We Will Not Live in Tents Forever

The apostle Paul was likely one of the finest Old Testament scholars of his day, and sometimes draws on existing imagery to make a point.  One example might be Proverbs 14:11-12, where the second verse is more widely known than the first, but not unrelated: “The house of the wicked will be destroyed,            but the tent of the upright will flourish.There is a way that seems right to a man,           …

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A Wonderful Counselor: What We Need For Christmas…Part 2

According to James Boice (see last post in the series), if you asked people to honestly describe their needs, they might describe one as: “We have minds. So we have a need to know things rightly, to understand. We need wisdom.”  In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus, the Christ of Christmas, is described as our Wonderful Counselor, who meets our need for wisdom. But what is wisdom?  Wisdom is about taking the…

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What We Need for Christmas…Part 1

What do we need for Christmas? We think a lot about what we want, but what do we really need? James Montgomery Boice, former pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, says: “Suppose…that we should conduct an opinion poll to find out what men and women feel they most need. Suppose we should ask, ‘What do you feel are your greatest needs?’‘Well,’ people would say, ‘we have minds. So we…

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Help! There’s a Log in My Eye! (Part 2)

Dear fellow travelers, Yesterday’s post started to discuss Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:3-5 – “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log…

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Help! There’s a Log in My Eye! (Part 1)

Until we get to heaven, none of us can fully understand what God is telling us in the Bible, but I believe one particularly tricky passage is this one: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’…

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Being a Master at Washing Feet

English author Samuel Johnson said, “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”  I recently read The Residence, a book of real stories about White House staff over the years.  In a chapter on how staff often go unnoticed comes this humiliating negative example: President [Lyndon] Johnson often undressed in front of staffers and was famous for rattling off orders…

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Words of Life and Death

Rummaging in the basement for a book recently, I found a book I wasn’t looking for: Encouragement: The Key to Caring by Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan Allender.  It was a good find.  They authors define encouragement as “the kind of expression that helps someone want to be a better Christian, even when life is rough.”[1]  This is the kind of expression recommended in Hebrews 10:23-25 – “Let us…

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Zap! The Best Action Figures for Christmas

Dear fellow travelers, A hot Christmas gift when I was a kid were G.I. Joe toys.  These “Real American Heroes” were a line of action figures, vehicles and other accessories that fought against the evil Cobra organization which was trying to take over the world (of course).  In 1982, they were even hotter, after Hasbro added “Swivel Arm Battle Grip” to the design to differentiate G.I. Joe from the also-popular…

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Participating in the Psalms IV: Thanksgiving Edition

Often the writers of the Psalms aren’t just trying to teach us about God, but they are trying to share their experience of Him.  As in Psalm 96 and 100, included in earlier posts, Psalm 136 opens with encouragement, or even instructions, to join the Psalmist in thanksgiving: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,     for his steadfast love endures forever.Give thanks to the God of gods,     for…

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Thanksgiving is Good and Fitting

Since 1942, the United States have celebrated a holiday for Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of every November.  For Christians the holiday is a time to remember the source of their blessings, regardless of how large or small those blessings seem.  In Ecclesiastes 5:18-19, the Preacher recommends celebrating and enjoying our material things, and recognizing God as the Giver of them all, including the work needed to produce and prepare…

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