Today my good friend and brother in Christ, Alexandre Pestana, posted the following text on Facebook, on his congregation's page. He informed me that I had written the text in our work together with the Mt of Olives Christian Camp. I had forgotten that the text was mine, since it was written some 10-15 years ago.
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This might be of interest to you good Fellows and brethren here. An ancient document has come to light that I wrote some years back.
We were in the A Cappella Chorus together at Freed-Hardeman University, went on the 1976 European tour together, but since then, continents and hemispheres apart, I’d not heard much from him. Thanks to the Internet we recently connected, and even met up for lunch one day on our last trip to the US.
So please welcome Michael Summers, military chaplain and man of prayer. Here’s his bio, already up on the Fellows page:
Michael Summers is a prayer-promoter, student of the Word, loves Christ and his Church; has preached the gospel and run 10k races on three continents.
Have you ever seen those lists of suggested Bible verses or chapters for when you feel a certain way or have experienced a certain life situation? You know the kind: “When you [feel this or go through that], read [Bible passage].” Those are pretty cool, are they not?
Psalm 60 is in our Bible reading plan for 2013. It took me a while to get into it, but it’s a wonderful passage for the defeated. So I tweeted:
What other situations/texts would you suggest, if we were making a list?
Here’s an outline for 1 Thessalonians 5.12-28, significantly adapted for English, that I’ve been using the last couple of weeks in our Sunday Bible study in Taubaté. An amazing close to this letter which may well be the first document of the New Testament to have been written. The version used here is the NET Bible.
- Christian workers and Christian work (12-15).
At the same time that Paul wants us to honor Christian workers (vv. 12-13, with three honors by the saints [acknowledge, preside, be at peace], matching three activities of the workers [labor, preside, admonish]), he reminds us, with action verbs (admonish, comfort, help, be patient, pursue), that the work of Christ belongs to all (v. 14-15). The two facets of the section are marked by the similar phrases: “we ask you, brothers and sisters” (v. 12) and “we urge you, brothers and sisters” (v. 14).
- Eight final imperatives (vv. 16-22).
Paul gives eight “rapid-fire commands”/1 as he crowds in his last counsels. Three blanket words (always, constantly, everything) on performing the will of God (vv. 16-18) lead to five means of preserving the truth of God (vv. 19-22). The first three deal with right disposition, or attitudes, the second five, with right doctrine, or teaching.
- Final prayer (vv. 23-24).
Paul closes with a prayer (as he has closed each major section of the letter) for peace, purity, and preservation (v. 23), a prayer that he knows God will answer (v. 24).
- Goodbye (vv. 25-28).
a. Paul’s request for prayer shows the reciprocity (“one another”) of the kingdom (v. 25).
b. A holy greeting to all shows the reality, or genuineness, of our kingdom relationships (v. 26).
c. Reading the letter to all shows the responsibility of the kingdom’s subjects (v. 27).
d. Ending the letter with the same grace mentioned at the beginning shows the resources of the kingdom (v. 28).
1/ V. M. Smiles, “The First Letter to the Thessalonians,” in David Durkin, ed., New Collegeville Bible Commentary: NT (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008): 665.
- Christian workers and Christian work (12-15).
A set of questions I meant to send by email got sent to the TFR site. My apologies for that.
A church with roots in our fellowship is urging prayer for different countries by including links on Twitter to a missionary society.
Yet another example of how far from the biblical pattern people will go once they surrender a commitment to be true to the Word.
Afterthought #1: This post has been sitting for a day. I wondered if it was worth posting. I don’t like pointing out negative things. That I posted it ought to answer the wonderment.
Afterthought #2: This morning I latched on to Pro 14.14 for my daily thought: “Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.” Maybe I shouldn’t try to connect it with this post?
Over on the Gospel Progress site, I honor a college professor and friend born on this day, who passed away over a decade ago. It’s good to recall such spiritual influences on our lives. He’s one of the people I want to be like: calm, thoughtful, wise, even-keeled, peaceful.
