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The last temptation of Jesus

As Jesus approached the time of betrayal, it would seem he did so with the same apprehension that you or I would have had. What lied ahead of him was the worst events you could image from either a physical or spiritual perspective.

Physically it was one of the most torturous deaths that humans had ever devised: crucifixion. The Romans had taken this form of execution to the heights of torture and humiliation, as well. From what I understand, they knew exactly where to put the nails to inflict the most excruciating pain possible. Continue reading The last temptation of Jesus

Rebel

Go ahead! Be a rebel!

A young person who had grown up in the church recently suggested to me she had heard these ideas all her life and wanted to explore new ideas. She was not a conformist! She wanted to think for herself, be unique.

I told her that if she really wanted to be a rebel, she should adopt Christian ideals. Like many comments from an older person like me, the statement hit the floor with a loud clank. Continue reading Go ahead! Be a rebel!

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Change your garments

“And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ‘Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God'” (Genesis 35:2-3 NKJV).

Many today insist that they not be judged on the basis of appearance. Clothing is, in their view, unimportant, and they should not be evaluated on the basis of wardrobe, hair style, or other cosmetic and physical factors. Continue reading Change your garments

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A wee view of heaven

What will it be like in heaven? Despite the word “heaven” being used so often in the New Testament (around 240 times), there are very few descriptions of what heaven will be like and even fewer that talk about what it will be like to be in heaven. I am confident there is a reason for this: how do you describe something that is so much more wonderful than anything on earth, using purely human terms? Continue reading A wee view of heaven

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Rend your hearts and not your garments

How will God handle it if I come back?

I suspect that many people never come back to the Lord and the church because they imagine they will receive a hostile reception. Sadly, in many cases they are right.  Brethren (and sisters) can be hard on each other. Even well meaning brethren can be awkward and ungracious when it comes to accepting the returning wrong doer. And we tend to be hard on ourselves. We know we have sinned, and we sense our unworthiness.

Note, however, the reception promised by the prophet Joel: “Yet even now,” he cries, “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping, and with mourning” (Joel 2:12). Continue reading Rend your hearts and not your garments

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Everyone deserves a fair chance

Humans build walls and people get hurt all the time. We decide the quality of someone’s character based on faulty standards and we need to stop. Everyone deserves the right to be judged on their own merits.

The problem with prejudice is that it answers questions without information. Stereotyping is the laziest form of thought because it reduces people to formulas and it robs individuals of their humanity. Continue reading Everyone deserves a fair chance

trees

Everybody wants shade, but nobody wants a tree

Our city’s newspaper published a recent report about the differences in temperature from one end of the city to another, because of trees and green areas. It’s much hotter in the south zone than the downtown area or the north zone, because of the lack of greenery there.

An environmentalist was quoted as saying, “There is a great need for green areas. Unfortunately, everybody wants shade, but nobody wants a tree in front of their house.” Continue reading Everybody wants shade, but nobody wants a tree