Posts by John Staiger

Our Father in heaven

Pray, then, in this way:“ Jesus first and foremost directs our minds to our divine Father’s dwelling place. He who made everything without help or advice from anyone on this planet on which we walk or, for that matter, anyone within the confines of the unbelievably vast night sky above us. One marvels at the efforts made by man to travel beyond our atmosphere, but we are humbled by how minuscule a distance it is when measured against the staggering…

“Don’t kid yourself!”

Whichever way you cut it, the reasons for touching that fruit in the garden of Eden had ‘Lie’ written all over it!The lines were crossed one by one. Man went from seeing, to wanting, to taking, and then to eating with relative ease. The devil really didn’t have to work that hard. Once he had gotten them past the first lingering look, the dominos fell in quick succession.Job had it right. Despite his misery, he was not going to self-medicate…

“Living in Hope.”

Four old gentlemen were sitting on a bench at the old folk’s home, when a rather attractive lady stopped nearby them. The first man asked, “Where you headed?” She said, “I have arrived. This is my new home.” The second man asked, “Where are you from?” She said, “I need to be upfront; I have just spent 25 years in prison.” The third man asked, “What were you in for?” She said, “I murdered my husband.” The fourth man said…

“Having Doubts…?”

One thing in the church is for certain, we are more comfortable with doubt than Jesus is. Jesus sees doubt as faithlessness, we see it as a natural reaction to things beyond our immediate control.We see doubt as something to be processed and slowly replaced by faith. Jesus sees doubt as the enemy of faith. He rebuked Peter for sinking in the waves because he doubted who Jesus was. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction…

“Shovel Revival.”

In my Bible College days, I was invited occasionally to preach at the Cambridge Church of Christ. David Woodrow took notes, and with much love and encouragement, he would critique my sermons. One particular lesson was obviously not that good. But in order to make sure that I was in no way discouraged David said, “Compared to last week’s visiting speaker, that was great. His lesson was incoherent. It came across as if he had written down random scripture references…

“Bless this House.”

A lady told me that a couple from a local church came to her door and asked if they could say a prayer to ‘Bless her house.’ She consented, bowed her head and, not being a believer, went through the motions. When returning a few days later she invited them in for a religious discussion. She didn’t like their perceived pushiness and told them so. When they left, she went to the window to watch them depart. She witnessed one…

“Sense of Duty.”

“Sense of Duty.” I have always admired the commitment of soldiers. Understanding that when the need arises, they volunteer to place themselves in harm’s way. My father’s experience in WWII left him proud to have done his duty. But it came at great personal sacrifice. He was silenced by the experience, except for a number of good-memory stories he enjoyed telling. Duty costs! Duty is not dead. It may be misplaced and confused, but it still beats within the heart…

“Speaking for us.”

“Speaking for us.” No hints of political opinion or affiliation comes from our pulpit. Jesus is King, and the secular leaders in place are accepted as being under His sovereign rule.The problem with human commentary on secular leadership is that it is, at best, narrow, and short-sighted, and, at worst, selfish and a slur against God’s judgement. Thus, the call for absolute care when speaking for God and His church on the affairs of this world.The last thing we should…

“Friendships Tested.”

“Friendships Tested.” Somewhere in my files is a class outline called, “Friendship.” I handed out the outline to the Morningside brethren at home group on a Wednesday night a good few years ago. It was the single best class that I’d taught up to that day. Being convinced that the magic was in the outline, I took it on the road when I visited congregations in the USA. It bombed! No matter what, I couldn’t get it to spark. It…

“60 years later.”

“60 years later.” Today I turned 60.Since God set life expectancy to 120 years after the flood, I plan on cashing in on my full quota – Lord willing. If I can make my 100th birthday in good condition, I believe grace and enough good habits will help me see out my final 20 years. Unless you determine to do otherwise, getting older will set your mind to looking back—admittedly, that’s where the stories are. But I have decided that…