• G. Campbell Morgan once preached on John 12.36. (See his The Westminster Pulpit, vol. IX, chap. XXII.) His approach prompted this little short outline—the key words are mine—that might just serve for a class or sermon:
- Opportunity: “While you have the light.”
- Invitation: “believe in the light.”
- Outcome: “that you may become sons of light.”
Reckon that’ll preach?
• Campbell cites part of a poem by Thomas Whytehead. I retouched just a part of what he cited.
The world as a whole,
Like a parched, ancient scroll,
Shall before my amazed sight uproll,
Without smoke or screen,
At one burst will be seen,
The Presence wherein I have been.
• Don’t miss Mac Deaver’s somewhat lengthy, but deserving, article, “Flawed from the Beginning,” published today on Biblical Notes. Excellent material that deserves careful study. His thesis:
… early on there were flaws in the thinking of some who were most engaged in the effort at “restoration.” There was a (1) hermeneutical flaw regarding the place of deduction in discerning the pattern of authority, (2) an epistemological flaw, therefore, that did not allow for clear distinction between matters of faith and matters of opinion, and (3) there was the willingness of some involved in the formative period of “restoration” thought to spiritually fellowship other religious people who had never obeyed the gospel, which rendered the whole effort at restoration suspicious.
• Barbara Anne has been in Costa Rica for a week or so now, is getting herself set up for several months of work there. She says she’s not seen any of the Jurassic Park dinosaurs popping up. I’m sure she’d appreciate a prayer or two. Among other things, she’ll teach English as an evangelistic outreach, and already has two requests.
• The Jurassic conversation came up because I recently reread the book. It was set in or off the coast of Costa Rica. What prompted me was news of the rerelease of the film in HD or 3D or DVD or something, I don’t remember. Ah, you’re in luck, I found it: here’s the review I read.
• We talked last night to our son The Middleman, who said that, after some 8 years, he has adapted to the US. Some hankerings, however, overcome him at times, like a desire to eat a little French loaf from off the grill, slathered in butter. The Missus said this morning she’d been tempted to go buy and fix some, then send a photo to him. Is that cruel or what? Disclaimer: I thought of doing the same.
• Do have books around your house or office that have become pretty much passé now with the Internet? I have several, like a rhyming dictionary, which I never use any more. Others may be available online, like Bible versions or English and Portuguese dictionaries (I have half a dozen of the latter), but preferable at times to use the hard copy. But maybe I should give up Phillips’s paraphrase paperback? (I need to start culling.)
• After a while on Facebook and Twitter, as well as other corners and spaces on the Internet—even news sites, I want to shout: “If you’re going to write, learn how to spell.” I don’t mind abbreviations and other artifices for texting. I do mind butchering the language. But I don’t shout or even mutter. It would be a finger-in-the-dike exercise. There are other fights I’d rather save my breath for.
• BrotherhoodNews.com is lately a bit hit and miss, not as frequent as we’d like to see it. Prayers are called for. Suggestions, volunteers, and write-ups would also be welcome. News doesn’t fall from the sky into our lap.
• One writer for The Economist says that if you’re going to learn a second language, you should learn Brazilian Portuguese. I like that, but maybe not for all the reasons she gives. Some of them, not all. It’s a beautiful language spoken by millions, one of the major ones in the world, and one that communicates marvelously the gospel of Christ. Brazil needs to hear it. Why not learn the language?
Just saw a tweet from a Brazilian newspaper: Unicef says that liking on Facebook doesn’t save a life, but money does.
It’s the old well-wishing problem that lacks action behind it.
Now I’m going to say something and don’t take me wrong. (More …)
I long for life eternal, far
Above this earthly dust and doom,
Where God and Son and Spirit are,
And outer space is but a room,
Where stars are pretty sprinkles, moons
But globes to hang upon a tree,
Where worlds are served in silver spoons,
As humble Moses talks with me.
Here kings bear golden platters, heaped
With food they never ate below,
To serve the saints who sowed and reaped,
In tears, to make the kingdom grow.
The sea is but a basin, hands
To wash beneath Niagra Falls,
A children’s box, Sahara’s sands,
And Knox’s gold for inner walls.
