Peace

Mark Vanderson

READ : Isaiah 66:1-14 “I will extend peace to her like a river” (Isa. 66:12). I have a real concern for young people. They are under pressure to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives while being bombarded by those who desire to influence their decision. During the early part of college, I was feeling overwhelmed. A friend, noticing my condition and feeling somewhat the same himself, said that it was time to go fishing. It sounded …

Praise

Mark Vanderson

READ : Isaiah 63:7-19 “I will tell of the kindness of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us” (Isa. 63:7). I admit it: I’m cheap. The Vanderson family rarely goes anywhere or eats any place without a coupon. Early one week we noticed that some of our movie coupons were about to expire, so we decided to go to the movies Friday night, to make best use …

Lies

Mark Vanderson

READ : Isaiah 59:1-8 “Your lips have spoken lies” (Isa. 59:3). “Tom Brown will not be in class tonight,” said the husky voice over the telephone. “Oh, that’s too bad,” sympathized the pastor. “Yes, it is sad,” said the caller. “What’s the problem with Tom?” inquired the pastor. “Oh, he is terribly sick. He can’t even leave the sofa; he didn’t feel good all day at school. His teacher told him to go straight home and rest. He coughs and …

Advice

Mark Vanderson

READ : Isaiah 58:1-14 “For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God” (Isa. 58:2). In our church’s storage room, a loft was built to create more space. When I sought advice about entering the loft, I was warned that I should climb into it carefully, for everything was not yet fully constructed. It …

Inclusiveness

Mark Vanderson

READ : Isaiah 56:1-8 “Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, `The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.’ And let not any eunuch complain, `I am only a dry tree’” (Isa. 56:3). I went through the painful process of throwing out several jigsaw puzzles. Some of these puzzles depicted beautiful scenery; others were some of the first challenges to young minds. Most of the puzzles were contained in boxes that looked brand new. All …

Manipulation

Mark Vanderson

READ : Isaiah 55:1-13 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isa. 55:8). “How was church today?” she asked. “Just great,” he announced. “How is your diet coming?” she inquired. “Just super,” he fidgeted, “couldn’t be better.” “You haven’t been cheating, have you?” she probed. “No, honey,” he said, feeling the room getting warmer, “Why do you ask?” “I was wondering about the bakery bag I saw in your car yesterday,” …