Spirit in the Sky

On the way back from speaking at Wheatland Congregational Church in Wheatland, Michigan, the 1969 Norman Greenbaum song, “Spirit in the Sky,” kept popping into my head. As it happens, my friend Fred Slagle (who is the pastor of Wheatland) and I have similar personalities and share some common experiences. We are both part of the cry-baby boomer generation; we were not believers until we were married adults with children; and we both loved  … Continue reading

To Be or Not to Be – That is the Question

“Honest questions deserve honest answers, but dishonest questions don’t deserve any answers” is a bit of advice passed on to us by our friend and co-founder of Jews for Jesus, the late Jahn Moskowitz. It came at the end of a story he was relaying about a conversation he had with a Jewish atheist who raised an objection to Christianity. Would God reject the man’s “good” mother when she died if she didn’t receive the … Continue reading

Paradise – Lost

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, popularly known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, teach there is a two-class system of the faithful. There is the elite “anointed class,” 144,000 people who are going to heaven to rule and reign with Jesus when they die. The lower class “other sheep” never make it to heaven but are left behind on Earth. They will be busy cleaning up the mess of Armageddon – and it promises to be a … Continue reading

Point of Contact

It is a big idea I’ve been trying to get my head around since I first heard it. The word for “image” in Genesis 1:26. As in “Let Us make man in our image.” I knew from Hebrew class that the “Us” is just a translation of the plural word Elohim or “God” doesn’t necessarily imply the Trinity. It also doesn’t refute the idea of the Trinity either. So, I understand there are much, much … Continue reading

What’s on the Other Side?

The old saying is “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” That is true when kids are rough housing and things go dangerously awry. But life can be that way too. Quite often, it seems, human beings go through life with little thought to what happens when we breathe our last. Life is all fun and games for lots of people, until the music stops and there is no chair to grab onto. … Continue reading

Sacrificial Love

(This originally appeared in the March/April 1997 edition of the MCOI Journal) I was raised in a Christian home but, in my teens and early twenties, I became very skeptical of Christian claims, the good book, and especially of God Himself. Looking back, I cannot say I really doubted the existence of God, although I think I made that claim. No, as I reflect on it, I did believe that He was there, but I … Continue reading