Kingdom Hero: Theodosius I

Vipava Valley in Italy

Theodosius I , a/k/a Theodosius the Great, was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 379 A.D. to 395 A.D. The Byzantine Empire succeeded the Roman Empire in the east after Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire, founded Constantinople. Constantinople would become the heart of Christendom and one of the great cities in history in part because of Theodosius I.

Early in his reign, Theodosius became gravely ill. During that time Theodosius was baptized. Upon recovering he declared himself a Christian who embraced the Nicene Creed. Throughout the rest of his life Theodosius would be a devout follower of Jesus.

Theodosius protected the Church by convening a council which confirmed consubstantiality-the doctrine that the Father and Son were of the same substance-as orthodox and condemned Arianism, which claimed Jesus was created and not coeternal with the Father, as heresy. Since that time, Arianism has never made a serious challenge to orthodoxy in the Church.

Theodosius also protected his people from the cult of paganism. Constantine had ended the persecution of Christians and protected the Church, but he permitted pagans to continue their pagan sacrifices. In 391 A.D., Theodosius closed pagan temples and prohibited public pagan worship. Paganism was never revived in the empire after that.

Theodosius was a man who sought God in all that he did. By 394 A.D. a usurper named Arbogast had arisen in the western part of the empire, set up a man named Eugenius as emperor in the west, and was threatening civil war. On September 5, 394, Theodosius’s army clashed with the army of Eugenius in the Vipava Valley in Italy (see pic above). Theodosius’ army suffered heavy losses.

Continue reading “Kingdom Hero: Theodosius I”

How Jesus Helped Me See Discrimination

Diversity HandsI am Caucasian.

Growing up Caucasian, I never experienced discrimination because of my race.

I was raised in a fairly conservative home, politically speaking, and by the time I was starting law school I believed race discrimination was a thing of the past in America.

By the end of my first year of law school I had joined the most diverse church I had ever known and made a lot of friends in the church who were not Caucasian.

The year was 1988, an election year, and because Jesse Jackson ran for president, race was part of the discussion during the election. Continue reading “How Jesus Helped Me See Discrimination”

Joy To The World


Joy To The World has long been my favorite Christmas hymn, in no small part because of its Kingdom message, which praises King Jesus for coming to earth, reigning and turning back the effects of the curse.

Here are some highlights. Verse 1 “Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King.”

Verse 2: “Joy to the world! The Saviour reigns.”

Verse 3: “No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found…”

Verse 4: “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness, and wonders of His love…”

Good Kingdom stuff. I get goose bumps every time I sing it.

Joy To The World was written by Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 98, and has been the most published hymn in North America. Continue reading “Joy To The World”

The Real Saint Nicholas

St. Nicholas was born in 270 A.D. in the city of Patara in Lycia (modern day Turkey).  His parents died when he was a young man, leaving him a substantial inheritance, which he determined to devote to works of charity.

Not long thereafter, Nicholas learned of a man in Patara who, because of his poverty, could neither support his three daughters nor find husbands for them.  As a result, this man was considering giving his daughters over to prostitution.

When Nicholas heard of this, under cover of darkness, he went to the man’s house with a bag of gold, which he threw into an open window.  Nicholas then slipped away undetected.  Now having a dowry, the oldest daughter was soon married.  Thereafter, Nicholas repeated his charitable act for the other two daughters, who also married. Continue reading “The Real Saint Nicholas”