Earth’s brightest splendors wither, pale
Inside the gates, their powers decline;
Both human craft and creation fail,
When the glories of the Godhead shine.
—J. Randal Matheny, 21 April 2013
After uncountable moons, I added another One-Liner Dictionary entry on my blog. Which prompted this thought: Sincerity is not blabbing everything that pops into your head, but it is rather freedom from hypocrisy and purity of motive. Instead of giving permission to speak ill of others, or to others, sincerity allows one to consider their needs and speak and act in their interest. Sincerity does not oblige one to say all one thinks, but induces one to choose carefully and in a timely manner how to be honest and frank and to avoid duplicity and hypocrisy.
• The owners of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant are Christians. Several homes of saints were destroyed, including the preacher’s. For more, see the BNc story by Mark Teske. As in any disaster, they need help, and fast. Brethren are responding.
• After learning on April 7 that we’d be losing some major support in August, we’ve renewed the invitation for congregations and individuals to share in the GoSpeak effort. This effort includes TFR, BrotherhoodNews.com, Forthright Magazine, and a host of other services, virtual and real.
The American economic crisis is taking its toll on the worldwide missionary effort. Our loss is just one small piece of it. We do well responding to material needs and meeting physical crises. Not so well, perhaps, in feeling the urgency of the gospel message.
• The Firstborn has fired up his blog. Do read and follow him. I think he’s the only one at the moment who, among our progeny, is doing some writing.
• Here’s another evangelistic effort, an e-book, that I’ve heard good things about, but I’m not sure sure what the “generic version” tries to do that the other can’t. I’m in the middle of reading.
• Working on an article, inspired from using Psalm 14 last night in our reading group: “Why Does the Bible Repeat Itself?” Got any ideas on how to answer that question? I’ve thought of four, so far. Not sure where I’ll use it. My first thought is Biblical Notes, since I’m long past overdue for an article there.
• With the Boston explosions and now the West, Tex., incident, the sermon outlines about why bad stuff happens are getting dusted off, with reason. (Lately, they’ve had lots of use.) Let us be sure we preach the right perspective, however.
When people of Jesus’ day shared with him the newspaper’s latest headlines about disasters, he preached repentance, Lk 13.1ff. He did not vary from his message, Mk 1.14-15. He corrected their wrong interpretations of events and urged them to make sure that their lives were in order before God. Let us make sure we do the same as our Lord. (More …)
A while ago I read a blog entry entitled "Chiasms on the Brain?" on the blog For His Reknown. The blog is written by James M. Hamilton Jr., who is the associate professor of Biblical Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and preaching pastor at Kenwood Baptist Church. It's short so I'm taking the liberty of reproducing the blog entry here in full.Here are some good questions and answers about the literary feature called chiasms.
Old college friend Jerry McLeod tells me that Bob McRee is being treated for tumors in his brain and lungs in China. He’s undergone at least one surgery in that country. Bob has been working at a private school in China. I believe, from what Jerry said, that Bob is an FHU alumni. Please keep Bob and his family in prayers.
On QBT today, this tidbit:
The NT tells saints to give preference to God’s people, then to others. “Always pursue what is good for one another and for all.” 1Th 5.15
One can see this preference also in Gl 6.10: “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who belong to the family of faith.”
Are there other verses you can think of that show this church-first attention when it comes to the saints’ good works and love?
In Monday’s editorial for Forthright Magazine, I made a short reference that “devoting oneself to the work of God should not make us dependent on the saints.” It was one of two possible explanations for 1Th 4.11, Paul’s instructions about working with one’s own hands. Here’s more on that idea.
Citing two sources, Victor Furnish finds it to be a “somewhat more plausible suggestion” that behind Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians to work with their own hands (1Th 4.11) lies the problem that “some believers were so caught up in a zeal to evangelize that they neglected to care for their own and their families’ needs” (First Thessalonians, Second Thessalonians, Abingdon NT Commentary, 2007, 98).
Would to God that we had that problem in the church today!
