Posts by Rev. Paul C. Ziemer (Page 2)

Posts by Rev. Paul C. Ziemer (Page 2)

She Brought a Blanket

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14). She brought a blanket to the cemetery. It was a pink one. It was a baby blanket. She did not smile, but she did not cry. She had that far-away look that combat veterans sometimes get. She had come to complete a task. She had come to bury her daughter. There had been no funeral. There…

Sleeping gods

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.   (I Kings 18:27) He showed no mercy. He was not polite. He made fun of their faith. He ridiculed their “higher power.” He taunted them. It might make us wonder if Elijah went too far. Perhaps his zeal for the Lord God caused him to cross…

Ichabod

“As her death approached, the women who stood by her said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.’ But she did not respond or pay attention. She named the boy Ichabod and said, ‘The glory has departed from Israel.’” I Samuel 4:20-21 EHV This sad story comes from among other sad stories at a sad time in the history of God’s Old Testament people. A mother died in childbirth. On the same day, the…

Just Words

“Father, forgive them…”  Luke 23:34 We were taught the words when we were very young. Grownups asked, “What do you say?” We replied, “Please.” Again, they asked, “What do you say?” Then, we answered, “Thank you.” They were teaching us. We also learned when to say, “I’m sorry.” They were like magic words. “Please,” “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry” opened the doors to approval and acceptance. Say those words, and life goes smoother. After a while, we discovered that we…

Jesus Wasn’t Worried

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:37, 38) It was a traumatic event. Lives were in peril on the sea—on the Sea of Galilee. Some in the boat were experienced seamen. They knew when it was time to be afraid. They felt, “That…

Skipping Thanksgiving

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” Luke 17:17 It appears that America is going to skip thanksgiving. No, not that day in November which is spelled with a capital “T” and celebrated with turkey and pumpkin pie. But the giving of thanks to the one who has presented a gift. The gift in question is the rather rapid discovery of vaccines that are effective against Covid-19. The giver of the gift is God. Indeed,…

Proper Pride

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34). The 4th of July has often led people to feel, if not to say out loud, “I’m proud to be an American.” We recognize that many see the day only as an excuse to eat watermelon and watch fireworks. However, those who have worn the Uniform, especially those who have worn it in distant and dangerous places, tend to celebrate Independence Day on a different level.…

No Luck

“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Isaiah 42:8 The old song says, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.” Hard-faced reality says, “Actually, you do have no luck at all. Never did. Never will. There is no such thing as ‘luck.’” To put faith in luck is to put faith in an idol. But before we go around leveling…

Only A Breath

“Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath…” Job 7:7 One would think that we are made of stronger stuff; that our existence is more secure. We are born small and weak. But we grow and become strong. Good food and exercise produce results. We are more than physical bodies. We have built up our minds. We sat through classes and read books. We have certificates to prove it. In addition, we have built up relationships. We have…

Changes

The year was 1970. The place was Norfolk, VA. He was a Sailor with a young family. His face brightened as he talked about his plans for retirement. He would use the training the Navy had given him and return to his hometown to open a TV repair shop. Years later, the day after his retirement ceremony, he went right back through the same gate he had used for years, to basically the same job as before. But now, as…