According to Plutarch of Chaeronea, seventy five years or so before Jesus was born, Julius Caesar was sailing on the Aegean Sea when he was kidnapped by pirates. They demanded a ransom of 20 talents of silver (about 350,000 in today’s U.S. dollars) but Caesar laughed at the amount. He realized they didn’t recognize who he was and insisted that the pirates require 50 talents instead of 20 (about 880,000 in USD). When they heard that, I imagine these pirates saying to Caesar: “Who do you think you are?”
The castle at the center of the kingdom was magnificent. It was situated on a hilltop with rows of terraced vineyards in the foreground and a stunning view of the remote valley beyond. By all appearances the people who lived there were respectable. They dressed well, they seemed polite enough, and they kept things looking neat and clean. But Continue reading →
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise you voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:1-5
I heard something the other day at our Sunday church service that I really identified with. Dave, my pastor, ate lunch alone every day of the fifth grade.
In the fifth grade, for the entire school year, Dave was on the outside–way outside. He said the worst days were when he’d try to sit somewhere in the lunchroom and one of his classmates would tell him to go sit someplace else, because a friend was already sitting there.
How I Was A Part Of The Origins Of Trash Talking
His story resonated with me because of an experience I had when I was about the same age. It triggered a memory from when I was nine years old. When I was nine Continue reading →
What Joseph (Jacob’s son, of the Old Testament) could have said when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him: “Come on, give me a break, this is a situation where an older woman is taking advantage of a young man. What do you expect someone my age to do, with hormones raging? How can I possibly resist?”
Joseph might have been tempted to embrace that mindset. Maybe you’re tempted to face temptation with that mindset too. But that wasn’t Joseph’s approach. He looked at it differently. To find out how Joseph successfully resisted sexual temptation, read Joseph’s 5 steps to Avoid Temptation.
The Annunciation to the Shepherds, 1663, by Abraham Hondius
Christmas is like an unforeseen kiss.
Because that’s how Jesus came to us.
We didn’t expect him to show up that night he was born in the manger. The shepherds didn’t expect to see angels declaring his glory in the sky above their pastures.
“Fear not,” the angels said to the shepherds, “for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
From my notes on Carl Palmer’s excellent teaching: Rejoice Always, 11/27/2016.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Those words from 1 Thessalonians were written by Paul from prison. Rejoicing for the Christ follower is emotion based on fact. Jesus said in John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
So if you’re following Jesus his joy is in you. Letting it out might seem difficult at times, but that could be a first world problem. Because Continue reading →
Last post from the book of John we saw Jesus speaking to the crowd and right at the end of that passage, Jesus talks about being lifted up, a reference to his being lifted up on the cross. It’s then that many believed in him. (See previous post: Suicide And Living Forever)
He watches TV–like a human. Here we see him watching John Wayne with Kathy. He likes John Wayne movies. I think it’s the horses.
Up until a few months ago, my mom-in-law lived with us. She was sick and dying. Werner seemed to know this and liked to lay down nearby. One time he brought a mouth full of his dog food and laid it at her feet. He’s never done that before, or since. Continue reading →