One thing that might militate against this proposal is that the church is always (is there an exception?) instructed in the New Testament to support those who teach and evangelize. Might not Paul have told the Thessalonians to get behind such people and provide for their needs? Still, it is an intriguing possibility, is it not?
• One basis of appeal that the prophet Jeremiah uses to urge Israel to repent is so that they might fulfill God’s purpose for them in the world. “Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise my name” (Jer 4.2 NTL). Israel was not evangelistic, in the strict sense of the word, but God did intend for them to be a blessing to those around them (see his promise to Abram, Gen 12.1-3), by bringing the knowledge of God to the pagans. Is there a lesson for the church here?
• Posterous, I think I’ve said before, is shutting down April 30. We knew it was coming, but I’m still miffed that the owners sold out to Twitter. I considered it one of the coolest services out there. Now, two of the original creators, who parted ways with the sell-outs before the betrayal, have started Posthaven.com, basically a recreation of their first effort. Except this one will have a financial base from the get-go, since they’ll charge $5 a month for up to 10 spaces/sites. Better yet, they’ve done an import path from Posterous. Worked like a charm. I’m pulling for their success.
I’ve already transferred Quick Bible Truths to it. Others will go that route as well. All the features are not yet available, but they’re working on them.
• In his “audience” earlier today, Mr. Francis of the Catholic Church notes correctly that God chose women to be the first witnesses of the resurrection. But he then seems to restrict unnecessarily an application from that truth: “This is beautiful, and this is the mission of women, of mothers and women, to give witness to their children and grandchildren that Christ is Risen! Mothers go forward with this witness!”
We shall be gracious and consider that he is giving an audience and not writing a treatise on the subject. But outside the meetings of the church, there seem to be few New-Testament restrictions on women in the work they do. Their witnessing, or teaching, should not be restricted to their children and grandchildren. (More …)
Using a passage from our previous week’s Bible readings, 1Th 5.4-11, today’s sermon will deal with the resurrection still to come. We’ll focus on these points from verse 10:
- “Christ died for us.” His death had a purpose and brought purpose to us. Through him we escape wrath and come to salvation (v. 9). Seeing this purpose fulfilled in our lives requires alertness and sobriety (vv. 6-8).
- Whether we live or die, “alert or asleep,” that purpose will be fulfilled in those who are faithful. This touches on the problem the Thessalonians felt about those who were passing away. Paul guarantees that faithfulness to Christ is worth it. To die now is to pass to the head of the line.
- The purpose of Christ’s death is so that we can “come to life together with him”. To live with Christ, to have the life of God, to be in his presence forever, this is the precious gift of the Cross, restoring the reason for Creation and bringing man full circle back to the fellowship of Eden.
A death now in Christ does not miss this gift, but the Lord’s return will unite us all to him.
Now that’s encouraging! (v. 11).
When Paul preached righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment to Felix, the governor became afraid and sent Paul away (Acts 24.25). That is a terrifying trio of topics for us who work contrary to God’s will, act by the impulse of our carnal desires, and face the wrath of God towards everything that destroys communion with him. Christ died to make us right before God, give us the Spirit’s power to produce spiritual fruit, and allow us pray “Maranatha, come, Lord” because our dread has been turned into hope.
Remember that saying about pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming? Well, last Saturday night I woke myself up because I’d pinched my arm in my sleep. I have a good bruise from it. First time ever I’ve done that.
I don’t remember dreaming about anything that might have led me to pinch myself. But maybe I was dreaming about the days when our children were small. (Ever pinched your child as discipline? Not my norm, but I think I may have done it once or twice.) Or maybe I was dreaming about pinching The Missus, but I probably wouldn’t have done it on her arm.
So Sunday morning, as I had the communion meditation, I talked about it being God’s way of letting us pinch ourselves to make sure we’re not dreaming. I told about pinching myself. Though I left out the part about any dream of pinching The Missus. I didn’t want to distract people.
I introduced Eph 1.3-11 as a single grammatical sentence, a piling-on of blessings from being in Christ. I actually read verse 3 only, since our time was running out, but characterized the passage as Paul pinching himself, in a way, almost not believing all we have in the Lord. All as illustration, of course.
