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‘Picking a Venue for Christ’s First Miracle’
Friday, February 27, 2015
Does Jesus ever do anything just as we’d expect?
If God became human and entered our world to save us—something we would certainly never expect . . .
If we realized (and we surely didn’t see this one coming, did we?) that God had actually entered the world as a baby in the village of Bethlehem . . .
If we could begin to wrap our heads around such amazing realities .
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Telephonically Speaking, Society Has Turned A Corner
Thursday, January 29, 2015
I wonder when we turned the corner? Telephonically speaking, I mean.

Once upon a time having a cell phone was a very cool thing, a “status symbol” even. (Hey, I remember when having a telephone with push buttons and not a rotary dial was cool.)

The first cell phone I ever spied looked like spy Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone. Remember him? Ahead of his time, he was the klutzy television series “secret agent” (Get Smart was the series, even though it helped us get smarter not at all) who’d take off his shoe, stick it up to his ear, and make a phone call.

The obviously “high maintenance” gal I saw years ago parading through a hospital waiting room didn’t look like Maxwell Smart.

She looked like somebody well worth avoiding, but she did have a big beige plastic thing, something on the order of a man’s Size 11 shoe, stuck up to her face.

She was talking into it and seemed keen on everyone noticing, which I guess we did.

Many moons have passed since then. Now even the most intelligent yard dogs and the most not-so-smart humans (not just Maxwell Smart), either have a cell phone or a cell phone has them.

That’s why it’s been years since you’ve had a simple meal when everyone at the table was fully present and not focused on a phone.

Most folks don’t mean to be impolite; the young ones have never seen anyone actually try to eat without a phone.

It might not make the list of time-honored spiritual disciplines, but on the modern list should be this grueling exercise: consider going to a meal occasionally and leaving your phone switched off or in the car.

Unless you’re a brain surgeon or hooked up to NORAD and the president and the Pentagon require your immediate concurrence should they want to launch nuclear missiles, most folks will find that the world will keep on spinning for an hour or so even if they’re un-tethered from their phone.

Bad news will be just as bad an hour later and good news will be an even nicer surprise.

But I warn you: the first time or two you try it, you may feel a little shortness of breath, some tightness in your chest, and perhaps a little free-floating anxiety.

Counseling and medication are available should such symptoms continue or worsen. Others (very few, but some) have chosen to travel this one-hour “phone-fast” road before; you’re not alone.

Yep, we’ve turned a corner. The time was when having a cell phone was a status symbol.

Now I’m told the real status symbol is “not” having a cell phone. It’s having “people” who have them. They make and take the calls you never have to. Hmm.

Some days I’d like to give my phone to the dog, as long as she’d promise to give it back when the grandkids are calling.

I wonder how our Creator does it? He stays on the line all the time, always awaiting our call. Whenever we want to talk about anything at all, he considers that very good news.

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Continuing The Fight For Righteousness
Thursday, January 15, 2015
As horrific as the Paris media massacre is, one of the things it has brought to light is the double standard that exists regarding Christianity, especially in the eyes of many within the Muslim community, but also across society as a whole — even in the United States.

Muslim radicals such as those who stormed into the newspaper Charlie Hebdo in defense of their dead and buried religious leader’s public image are the same individuals who vilify the followers of the true Son of God around the world, targeting them for physical abuse and in many instances execution.

But then, their attacks on Christianity often differ only in methods and intensity from the attacks many across society commit in defense of their own beliefs.

Members of the homosexual community, and others who oppose the moral teachings of Christ, have publicly battled Christian viewpoints for decades.

Whether by supporters of “pro-choice” decisions, same-sex lifestyles, or other religions, attacks on Christianity and its followers have been increasing, and have even gained support from various government leaders here in the United States.

It can be seen in the removal of religious symbols from a veterans’ memorial at Kings, N.C.; the firing of the Atlanta, Ga., fire chief by the mayor in his support of the homosexual community; and the removal of the Ten Commandments from our halls of justice and prayer from our schools.

With such actions by those who reportedly love this nation, should we expect kinder treatment from those factions that don’t?

What is most amazing is the double standard attached to free speech. Many of the opponents of Christianity, while taking up the standard of free speech and using it to promote their own ideals, do everything they can to deny that same principle to Christians.

The persecution of Christian thoughts and beliefs is increasing at an alarming rate.

But such an attitude was explained 2,000 years ago by the Son of Man, who said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19)

As much as we would like, we probably shouldn’t expect different treatment until such time as the prince of this world is set aside by the returning King.

But that doesn’t mean we should throw up our hands, and no longer fight for righteousness.

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