Fifth Soil

“The sower went out to sow…” (Luke 8:5).

Some years back I was listening to a sermon by the late Roy C. Deaver. At present, I don’t recall the specific topic he was preaching on, but he said something in that sermon that has stuck with me. He referenced the Lord’s parable of the sower/soils (Luke 8:4-15). After listing each soil and what they represented, he asked, “But I want to know why our Lord didn’t say anything about the fifth soil.”

The fifth soil? Continue reading “Fifth Soil”

Monday editorial flitter

Great day yesterday with the saints in Taubaté and Urbanova (SJCampos). Here’s the skeleton outline of the message I shared in both places, on the death of Christ as the creator of unity.

¶ If a writer should wait until he’s in a good mood to write and has only positive things to say, Jeremiah would never had said a word to Baruch. Of course, it helped that he was inspired.

¶ “For who scorns the day of small things?” Zech 4.10a HCSB. May God burn this into our foreheads, mine especially. Not a good idea, such scorning, when God is in it. Continue reading “Monday editorial flitter”

Do these two things ever distract you?

“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” (Luke 4:43)

There are numerous things that vie for our attention in this digital age. Computers, smart phones, tablets, social media apps – they all ring, bleep, notify, chime and alarm us of the next seemingly important thing. Much of the time, it is just social candy that distracts us from more nourishing things in life.

This is also true spiritually. We can easily become distracted from our mission and purpose as Christians, if we’re not careful. Here are a couple of things that can distract us: Continue reading “Do these two things ever distract you?”

Urban evangelism

“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.’ So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent” (Jonah 3:1-3 NKJV).

If you ask the average person about the book of Jonah, they might respond, “Isn’t that the story about the man who was swallowed by a whale?” It is likely that that is the only feature of the book which they know. Continue reading “Urban evangelism”

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”

Whether through difficulty or ease

Some scriptures tend to be more popular than others. Often these verses are memorized and are characterized by offering us hope and relief. Among these popular texts, Paul’s letter from prison to the Philippians contains a number of texts that stand tall offering comfort and inspiration.

In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12,13).

Paul’s secret can be ours. A deep satisfying contentment can be ours. Real freedom from crushing situational distress exists. They need not rule our lives nor how we evaluate our lives. However, all of this comes at a price.  Continue reading “Whether through difficulty or ease”