Kingdom come

“till they have seen the kingdom of God come” (Mark 9:1).

John and Jesus taught that the kingdom was “at hand” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). They obviously believed it was forthcoming.

Some followers were so convinced of it, they attempted to force Jesus to lead a coupe d’état to declare Israel’s independence from Rome (which, by the way, he rejected, cf. John 6:15). Nevertheless, Jesus continued preaching about the kingdom’s imminent arrival.

Did it ever come? Was it only metaphor? Is it yet future? Continue reading “Kingdom come”

Respond or not? HuffPo slanders God’s people

HuffPo published what one brother called a hit piece on the church of our Lord, an article critical of American congregations as a whole, based upon, as I understand it, a single event. (I’m not going to waste my time reading it.) Another friend said brotherhood reactions have been contained and charitable (my paraphrase).

Those who believe in the HuffPo site will believe the article; those who know it to be the liberal shill it is, will discount it. With its political, social slant, lines have long been drawn and hostility to truth frequently trumpeted. Continue reading “Respond or not? HuffPo slanders God’s people”

Heirlooms

Among iris fanciers, the older versions of irises are known as “historic” or “heirloom” irises. They may be forty or a hundred years old or more. In most cases, these varieties are less prone to diseases than the newer, fancier versions.

Their form is usually simple. No ruffled edges or beards that separate from the petals, forming spiky horns. Some heirlooms have the same color on the three petals that point upward, or uprights, as they do on the downward pointing petals, or falls.

Others are two-toned or even two separate colors, such as yellow uprights with red falls. Many are fragrant beyond belief!

I like the name “heirloom,” as it is a comforting word. I have very few heirlooms passed down from my family, and I like to think of the people who have cultivated these irises as family members in a way that connects us. Continue reading “Heirlooms”

Denominationalism is the fleshly plan

God’s plan for mankind is ridiculous to a sinful world (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 6:1-6) so we must have an undeniable faith in his truth (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 11:6).

Godliness is our new world and God’s Word teaches us what we need to know (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Doing what is natural to the flesh is guaranteed to violate God’s will (Matthew 5:27-48). Continue reading “Denominationalism is the fleshly plan”

This ‘social’ project will succeed where all others fail

The more we trust in the social and political systems that men create, the more we will feel let down. Such systems inevitably disintegrate. As high-minded as their creators may have been, the slow grind of greed and corruption pulls down the best programs, governments, and initiatives.

When the Continental Congress concluded its work, so goes the story, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they had been given. “A republic, madam, if you can keep it,” was his grim reply. Continue reading “This ‘social’ project will succeed where all others fail”

Who are we, really?

Last Friday a woman in her 40s died after a surgery to implant a pacemaker. The procedure was performed properly, but the woman’s heart gave out. It gave out because she was depressed.

Her depression occurred because someone had spread a rumor that she had been unfaithful to her husband. Not even her husband believed it, but the rumor worried her so much that she died from it.

This woman was a relative of a friend of ours. She was not a Christian. Her death underscores the pain and the danger of being concerned about what others think of us. Continue reading “Who are we, really?”