Come Lord Jesus Come.


Just like those irritating bugs that pester me when I sit outside to read, I have GNATs (General, Negative, Anxious Thoughts) buzzing through my thought life. At times, they dart in and out, but on other times occasions, they are persistent.

Sometimes they relate to inadequacy…. I’m not good enough.

Sometimes they relate to worry…. my children, the future, money etc.

What if….?                                                                              gnat

If only….

I should have/ I shouldn’t have……


 The challenge is to be aware of the GNATS and swat them away because they distract me from what God wants me to think about or focus on.

Philippians 4:8 reminds us, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely and admirable.” (Not what might happen, all the ways I don’t measure up, what “they” did, and worst-case scenarios) Although I have reflected on these words previously, it is unlikely I will ever master this during my earthly pilgrimage. Today, I needed to be challenged not to be complacent about those buzzing GNATs but to silence them by dwelling upon “things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”