Posts with the category “pastor-dan”
A Death Unlike Any Other
by Dan Erickson on March 26th, 2021
Jesus’ crucifixion was not significant because this “was a method of punishment suffered by countless others in those days.” That is a claim made in a letter to a local newspaper. I agree there is nothing very unique about how Jesus died. Thousands of individuals in the first century were executed by this cruel method. There are two reasons, however, why Jesus’ death is extremely unique.The first ...
The Danger of Diversion
by Dan Erickson on February 25th, 2021
Americans seem to have an insatiable hunger for entertainment. Modern technology now allows us to have almost unlimited entertainment options. If nothing arouses our interest on the 200+ television channels the cable company offers, we can always connect to one of the many streaming services that provides a wide variety of entertainment on-demand. When entertainment provides an occasion for family...
The Folly of Revenge
by Dan Erickson on January 27th, 2021
There was once a tenant farmer who had worked hard for many years to improve the production of the farmland which he leased. One day the owner came to the farmer’s door. He said, “I’m sorry, but you and your family are going to have to move. I cannot renew the lease for next year. My son is getting married next month, and I promised him that once he had a family, I would give him this farm.”The fa...
A Gift That Doesn't Need to Be Earned
by Dan Erickson on December 31st, 2020
In the movie Saving Private Ryan, the government has decided that because three of his brothers have already been killed in action, Private James Ryan (Matt Damon) needs to be discharged from active duty and brought back safely to the United States. Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) leads the team which has been assigned to find and rescue Private Ryan. In the end, Captain Miller sacrifices his own ...
It's a God!
by Dan Erickson on November 27th, 2020
A group of fourth graders got together and decided to write their own version of the Christmas story. It ended up being a bit more “modern” than the traditional Christmas drama. The cast included most of the familiar members. There was a Joseph, shepherds, three wise men, an angel, and the star propped up in the background. There seemed to be one important character missing, however. Mary was nowh...
You Can't Take It with You
by Dan Erickson on October 29th, 2020
Bill, a very rich man, learned that he would die within a few days. He called his three best friends: a doctor, a preacher, and a lawyer to his bedside. He said, "My preacher friend has told me that you can't take it with you, but I believe I have worked out a way so that I can. Doc tells me that I won't live long, so I have prepared three sealed envelopes, each containing $50,000. When I die, I w...
Who Is the Real Thief?
by Dan Erickson on September 24th, 2020
A woman waiting to catch her flight bought herself a bag of mini cookies, settled in a chair in the airport lounge, and began to read her book. Suddenly she noticed the man beside her helping himself to a cookie. Not wanting to make a scene, she read on, ate a couple of cookies, and watched the clock. As the daring "cookie thief" ate two more cookies she got more irritated and said to herself, "If...
God Helps Those Who Realize They Can't Help Themselves
by Dan Erickson on August 25th, 2020
A man was taking a trip on an old wooden sailing ship. He was out on the deck one day and saw one of the crew members climbing the ropes, going up to the crow’s nest. When the fellow was about half-way up, the ship pitched to one side and he was thrown overboard. As the sailor hit the water, he began to scream for help and flail his arms wildly, struggling to stay afloat. The traveler watched as a...
Missing Meeting Together
by Dan Erickson on August 25th, 2020
As we enter the sixth month of dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, several things have changed at Chisholm Baptist Church. The most significant difference is that numerous people who are part of our congregation have not been attending the worship services at the church. Our Sunday morning attendance has been about two thirds of what it was before the pandemic. Some folks are staying home because ...
Smoke Signals of Grace
by Dan Erickson on July 23rd, 2020
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements and to store his few possessions.
Too Busy To Love
by Dan Erickson on July 2nd, 2020
An ethics professor at Princeton Seminary asked for volunteers for an extra assignment. Fifteen students showed up, and he divided the group into three groups of five each. He instructed the first group of five to proceed immediately across the campus to the student union. If they didn't get there in fifteen minutes their grade for this assignment would be negatively affected. A minute or two late...
Happy with What You Have
by Dan Erickson on May 19th, 2020
A friend of mine once sent me the following:"I have absolutely the best marriage of anyone whom I know. How do I know that? I don't, it's just what I feel. I am happy with my wife, my house, my car, my body, my kids, my job, my church, and my country. Sure, all of them have snags, all of them have faults, but overall I wouldn't trade them; I am happy.‘Happiness is not having what you want, but wan...
Only God Knows For Sure
by Dan Erickson on April 22nd, 2020
An old man who lived in a little village, though he was poor, was envied by almost everyone because of a beautiful white horse he owned. Though numerous folks offered great sums of money to purchase the majestic steed, the man refused because he viewed the animal as hisfriend.One morning the man went to the stable and found his horse was gone. The people of the village told him, "Old man, you are ...
