In answer to prayer and at the urgings of a young man in our congregation, last night our church began door-to-door visitation. We plan to do this throughout the summer. With two of my daughters in tow, I enjoyed the interactions with people. One encouragement was meeting a young family who had just moved into the area and seemed genuinely interested in the information. One humorous moment came when we met a door-to-door security salesman coming down the street from the other direction. We exchanged notes on houses (the people in the next house had just returned from Bible study at a faithful church in the community so we just passed it by!) and we continued on.
The latest issue of Scientific America headlines:
The Physics of Intelligence
Evolution has packed 100-billion neurons into our three-pound brain
Can we get any smarter?
If we believe that chance exquisitely laced these neurons together, then I sure hope so.
In Matthew 8:16 we read the following: “That evening they brought to him
many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.”
If we were to read this passage in isolation from the other Gospels, the term
“evening” would appear to be nothing more than an incidental fact. It was
evening when the sick were brought to Jesus. Simple as that.
But when we look at the parallel passage in Mark 1:21-32, we receive an
interesting little tidbit that sheds light on why they came in the evening.
The audio bin is overflowing with stuff! So, you guessed it, it’s time to pull out the shotgun and just start firing. Here we go:
Peter Williams on the Reliability of the Gospels
There are those who can discuss the historical reliability of the Gospels and there are those who can discuss the reliability of the Gospels.
There are countless lectures and sermons addressing the subject of evil. And as you would imagine, and probably already know, some handle the subject with profundity, while yet others drop the ball… Big time. There are also those who approach the subject with philosophical flare, dazzling their listeners with logical syllogisms and lofty language, the kind heard only in the still corridors of an ivory tower. To the average ear it sounds strange, a bit bizarre, perhaps, or even esoteric.
The following lecture is a curious mixture of all three.
Is it not easier to hide who we are than who we are not?
To disguise our selfishness is but the work of a moment, whereas the lack of a generous spirit is too big a void to conceal.
To covet a neighbor’s position can be mostly contained within, but a failure to rejoice spontaneously in a friend’s success creates a loud silence.
To talk big about prayer and pray big in public can, like a rug over swept-up dirt, mostly hide the fact that we do not pray quietly in private, but it is not a very good cover up for a long distance relationship with God.
Is this not the way of the Pharisee Jesus exposed so devastatingly?
Because of what the Bible teaches, I do not think the pastor in Florida, who appears to be vacillating on whether to burn Qu’rans or not, should do so. Why?
Well, it is not because I believe that the Qu’ran is a holy book. To be as direct as possible, in its denunciations of Christ as the Son of God and crucified Redeemer; its upholding of a polygamous charlatan as the prophet of God; and its teaching that men are justified by works (i.e. keeping the Five Pillars of Islam), I believe the Qu’ran is a book that contains Satanic lies and is leading millions to the eternal doom of the burning flames of hell. Yet I still do not think he should burn them or Christians should participate in this type of demonstration. Again, why?
First, it is not consistent with the Scriptures on book burning. The Biblical proof-text Pastor Jones might offer for holding book burnings would come from Acts 19:19, where we are told this about the people of Ephesus who had responded to the gospel:
“And many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted […]
Interesting what you come across where you least expect it.
I have been reading the first volume of a trilogy on the 26th President’s life, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. My purpose in reading it has been simply to enjoy learning more about this larger-than-life man. Never did I expect to have to examine my own heart regarding worship the way I did when I came across this excerpt from a letter of Roosevelt. Listen to what then Civil Service Commissioner Roosevelt said about President Benjamin Harrison following a meeting they had just had:
“Damn the President! He is a cold-blooded, narrow-minded, prejudiced, obstinate, timid old psalm-singing Indianapolis politician.”
Though Roosevelt’s rant is typical of him when he did not get his way, it is interesting how he related the President’s action with his worship practices – in Indiana, no less!This reminded me of a similar line I had read long ago but not forgotten in Gene Stratton-Porter’s (born in Indiana) classic book Freckles. At this point in the story the main character Freckles, a one-handed orphan learning to work the once-great lumber lines of northern Indiana, is recounting his experience of how people […]
Setting sun, in its finale,
Drenching clouds with changing hues;
Glowing bits like shooting stars, Fly up then fade from the backyard fire;
Rising fireflies o’er darkening fields, Myriads of tiny angels, signaling the news:
Soon gone are summer sparks, Brief joys of which we never tire.
Slapping thighs, along with a few mosquitoes, As stories meander in the dimming light;
Water’s magnet still attracting Splashing children too soon grown;
Even quieting voices sharing crossesMake hearts glow in the peace of the stilling night;
Summer sparks become dying embersUnless remembrance be over them blown.
Funny how – What I see now:On her back the ladybug Struggling against little thugs,Ants, not gentlemen, with a goal, “Drag her down into the hole.”
Funny how – What I see now:This micro tragedy Reminder of my own trajectory,Sin and death, no gentlemen, with a goal, “Drag him down into the hole.”
Funny how – What I see now:Tiniest red and black providence Reminder of my own recompense,Christ, the Gentle God-Man, with a goal, “Take Me instead into the hole.”
Funny how – What I see now.