The Language of Jesus

I have, on occasion, been taken to task by someone who claims that the King James Version of the Bible is the only valid Bible; that the modern language translations are, at best, erroneous and, at worst, heresy.  They claim that the KJV is written as Jesus spoke, we HAVE to stay with that version.  To which I must reply, “Are you nuts?”  Here is why I must ask that: Continue reading “The Language of Jesus”

Whitewashed Tombs

whitewashed tombsIn Matthew 23 Jesus launches into a verbal assault on the Pharisees and scribes: the religious leaders and lawyers (interpreters of The Law) of the nation of Israel.  He calls them hypocrites (several times) and blind guides, saying they would strain out a gnat and swallow a camel: meaning that they pick at details but ignore the main concept of faith.  His most striking analogy, however was to call them ” whitewashed tombs “: painted and pleasing to the eye on the outside, but full of death and decay on the inside. Continue reading “Whitewashed Tombs”

Ask, Seek, Knock in Prayer

Prayer is a Christian’s most powerful means of effecting change in our own life, the life of those around us, and in the world.  Having said that, there are some caveats to bear in mind.

  1. ask seek knock prayerMost importantly, when we pray we must have a right standing with God.  We cannot expect God to heed our requests if we are living in rebellion to Him.
  2. We must pray in accordance with God’s will.
  3. We are to pray with confidence, knowing that, as long as 1 and 2 are true, God has already granted our request and it will come to pass in our physical world.
  4. We are to be persistent in our prayers; accepting that, as humans, our perception of time and the world around us are limited.  God may well be at work granting our request but in His own time and His own way to maximize the benefit.

Right Standing

Continue reading “Ask, Seek, Knock in Prayer”

Getting A Good Dose of Glenn Miller

My wife, Marie, and I are long-time fans of the Big Band swing music of the 1930’s and 1940’s, so names like Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller are quite familiar to us.  I even have an uncle, Greg Spevak, who leads such an orchestra.  My Aunt Pam is their vocalist.

We have The Glenn Miller Story on DVD and have watched it several times.  This is a partly fictitious story about how Glenn Miller developed his orchestra, rose to fame,  joined the military in WWII, and how that ended.  Whether you like that music or Jimmy Stewart, this movie is worth watching, you’ll get the best of both.

When we found that The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra (web site) was to be performing at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Greenville (less than an hour’s travel from here) we had to go see them.  Ticket prices were quite reasonable.  The NPAC is a lovely facility.  Parking was good too.  We scored a spot just a short walk to the facility main entrance.  Actually, we got lucky on that.  Continue reading “Getting A Good Dose of Glenn Miller”

Stepping Stones

Each of the four gospels tells about the ministry of Jesus, but each comes at the story from a different angle, being aimed at a different audience, and for a different purpose.

Matthew describes the beginning of Jesus’ ministry as Jesus walking along the sea shore encountering a group of fishermen cleaning up after a night of fishing, and shouting, “Follow me!”  Peter, Andrew, James, and John immediately abandon their boats and nets and fall in behind Jesus – seemingly without a clue of who Jesus was or why they were going with Him.

Luke goes into much more detail, starting with Jesus going home with Peter (then called Simon) for a meal and healing Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever.  In a later incident, Jesus was teaching one morning along the sea shore where these four fishermen were mending and drying their nets.  He asks Peter to take Him in his boat out a short distance from shore so He could speak without the crowds pressing in around him.  Peter complies.  Afterward, Jesus tells Peter to let his nets down for a catch. Continue reading “Stepping Stones”

Going Deep With a Driveway Dilemma

It has been a busy 9 days here on Piney Mountain – little of which included normal life activities.

It started the evening of Saturday, Jan 27th when Marie went to take a shower and found we had no water.  No water at all.  Our water comes from a well over by my workshop.  It was not cold enough for a line to have frozen, so I checked the  breaker switch — that was fine.  So it was not something easy.  Little did I know how “not easy” this was going to get.

I called Newport Ace Hardware, which is owned by a good well service guy: Keith Williams.  But it was late and he was gone.  I would not be able to get hold of him until Monday.

We keep gallon jugs of drinking water on hand in case of power failure (which means no well pump, which means no water) and several 3 gallon jugs of water to be used for washing dishes and flushing toilets.  We filled up some extra jugs when we went to church on Sunday, in case this turned out to be not a simple fix.  Since they almost never are. Continue reading “Going Deep With a Driveway Dilemma”

Cochise vs the Dump Truck

Today we had some driveway work done.  The driveway up to my workshop is a MESS!  All washed out and badly rutted.  I bent a rim on Marie’s Subaru by taking it up this driveway.  It’s time to dig deep and get repairs done or it will just keep getting worse.

Cochise insisted on going out to chase the tractor and the dump truck and hurl heinous threats at everyone.  He stayed on his side of the fencing, they stayed on theirs.  He got so worked up early on that he leapt up against the fencing, bounced back, and did a back flip!

After a half hour of these intense aerobics, I went out with a lead to bring him back to the house.  He offered no resistance at all.  His tongue was hanging so low he was tripping on it!

We got half way up the hill to the house and he just flopped over on his side and panted, “I can’t go any farther, carry me!” Continue reading “Cochise vs the Dump Truck”

Where Your Treasure Lies

You have heard it said that money is the root of all evil: that is incorrect.  Money, wealth, possessions themselves are not evil, but the pursuit of these things: greed, spawns evil.  For where our treasure lies, here also will be our heart.

What is treasure?

treasure chest gold jewelry wealthThe traditional image of treasure  being chests of coins and jewels is a little archaic for a modern discussion of this topic.  Today’s treasure tends to be comprised of things like a fat bank account (modern-day equivalent of a chest of coins), a big fancy home, a snazzy car, a killer wardrobe, and all the latest tech toys.  When taken individually they may not seem terribly imposing, but when taken en masse they can indicate a problem.

The real question becomes one of want vs need and where your focus lies.  Matthew 6 says: Continue reading “Where Your Treasure Lies”

Finding Rest for Your Soul

A bench to give restMany years ago I built a pair of English Garden Benches to go in a therapy garden at a church.  When I delivered them they spoke of having plaques made and attached that quoted Matthew 11:28 “Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  I don’t know if that was ever done, but it seemed like a nice idea.

A comfy bench can give rest for the body, but how do we find rest for a weary soul?  The rest of the passage quoted above holds the key.  Let’s look at that today.

Continue reading “Finding Rest for Your Soul”

Grace and Marcie On Your Tail

There was a woman who had a son named Timmy.  When Timmy was in kindergarten she would walk him to school, a few blocks away.

Halfway through the year Timmy said, “You don’t need to walk me to the door, Mom, I’m a big boy now.  You wait here on the sidewalk and I’ll go up on my own.”  So she’d wait on the sidewalk and watch till her son got inside.

The following year her son said, “Mom, when I start first grade, I want to walk to school on my own.  I’m a big boy now, you don’t need to walk me to school.”  She agreed, but was worried about leaving him on his own so young.

She had a friend who lived two doors down who was going to be walking her daughter to Kindergarten that year and the woman asked her friend if they would time their walks to and from school to allow Timmy to get out front by a half block or so and just sort of keep an eye on him without letting him know they were keeping an eye on him.  Her friend said she would. Continue reading “Grace and Marcie On Your Tail”