So when you pinch off a piece of that bread, said I, pinch yourself, spiritually, not physically, and tell yourself that you’re not dreaming. Christ is real, and the hope, faith, love, power, and purpose that we have in him are real as well.
• A brother asked about “spiritual understand” and “wisdom” in Col 1.9. Here are my edited comments, which might be useful to someone else, somewhere.BGAD gives this definition for sunesis (understanding) in Col 1.9: “understanding such as God grants to God’s own.” Sophia (wisdom) seems to have a more practical turn than Robertson/Abbott allow; not only about general principles but how to make right decisions depending on the situation. Though one might argue in this context, at the beginning of Colossians, for a more theological meaning over a moral and practical one.
IOVC says of the two: “The knowledge for which the author pleads (vs. 9) is that insight into truth granted by the powerful working of God (vs. 11) to those who are open to spiritual wisdom. This wisdom expresses itself concretely in the life of the believer who increases in knowledge as his life bears fruit ‘in active goodness of every kind’ (vs. 10 NEB; cf. 3:10).”
These terms were possibly used by false teachers, but Paul rescues them from their twisting hands to put them into the lives of the Colossians. What a saint knows he lives, in communion with God. Such knowledge adds tread to his walking shoes.
• Which reminds me: I hear all the time, and I heard it last Sunday again, the words “difficult” and “complicated” applied to the Christian life. I’ve ranted and raved about this, to no avail, yet, apparently. “Complicated” is a code word for “impossible.” The excuse for inaction is that it’s “difficult.” But come now: If we have all spiritual blessings in Christ, and if in Christ all the fulness of God has been deposited for our access, and if the kingdom of God is home for his little ones who have no theological degrees nor knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, how can we say the way of Christ is difficult and complicated? (More …)
The extreme goodness of God towards us — he gives us “an unshakeable kingdom” — must not make us overlook his greatness and his holiness. To forget it would be to lose contact with him.
—Albert Vanhoy, A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews, 2011, 397
A modest contribution to the audio department is a sermon I preached Mar. 10 on evangelism. My text was Ep 4.6, a verse which has neither the word evangelism nor the term gospel in it. The last of the seven ones. So how did I manage that? You’ll have to listen to figure it out. Is only 24 minutes. Or will I have to compete with Duck Dynasty for your time?
• Speaking of audio, I have a head cold, or something, that has sent my voice range into the lowest possible range of human hearing. Lower than my son The Middleman’s envious bass. Volume I don’t have, but James Earl Jones has nothing on me. Last night, I decided not to cancel our home Bible reading, and “bravely” muddle through the hour. (Was that a slight in disguise?) One participant told me she liked my new voice. But in a day or two, it’ll be back to its normal tenor.
• What baffles one rings another’s bell. I think Twitter’s cool (seven years old today, this service), others still say they’ve not figured it out. What baffles me is LinkedIn.com. I’m on it, but question whether it has any useful purpose. Must have, considering how many use it. I’ll chalk it up to my obtuseness.
• Earlier in the day I watched the live broadcast of Jonathan Last speaking on the decline of the birth rate, on the Heritage Foundation site. Quite interesting. Wondering what implications it might have for the church and its mission. There are going to be fewer people around, says Mr. Last. There will be fewer in the church too unless we’re bringing more in. (Wouldn’t his surname be a great one for a disciple?)
• A recent lesson: I’d like to think that the faithful people of God show solidarity to their own, without coverups of sin. No straggler left behind. No brother or sister left to fend for themselves, or defend themselves without support. I’ve seen the good side of it, and hope and pray it’s a general trait of ours. I try to remember to do that, but I sometimes feel it’s from a distance, and feeble.
• A brother asked me how the favorite-verse project was going. It has stopped, basically. I invited, instructed, helped a number get registered and going, but I don’t have time nor inclination to cajole, wheedle, or pamper. What’s there, written by some Very Good Guys, is very good. Just a shame everyone hasn’t done their piece.
