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Saturday, March 17, 2018


Mark 6:3 (here @ Bible Gateway) is an interesting verse.  The folks in Jesus’ hometown, were offended by Him.  The word can be translated “scandalized”.  I like that better.
Passages like this make me ask myself. “In what ways am I offended, scandalized, by Christ?

It would be easy to dismiss that question out of hand because after all, we are really spiritual.  But think about that for a while?

Paul was a persecutor of the Church.  Jesus not only saved Paul but placed him as an apostle to the Gentiles.  The Jerusalem church had a difficult time with that.  It was a scandal.

Speaking of the Gentiles, the notion that they could become followers of Christ without becoming Jews, was a scandal.  It took a council to determine that was ok.

What offends you?  Is it that a mass murderer trusts Christ just before he is executed?  Is it that your enemy, the one who has betrayed you and your family is prospering in business and in life?

Is it that the sovereign God allowed your loved one to contract cancer and die after a long and excruciating fight?

If I am honest.  There are things that God does about which I am scandalized.  Things He does that I do not understand.  Things with which it takes me much time to come to grips.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Fabulous Hard Time

You may remember that I get most of these posts from my journal.  I review past entries and determine if I have written on that passage by looking through my records on the blog. 

I am reviewing my journal from last year.  I am in January.  It was about the time that my father passed away and my daughter-in-law was about 25 weeks pregnant and fighting B-Cell lymphoma. 

Yesterday was her daughter’s first birthday.  She, however, was not there.  It was a great party.  It was fun to watch my granddaughter eat her smash cake.  It was fun to see the icing all over her face and arms.  It was fun to see her try to eat all of her presents.  It was great to see all 12 of the pictures recording her growth this year.

It was hard looking at the picture of her the month her mommy went to be with the Lord.  It was hard that her mommy was not with us.  We had pictures of my son and his wife at one year old to compare with her.  That was fun.

The evening was a fabulous celebration of my granddaughter’s first year.  For me, there was an undercurrent of sadness, grief, for a number of reasons primarily that my son’s wife was not physically with us. 

We know she is with the Lord.  That does not completely remove the underlying pain.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Standing Alert

If you are like me, there are times when you just need to check out.  Yesterday was like that.  For some reason, perhaps it was the cumulative effect of the last several weeks, I was out of it.  I did not want to do much of anything.  Pretty much vegged out.  It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.
Standing Alert
At some significant level, I fear those times.  I fear they will become more frequent, normal.  That scares me.

I also fear that there are more and more people who live vegged out.  They do not think for themselves, they accept what the “experts” tell them.  They do not stretch or challenge their thinking, they opt continually for entertainment, fiction, movies, TV series.

This afternoon I was reviewing a journal entry from early last year.  The passage that started the thought was Matthew 24:42 (here @ Bible Gateway).  The phrase in the passage that caught my attention was “be on the alert”.  I jotted down several other passages that echoed that imperative. 

That caused me to look for other places that word showed up in the text.  So I searched in Logos for instances where the Greek word that was translated “be alert” showed up.  Here is that list.

The command to be on the alert seems to be a relatively consistent theme in the New Testament.  It seems that there are two primary reasons for this consistent exhortation.  First, we have a Lord that will return for us, and we are to be alert, looking for His return, being about His business, not, as I was yesterday, vegged out.

Second, we have an enemy who would love nothing more than to take us out.  Which will be easier for him if we are, like I was yesterday, vegged out.

It is almost as if the Lord is calling us to stand watch.  We are to stand watch over ourselves, our families, our communities, and the Truth.

It is an assignment that I need to take more seriously.  What do you see in those passages?