Posts by Chuck Webster

Posts by Chuck Webster

Fog

Seeing through the fog

It was a fog-shrouded morning on July 4, 1952, when Florence Chadwick dove into the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean. She intended to become the first woman ever to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast, but after she had been swimming for over fifteen hours she became exhausted, cold, and discouraged. She asked her trainers in the boat beside her to take her out of the water. They pleaded with her, telling her they could see the…
Two women talking about problems at home

Why don’t we confess to one another?

I don’t know why we ignore this verse, but I’m pretty sure we do, or at least we skip over the plain sense of it. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16). When’s the last time you did that? When’s the last time you got your sin laundry list out, sat down with a Christian friend, and confessed the many ways you’re struggling in your relationship with Jesus?…
Teddy bear sick in the hospital

If you’re sick

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (James 5:14-15). Everyone reading this has been affected in some way by sickness—some sicknesses that are quite serious. We know people…
happy

If you’re cheerful

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise (James 5:13). I suppose we’re more likely to obey the first part of that verse than we are the second. It’s easy to let all of life’s stresses cause us to forget our need to praise God for everything good. If we’re not careful, talking to God can be more like a 911 call—something when do only when we find ourselves in a very difficult…
Woman with bible

If you’re suffering

We’ve got a few different options when we’re suffering. We can complain about it, something most of us have done more than we should have. But it doesn’t really do any good, does it? We don’t particularly enjoy it, and the people around us certainly don’t. We can blame God and fuss at him about it, but that probably suggests a lack of confidence on our part. We can finger-point and talk about why our problems are someone else’s fault.…
handshaking in office

I swear

You’ve probably heard stories of the good ole days when people just shook hands over deals . . . when the attorney-written, loophole-closing, 200-page contracts of today were unknown. “A person’s word is his bond,” people said. “A handshake is as good as a contract.” I’m not sure if this is a case of romanticizing and therefore exaggerating the past, or if some people really did make big deals with nothing more than a nod of the head and a…
Young hipster man sitting in a cafe.

He cares

In the pre-pandemic days (remember those?) I was sitting at a coffee shop doing some reading and writing, and I couldn’t help but overhear bits of the conversation coming from the table behind me. They touched on different topics—divorce, job problems, their kids’ lives, etc.—but disappointment and concern seem to be resting just beneath the surface. It’s everywhere, of course, from the coffee shop in the suburb to the mill in a small town to the boardroom in a downtown…
wheat field at sunset

He’s coming back

Some things are happening in our world right now that are disheartening. I sometimes wonder how much longer God will put up with it. There’s hurt, there’s anger, there’s injustice, there’s violence. More people are rejecting God’s plan for marriage for a less offensive, more “tolerant” approach. Unborn babies are still being killed, and fewer people believe in Jesus Christ as God’s revelation of himself. And then, of course, there’s the virus, and the uncertainty, confusion, anxiety, and division that…
Money background

A warning

The Bible says a lot about rich people, and most of it isn’t pleasant. For some reason I find myself wanting to skip over these passages, or—if I pay any attention to them at all—explain why they don’t really mean what they say . . . or why they don’t apply to me or the people I’m teaching. Could it have something to do with the fact that—because I have access to clean drinking water and plenty of food—I’m in…
Calendar appointment

If the Lord Wills

Most of us like to plan. One-year, five-year, ten-year plans. What we’ll do, when we’ll do it, and how we’ll get there. If we invest 10% of our income starting at age 25, we’ll retire at 65 with no financial worries. Next year we’re going on vacation. Next month we’ll take a couple of days off from work. Next week we’ll get this report done or that chore finished. “See you Friday night,” we say without thinking. “I’ll be there at…
Man saying hush or be quiet

Bad words

Some communities become toxic—you’ve probably been part of one before. Workplaces can digress into name-calling and back-biting. This group against that group. So-and-so’s mad at so-and-so. Sound familiar? It happens in schools across the world. Rumors—usually bad ones—spread like wildfire among teenagers. She’s mad at him, he’s mad at her, her clothes are out of style, he’s weird. And on it goes. People talk, and because we live in a fallen world, people talk badly, and they hurt each other…
Calm water surface backgriund

He gives more grace

“For we all stumble in many ways,” James wrote (3:2). Amen to that. Most Christians I know are quite aware of the myriad ways they fall short. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in James 4 the writer’s on a bit of a negative kick. He accuses his Christian readers of lust and fighting and covetousness. He insinuates that they’re selfish, then—if that wasn’t enough—he calls them adulterers. He doesn’t seem very happy, does he? I’m glad there’s this…