Finally got the degree I’ve been after.Read More...
Well, the keys are dusty and the blog needs to be swept up a bit. But all is still here and in working order. I have considered blogging again. Winter is coming and life slows down a little – not much, but maybe enough to consider some musings.
Is anyone still out there?
I have never found a shed antler before. Even though I have not set out purposely to discover any, I try to keep an eye open for them. This father’s day weekend was all work for me on the hunting property, but a treasured moment with my son made it all worthwhile.
This weekend began with a trip to the family property in Antrim County. We go often to see relatives and spend time in the outdoors. Only recently I have had the opportunity to begin hunting the property. Having been stalked by the belated Grandpa Jack for more years than I have been alive, the property has likely seen it’s better deer days.
When you walk the property, ancient wooden tree stands, stools, and blinds remind you of the legacy that has remained since the last time Jack fired his rifle or bow. The memories fade ever so slightly when one of those haunts tips over and makes its way to the burn pile, but it seems that the more I explore this beloved heirloom, another forgotten spot pops out at you. Read More…
What you see is what you get, a helpful axiom that has aided my ability to judge most situations in life as helpful or unhelpful. But then, someone comes along and tells you to not judge a book by it’s cover. Now you are forced to save face, give in, and examine an otherwise undesirable situation further. In most cases, things really are exactly how they seem. But if you dig deeper, you can find a few excuses to tolerate otherwise unfavorable events or relationships with people.
Love. What do you feel or experience when you hear that word? Depending on your culture or upbringing, it has various connotations. I for instance, imagine a bunch of hippies wearing tye-die t-shirts, ripped blue-jeans, and smoking reefer. Some may envision the intimacy between a man and a woman in marriage. You can even describe love as being the emotion that causes the emptiness and feeling of loss when your favorite pet dies. Regardless of the schema love has in your mind, it is a powerful emotion.
Love ultimately facilitates the cohesion of living beings to other living beings. Therefore, the absence of love paints a picture many of us can see when we turn on the evening news. Wars, violence unto others, and the governments of the kingdoms of this world that consistently posture themselves for personal gain are fair representations of lovelessness.
Jesus defined love quite profoundly. Examining his entire ministry provides many other anecdotes that make good sermons on love. But that just over complicates my point. The message he gives seems much simpler. Read More…
Waiting on tables as ministry?
At the Koinonia Blog the weekly feature “Monday’s with Mounce” includes an excellent induction of the topic of ministry and waiting on tables as read in Acts 6:2. Often gifts in the New Testament are structured in order of importance in our modern implementations. Rarely, do we see the gift of this or that exalted above Preaching/Teaching. Bill Mounce of ‘Basics of Biblical Greek’ fame states,
‘Is preaching more important than serving the widows? I know the quick, evangelical answer is, “Of course it is.” But what is James’ answer? “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their time of trouble.” What was Jesus’ model? Do we see him giving a significant priority to preaching over helping people? I don’t think so.’
You can read more on this post at Koinoniablog.
At some point in history, the direction and motive of the church in the world changed. As described by John Howard Yoder, there was a “Constantinian Shift.” Suddenly the power and ability for the church to exercise dominion became embodied and carried out through political and military force. Sounds eerily similar to the 1st Century Temple and Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day doesn’t it?
The Politics of Witness: The Character of the Church in the World is another entry into the Areopagus Series from Energion Publications. This book, along with the others in the series, is aimed at expounding upon topics of universal interest to the Christian Church in an irenic tone. Alan Bevere, the author ventures to expound upon a difficult topic within a short sixty-two page limit. Read More…
Matthew 10:12-13 As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
When you visit someone, do you greet them or bless them?
What unworthiness would necessitate the withdrawal of a blessing? The immediate context appears to be hospitality or households refusing to take in the disciples (Mat 10:9-10), provide sustenance for them, and give tribute worthy of their meat (Mat 10:11). But what ministry from these messengers cause them to be worthy of the gift of meat?
Note, the phrase peace to you in the scriptures as a greeting, come from the Lord after he has been resurrected (Luke 24:26, John 20:19-21, and John 20:26). But curiously, peace to you occurs only once in the Old Testament from the mouth of a servant to Joseph’s household, “Peace be to you, fear not…” (Gen 43:23). Without promoting a false understanding of prosperity, health, and riches, and the subsequent security that comes from financial provision, one can see plainly the provision God has given to the children of Jacob through the hand of Joseph, by means of Egypt, which is an interesting provision for Hebrews indeed. Read More…