Is Anything Too Hard for Me?

Duane Loynes

Read: Jeremiah 32:16-27 I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? (v. 27) The late Bishop Chandler Owens, in a powerful autobiographical sermon, recounts the time in 1979 when his wife, Shirley, was diagnosed with an incurable disease and given a short time to live. Owens recalls going home to pray. He opened his Bible for encouragement, encountering these words in Jeremiah: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is …

Why Do You Call Me “Lord”?

Duane Loynes

Read: Luke 6:43-49 Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and not do what I tell you? (v. 46) A 2013 article in the Boston Globe reveals the increasingly fractured relationship between patients and physicians. In the past decade, data indicates that a staggering number of Americans leave hospitals against their doctor’s advice, never bother to fill prescriptions, and decline recommended age-appropriate medical screenings. Sadly, many of us are only moved to action when a health crisis radically disrupts our …

Are You Still Sleeping?

Duane Loynes

Read: Mark 14:32-42 Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? (v. 41) Recently, I had the privilege of defending my doctoral dissertation as the final step toward earning a PhD. Due to logistics, I traveled without my family to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, rented a car, drove north to Milwaukee, checked into a hotel, and ate a quick dinner at a nearby restaurant. I can still remember that night before my defense. I was racked with anxiety, tired from the …

What Have You Done?

Duane Loynes

Read: Genesis 4:1-16 And the Lord said, “What have you done?” (v. 10) When I was a kid, I orchestrated a clever plot to steal money. I was a member of the yearbook committee, and when I would return the cash box holding the day’s sales, I would reach in and take a few bills. Initially, the euphoria of my successful scheme drowned out the voice of my conscience. However, over time, I felt a sense of dread about what …

Do You Want to Be Made Well?

Duane Loynes

Read: John 5:1-17 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” (v. 6) Some of the most miserable experiences of my life have been when I’ve had the flu. Words cannot adequately describe the feeling: you are tired but can’t sleep, hungry but can’t eat, in pain but can’t find relief. Nevertheless, these have also been times when I have been …