Perhaps it wasn’t the smartest idea. I introduced the question posed in the title of this post to the young adult Bible study at Evangel Baptist Church for one of the first studies I led for them. The look on Brian Barth’s face – a young man who studies the word and is faithful to it – was priceless! He didn’t know me yet and was deeply concerned that I was bringing some kook teaching into the lives of our young adults. We can laugh about it now, right Brian (tee-hee)?
But, it’s a question that is valid. Hebrews 5:8-9 says, “Son though [Jesus] was, he learned obedience from what he sufferedand, once madeperfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. (NIV)”
Lest you think it’s a mistake, the Biblical author says it again in Hebrews 7:28, “For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. (NIV, too)”Continue reading →
On our way back from men’s retreat last Saturday I got a text from Vanda telling me to avoid Route 224. It’s a major road that goes through Boardman, OH. As we approached our house we witnessed a steady stream of traffic on the little side street our house is on. That’s unusual for our neck of the woods.
But, that wasn’t the only thing different that we saw as Dan Lewis pulled into my driveway to drop me off. Emma, my 13-year-old, had made a sign using our garbage can and some pizza boxes. It read, “Have a nice day.”
I wonder how many people saw that and smiled? Okay, there may have been a few who thought it was some sort of taunting. I mean, we all know people who get their knickers in a twist (as my wife would say) just sitting in the driver’s seat as evil powers emanate from the steering wheel. If I know my fellow Ohioans, it’s a safe bet that a majority of them appreciated her sentiment.Continue reading →
And as a Christian, I’m even looking forward to it.
As the title of this post suggests, I haven’t seen the movie that opens today. So this isn’t a critique. I’m writing my four reasons to see the movie, before I actually see it, because now is the best time to say what I have to say, which has nothing to do with my estimation movie’s quality or possible lack of Biblical integrity.
My first reason: the trailers look awesome. Russell Crowe and the rest of the cast have been in their fair share of great movies. This one looks like it will measure up. I really enjoy movies and stories about people having courage to stand up for what is right, especially when so much is on the line. Yes, my first reason is that basic.
Secondly: historical fiction is a widely accepted genre. It’s when creative people make up stories set around real historical figures and events. And if some people have a problem with this movie because it’s fiction based on holy writ, why don’t they have a problem with Christians who do just that – and whose efforts we laud – like with books by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (John’s Story, the entire Left Behind Series) and Tosca Lee (Iscariot).Continue reading →
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
I’m not much of a reader of fiction. I’ve read the first 175 pages of Crime and Punishment three times. For some reason, I just can’t make it to the end. When I do manage to finish a novel, it usually takes me a few months. Vanda laughs as me because she’ll read about seven books before I finish one.
I’m definitely an Ohio boy. Having lived in the New York City and Philadelphia areas, one of the things I like about being in the mid west is how much nicer people are to strangers. Don’t get me wrong, people in New York and Philly can be very nice and mid-westerners can be rude. But there’s so much crowding and rushing around back east that people are more short-tempered with strangers sharing in their frantic lifestyle, or at least they are less likely to be courteous to them.
That’s why this clip of Steve Hartman’s On The Road segment of CBS News was so interesting to me. It reminds me of the WWI Christmas eve story where British and Germans who had been engaged in a treacherous trench warfare suddenly called an impromptu, temporary cease-fire. Their superiors heard about it and became indignant that the men cease the frivolities. Continue reading →
Photo credit: Blind Hen ⁑ Blind Höna / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
I’ve admitted to you that I’m a fan of Downton Abbey, so when a personality test based on the characters of that appeared on facebook I couldn’t resist. Strangely, I was pleased to discover that I’m like Mr. Carson, the stoic, deep-voiced Butler full of honor and a strong sense of duty to the family. But, he’s a softy when it comes down to it. He’s a strong leader of the large staff and stubbornly protects the family and principles that give his life meaning.
Then there’s the Star Wars one where my personality best resembles Princess Leia. Sadly, this one is probably more accurate because it’s based on my Myers Briggs results (ENTJ). But don’t worry, I’m not going to start wearing my hair like two jumbo-sized ear muffs and sing “Swing low, sweet chariot” in my Death Star prison cell (Oh wait, that last part was the princess from Spaceballs. Sorry.)
Photo credit: Princes Milady / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Okay, the guys in this picture haven’t figured out how. Have you ever washed someone’s feet? How about spending a year’s salary on the perfume and using your hair as a cloth?
Steve Lewis is a good friend of mine who had the courage to lead the Bible Study at our house last week. He did great research onJohn 12:1-8, the story of when Mary, the sister of Lazarus, washed Jesus feet. He pointed out that Mary washed Jesus’ feet and the Lord responded by saying her act would be remembered for all time. If it pleased God that much, we should do the same. So our group discussed how we might be able to have the courage to wash Jesus’ feet with our hair.
Since we can’t do what Mary did literally, we needed to get at the essence of what she did so that we could replicate that. Steve challenged us to view this scene from Mary’s perspective. With facts provided by Steve to lead the way, our group came up with these steps:
People can’t make you feel bad about yourself unless you let them. That’s a concept that has helped people who struggle with poor self-esteem to develop a healthy outlook about themselves.
What if the reverse of that concept could be useful as well? I don’t mean that I can only make someone else feel bad if they let me do it (though that is true). But what if it’s true to say that other people can’t make you feel good about yourself unless you let them?
Guilt is a powerful emotion that is unnecessary for Christians. When you were saved you were freed from all the burdens of sin, including this one.
God never punishes us. That’s what Glenn Beck said on the radio on Friday, November 9.
There are some who classify him as a right-wing nutter. I listen to his show (obviously) from time to time whenever I’m in the car between 9 am and noon. I listen because he can be very funny. He and his team make some good points as well, though I don’t agree with everything.
Somebody I had coffee with last week noted his own propensity to challenge the validity of everything he heard. He was apologetic. I assured him that his approach was a good thing as long as his purpose was to search for Truth instead of making truth fit his desires. I told him that because I’m the same way, and I’ve learned that this approach is far better than to just accept everything someone tells you.
By far, the most injuries I’ve had in my life revolve around sports. I’ve had two root canals because of an accident during a High School baseball game. I’ve torn ligaments in both ankles numerous times playing basketball in my younger years. One of my teeth that had participated in the aforementioned baseball accident was knocked out playing football a few years later at camp, and I just kept playing.
That beauty you see in the picture above is the result of a basketball encounter from Monday night. When it happened I had a feeling there’d be a mark. Kept playing. It wasn’t that I felt pressure to look like a man in front of the other guys. Okay, there was some of that. But, my major motivation was simply that I didn’t want to stop playing.