• A lesson about why politics is not for Christians: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman comes out in support of same-sex marriage after his son revealed he’s homosexual. Preibus, RNC chair, supports Portman. Not a few voices recommend change of the Republican Party to push same-sex marriage. The few times I’ve ever considered joining the Republicans, they do something stupid and immoral and remind me why it’s better to stay away.
• I want to like the ESV, but renderings like this make me wary: “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress” (Psa 17.3c). That’s awkward. And very close to the KJV, more so than the RSV from which the version was tweaked. Much better is the NET: “I am determined I will say nothing sinful.” (More …)
From LifeWay’s prez Thom Rainer.
2012 – Based on Dollar Sales
- New International Version
- King James Version
- New Living Translation
- New King James Version
- English Standard Version
- Holman Christian Standard Bible
- New American Standard Bible
- Common English Bible
- Reina Valera 1960
- The Message
2012 – Based on Unit Sales
- New Living Translation
- New International Version
- King James Version
- New King James Version
- English Standard Version
- Common English Bible
- Holman Christian Standard Bible
- New American Standard Bible
- Reina Valera 1960
- New International Readers Version
My mom found an old book of wisdom and scrapbook cuttings in a local store. She bought it for me. Here’s one entry:
Why hard times come can easily be explained, according to Roger W. Babson, leading American financial authority. Mr Babson a few years ago said, “Every business depression has been caused by monkeying with either the Ten Commandments or the multiplication table.”
The copyright of the book is 1954. His wisdom is timeless.
Another entry talked about the “rising national debt.” The author could never dream of the American national debt today.
The Missus and I enjoyed a day at the Tenn. Bible College Spiritual Renewal Lectures last Saturday. We enjoyed meeting many brothers and sisters there and seeing friends like Weylan Deaver and son Orrin. Weylan had a great lesson, and it’s now online. I recommend it.
• Then Sunday night The Maiden and I traveled two and a half hours to Knoxville for the lectureship at the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies. She wanted to get there early enough the next morning to hear David Shannon, whom she hears every Sunday at the Mt. Juliet TN congregation. We enjoyed the lectures and meeting new friends, among them a number of folk we know through the Internet.
• Jody and Evelyn Apple were our gracious hosts at Karns. Jody works with SEIBS. A bit of news was shared Monday night about Jody’s future work with the International Gospel Hour.
• We were also privileged to meet George and Joy Jensen in person. We followed their work in Tanzania. They’re now in Kentucky.
• A first in the history of BNc: four obituaries in a single day. They didn’t all pass away yesterday, but the stories all came together from God’s servants who have died recently: Jane McWhorter, Perry Cotham, Basil Overton, and Kyle Allen. Foy Forehand is preparing yet another obituary, of Wilson Wallace, son of Foy Wallace.
• Though our elderly saints pass on to their reward most every day, the deaths of these beloved saints within a short period highlight that the torch does pass from one generation to the next. I saw godly brothers and sisters at the recent lectureships, and I know a host more of them, who will faithfully carry on the work of the kingdom. Of course, there is always a shortage of workers in the Lord’s vineyard, and we ought to pray that he send us more.
• The older I get, the more difficult it becomes to stay away from home for extended periods of time. As much as we love our children and coddle the grandchildren, we still feel the rigors of change in weather, food, time zones, schedule, and other differences that leave a body groggy. Comes with the territory, so they say. But we have to make an effort not to get grouchy, do we not?
• Thoughts during a study of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, by way of application. In this letter Paul defends his apostleship, because his enemies attempt to undercut his message by attacking him. So it is today. To sweep away the truth in order to introduce error, people attack the messenger.
• A ladies’ Bible study class is considering options for their next subject, using study books as the basis for their discussions. The Missus heard about it and suggested they look at my book, Choose!. She’s my best advocate! (More …)
We had a great day, Vicki and I, at Tenn. Bible College’s lectureship, in Cookville TN, yesterday. Met our own Fellow Eugene A., from Keltonburg, and the brother Josh from Smithville who came with him. That was a great pleasure. But I forgot to get a pic of us together.