Something More Important Than A Pandemic
by Dan Erickson on April 7th, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our way of life in unprecedented ways. Even during World War 2, people in our country went to church, school, and baseball games. We don’t know what the ultimate cost of this pandemic will be, either economically or in terms of lives lost. Nor do we know when life will return to normal, and we cannot even be sure what the new normal will be. The phrases “before ...
Encouraging Truth for a Discouraging Time
by Dan Erickson on March 17th, 2020
COVID-19 means a significant disruption of life for most folks in our country, including on the Iron Range. Though I have read numerous articles about the virus and efforts to contain it, much still seems uncertain. There are five things, however, which I know to be true.1) God is sovereign over all that is currently happening in our world. A recent Babylon Bee headline read: “Latest Numbers On Co...
Are Christians "Good" People?
by Dan Erickson on March 1st, 2020
There seems to be a growing number of people who advocate for people to reject Christianity because it is a negative influence in our culture. However, that charge seems to be contradicted by empirical evidence. A few years ago, Professor Arthur C. Brooks wrote a book entitled Who Really Cares? His research reveals some interesting facts about the “religious” and “secular” communities in our own c...
A Test of Character
by Dan Erickson on February 3rd, 2020
At 6:00am, one cold morning, a missionary candidate walked into the office for a scheduled interview with the director of a mission board. He sat in the waiting room until 10:00am when the director finally showed up. Without a word of explanation about the four hour delay, the director said, “Let’s get to the test. First, spell ‘cat.’” The surprised applicant replied, “C-A-T.” The director then as...
The Folly of Revenge
by Dan Erickson on January 6th, 2020
A tenant farmer had worked hard for many years to improve the production of the farmland that he leased. One day the owner came to the farmer’s door. He said, “I’m sorry, but you and your family are going to have to move. I cannot renew the lease for next year. My son is getting married next month, and I promised him that, once he had a family, I would give him this farm.” The farmer was very ups...
You, Be Like Jesus
by Dan Erickson on January 1st, 2020
Two brothers, Kevin and Ryan, were waiting for breakfast one Saturday morning. As their mother was preparing some pancakes, the boys began to argue loudly over who would get the first one from the griddle. Their mom thought she saw an opportunity for a moral lesson and said, “Boys, if Jesus were sitting here, he would say: “Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.” Seven year-old Kevin i...
What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?
by Dan Erickson on December 16th, 2019
In “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the angel Clarence helps George Bailey to recognize the good things that would not have happened if George had not been born. During this Christmas season, I think it is helpful to ponder what the world would be like if Jesus had never been born. Besides the fact there would be no “Christmas” without Jesus, the obvious difference would be in our calendar. This is 201...
From Where Does Human Dignity Come?
by Dan Erickson on November 5th, 2019
Modern society seems to take ideas such as freedom and human dignity for granted, without realizing where those ideas come from in the first place. That is illustrated in the experience Dr. David Mackereth. For 26 years, Mackereth worked for Britain’s National Health Service, primarily in Emergency rooms where he received much praise for his work. Last year, Dr. Mackereth was assigned the job of...
The Trouble with Each of Us
by Dan Erickson on October 21st, 2019
In a Peanuts comic strip, Lucy comes up to Charlie Brown and says, "You know what the whole trouble with you is?" Charlie replies, "No, and I don't want to know! Leave me alone!" And then he walks off frowning disgustedly. But Lucy has the last word. She yells: "The whole trouble with you is that you won't listen to what the whole trouble with you is!" Lucy would likely not realize it, but she h...
by Dan Erickson on October 7th, 2019
A horrible tragedy occurred on September 6, 2018. That night, Amber Guyer, an off-duty police officer in Dallas, TX, entered the apartment of Botham Jean and then shot and killed him. Guyer says she made a huge mistake, thinking Jean’s apartment was really her own. This led to the even bigger mistake of deciding the 26-year-old accountant was a burglar or someone wanting to harm her. The fact Guye...
The Happiness Advantage
by Dan Erickson on July 8th, 2019
Consider two individuals: Bob is 35 years old, single, white, attractive and athletic. He earns $130,000 a year and lives in sunny, Southern California. He is highly intellectual and spends his free time reading and going to museums. Mary, on the other hand, lives with her husband in snowy, Buffalo, New York, where their combined income is $50,000. Mary is sixty-five years old, black, overweight, ...
What Do You Imagine?
by Dan Erickson on June 3rd, 2019
Beatles legend John Lennon shared his dream for humanity in the 1971 song, “Imagine.” The world which Lennon imagined was one with “no heaven,” “no hell,” “no countries,” “nothing to kill or die for,” and “no religion.” Lennon was apparently convinced this would be the type of world where peace and true brotherhood would occur and then, “the world will be as one.”This is a dream that many appare...