Books authored by Dr. James Dyet. Purchase on

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Snuffing Out Anger

Recently a 24-year-old man murdered three teenage boys, two of whom were brothers. He shot them while they were sitting in a white SUV near our neighborhood. Before taking his own life, the shooter told police the boys had cut him off in traffic.

Uncontrolled road rage often fuels senseless violence.

Volatile anger doesn’t always lead to murder, but it has torn families apart, turned neighbors into enemies, split churches, wrecked relationships, and destroyed the many Christians’ testimony. Anger management classes may help some hot heads cool, but is there a way to defuse anger before it explodes?

Two of Jesus’ disciples must have had an anger problem. Called “the sons of thunder” in Mark 3:17, James and John once requested Jesus’ permission to call down fire upon a Samaritan village because it had refused to welcome Jesus (Luke 9:54). But Jesus changed their disposition from anger to love. John became known as “the apostle of love” and taught the importance of loving God and one another in 1 John. James demonstrated selfless love for God by becoming a martyr at the hands of vicious Herod (Acts 12:1, 2).

We have all heard the excuse, “I can’t help being angry: I have red hair you know.” Or, “I was born with a hot temper. That’s just the way I am.” One woman described her husband as “temperamental—90 percent temper and 10 percent mental.” But no one has to be a slave to destructive anger. Whoever believes in Jesus as his Savior becomes a work in progress. As he internalizes Scripture and seeks to honor God, his disposition changes. Undesirable characteristics fade away. Desirable, Christlike characteristics replace them as the Holy Spirit restores the believer into the divine image (see Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Peter 1:4). Love becomes the most visible evidence of genuine faith (Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 John 4:7, 8).

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Football and Spiritual Conflict

The NFL will kick off its preseason next week. That’s good. Now those of us who enjoy pro football will have something to watch after the boys of summer put aside their bats and gloves in October. Of course, many of us will choose our favorite team to win the Super Bowl, but the harsh reality of misplaced confidence will strike us hard in January.

Oh well, football is only a game in spite of the riveted attention we give it. However, the struggle between good and evil is life impacting with eternal consequences, and it demands our careful attention. Since sin entered the human race, the devil and his “team” have opposed God and His people relentlessly in every season of life. The conflict rages without a truce or a timeout. But believers are on the right side. Ultimately, God will end the conflict by gathering believers in Heaven, our eternal Home and banishing the devil and his followers, including unbelievers from every period of history, to eternal punishment.

We may feel scorched by the devil’s hot breath now, but he will not defeat us. We are on the winning team. Our favorite football team may not win the Super Bowl, but we are “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

“Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing,

Were not the right man on our side, The man of God’s own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He—

Lord Sabaoth His name, From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.”

—Martin Luther

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Place Called Crook

Crook, Colorado, named in honor of General Crook, who fought in the Indian Wars, lies two miles off I-76 in Northeastern Colorado. If you enter Colorado from the northeast, you will find an Exit for Crook about 30 miles past Julesburg. If you are driving from the southwest, you will see the Crook Exit sign about 30 miles past Sterling, Colorado. For several Sundays I have been exiting I-76 and crossing the South Platte River to reach the United Evangelical Church of Crook, where I have been preaching. I will look for the Exit sign a final time this coming Sunday, August 7. A pastor from Wisconsin will exit I-76 for Crook sometime during the following week. The congregation is eagerly anticipating his arrival and subsequent ministry.

If you travel along I-76 near Crook on a Sunday morning, why not visit this E. Free at 10:45 A.M.? You will be glad you did. The people are extremely friendly, giving substance to the cliché that “visitors are always welcome.” Expect to be greeted with many smiles and handshakes when you enter the attractive church building and also after the hour-long worship service. By the way, no one rushes away after church. The people linger for informal chats.

This coming Sunday, when I drive home from Crook, I will carry many good memories with me. The congregation loves God, His Word, and every opportunity to worship, fellowship, and grow spiritually. I’m sure it won’t take long for the new pastor to feel at home. It might take a while longer, though, to remove his Packers bumper sticker and slap on one that reads, “Go, Broncos!’