And it was a pleasure to hear Weylan D. speak, and see his son Orrin again, who’s a student at TBC. Weylan always has thoughtful things to say, with practical applcations. He spoke on the topic, “Early Will I Seek Thee.” I believe I heard that audio will be posted on the TBC website at http://www.tn-biblecollege.edu/lectureship.html . We were blessed to hear two other fine lessons before lunch and our trip back to kids and grandkids.
Funny note: I lost a button on my coat while there. Couldn’t find it before I left. But Orrin tells me they found it. I didn’t notice it was gone until it lost itself. The last time I wore that sports coat was in the USA months or years ago. No occasion and no weather for it in Brazil. That’s right, the congregations there don’t use coats and ties. Preachers, eat your hearts out. ;-)
Tomorrow, it looks like The Maiden and I will catch a day or two of the lectures at Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies. See you there?
People will call you radical. God will call you faithful.—
Quick Bible Truths (@bibletruths) February 22, 2013
Doing last-minute chores before heading to the bus station, for a bus to the airport. Will leave car with mechanic. Clothes now dry pulled off line, wet clothes hung on line, office rent paid ahead of time, other bills paid, house key left with friends. Wife has cleaned out fridge, is out running her errands, purchasing gifts, etc. Have made tentative itinerary:
Would love to see any and all of you at some point on this timeline. We’re looking forward to seeing the new grandbaby, bouncing the other two on the knee, and even kissing our own kids. Will make a pass by our parents as well.
We invite preachers (and Bible school teachers too, why not?) to post a synopsis of your lessons today. Please share the main idea, the “so what?” of your lesson(s) especially. You can do this in the comments, or email us and we’ll give the lesson its own post.
TFR Fellows, of course, are expected to make their own posts.
To encourage you, this little cartoon:
Some encouragement, right?!
Our time changed last night. We went off DST. So we one hour closer to you in America. Would have been really helpful if it had changed last week. Would have made the adjustment to CST easier. We’re headed your way tomorrow. At least, it’s not a time difference of 8 or 12 hours. Those must be real doosies.
We hear about politicians, and perhaps other public figures, being concerned about the legacy they leave behind them after they leave office or the public eye. Should Christians have such a concern? Or is just being obedient in this life and changing people’s eternal destiny through evangelism sufficient? What do you think about leaving a legacy? Should we be concerned about it, work for that?
FYI, legacy is sometimes defined as “something that someone has achieved that continues to exists after they stop working or die.” We’re not talking money or physical goods, obviously, nor the name of a car or plane (made by our local Embraer).
After Richard M.’s good word to the Forthright Mag staff earlier (today? — it’s been a long week), methinks going for quicker, smaller, shorter posts is often a good thing. (This after I just bled out 750 words on my Journey entry over on my blog.) The attention span of this generation can’t even abide 15 minutes of fame or a day’s attention to Marco Rubio’s swig of bottled water. Not to say that longer treatises are passé, but the more we can get to the point, and make our point cogently, concisely, and powerfully, the more audience we may gain. What say you?
I just noticed on my English devotional today that in the title I missed the quote from the verse. The verse reads, “and he healed them” (NET). In my rush, I put, “and he cured them,” interference from the Portuguese, “e ele os curou“, from which I was translating the meditation.
So here’s my question: Is there a difference in English between the meaning of the verbs “to cure” and “to heal”?
Obviously, they will have somewhat different semantic fields, but my mistake made me wonder. When we talk about Jesus’ miracles, it seems we prefer the latter verb.
I can’t change the URI now, but I could change the title, if need be.
This was on my Twitterfeed this morning, a coincidental placement of two tweets that mentioned charm. You can reach your own conclusions or make applications from the content of the two.
If context gives meaning in the Bible, placing things near each other, be it in a church bulletin or a newspaper, also affects the message they communicate.
Editors are aware of this. Certain types of advertisements are avoided next to certain types of news reports. Drudge Report has been accused, fairly or not, of deliberate juxtaposition of news items, to the detriment of a public figure.
It doesn’t need much stretch of the imagination to make application here to association. Things or people together communicate something more or different than they do by themselves. (More …)
Patience is a virtue for evangelists. A young man cancelled on our study last week the second time in a row. First time, he had to work late. The second time he talked to The Missus, so he didn’t give his reason for cancellation. It would be wrong to think he’s not interested. He might not be, but we can’t give up at this point. Sometimes, people just don’t feel the urgency they should, even though we tell them. Sometimes, too, they let life get in the way. So if we’re not studying, we’re praying for them, right?
What’s the point of the title of today’s post? Talk of evangelists, and the eyes of many glaze over. “Oh, that’s not me,” they say. “I’m not an evangelist.” And they might even be right. They may not have the gift of evangelism. But isn’t this the purview of all? Rather, they ought to think, “This has to do with the Main Job of the church, I want to learn more, I want to improve my efforts, even though I might not be called an evangelist.” (I’m not even considering full-time evangelists here; some of the best ones I know aren’t supported by churches.) Say something is for evangelists and many saints tune out.
• Now, sometimes elders and preachers do the church a disservice by calling the saints “church members,” which is not a phrase you’ll find anywhere within the NT. We have elders, deacons, preachers, and then comes that unformed and unclean mass of untrained “members.” The rest of them. Now we even have Distinguishing Titles for our Clergy. The other day I came across somebody—in OUR brotherhood, mind you— who called himself the Lead Minister. Obama said he leads from behind. This guy must serve from up front. Really!
But I’m beginning to rant, and that’s not PC any more. My point is that, although we say we’re not clergy, we (third person of solidarity) act like it and quack like it. Caramba! We need more restoration in the church, do we not? And no restoration more needed than that of placing evangelism in its rightful place in the church, by everyone.
Where is today’s Reuel Lemmons? (More …)
One blogger wrote 20 sentences he said will change your life, all starting with the phrase, “I am …”
I’d like to pick up that idea here and invite you to complete the sentence with life-changing, positive words that apply to Christians, that have to do with Christian identity, reality, and felicity. (Be sure to share this with your friends.)
So give one or more phrases in the comments area to the phrase, “I am …”
My evangelistic study tonight fell through, got rescheduled for Thursday night. After it, I’ll probably return to the dentist, after a week of tooth-testing. The cancellation did allow me to finish up the new series of studies I’m doing, called, in translation, “What Must I Do?” Sounds original, yes?
Internet was down at home a good part of the day. It’s been problematic recently. Steady rains may have something to do with it. Fortunately, I could run to the office and catch my music-school neighbor’s wifi, with his permission.
Since I was planning on the study at 6 pm, I didn’t go into the office until the afternoon. That means I finished up the homemade muffins with fresh blueberries about mid-morning, and had a fine lunch of a artichoke sandwich. After that, a bit of a nap. Don’t forget the nap. Power nap, they call it. I’m a believer.
Have been reading tweets from the FHU Lectures. Sounds lively. Talk of gun control, pacifism, and homosexuality in the Open Forum. Has anybody been by the Forthright Press stand/booth/table (?) in the exhibit area?
Here are a few thing I did today, some of which you can actually read online:
- Faith and action: Whatever it takes (devo) (Portuguese done first)
- Cloudburst Poetry (background): Bereft (on abortion)
- GoSpeak report for Jan: Mother and son baptized (finally!)
- Finished the evangelistic series: “O que devo fazer?”, wrote the last two lessons, nos. 4 and 5.
- Post to Christian Hub, Weylan Deaver: What’s in your heart?
If somebody’s interested in contributing to The Christian Hub, choosing from the listings in the feeds, let me know.
Details are still being hammered out, but put Mar. 10 on your calendar, when I’ll teach a seminar on evangelism in N. Little Rock. Yup, as in Arkansas, USA. Would love to see you there.
So I thought I’d appeal to the Fellows and readers of TFR:
What specific actions would you suggest for Christians to show selflessness in their actions?
The list ought to be almost endless, wouldn’t you think?