I am going to take on a hard one here. The big “A”. I have been in a conversation with some Christian friends of mine about the current healthcare reform now being debated in congress and around the country. Some of my friends said the following: “I can’t support this reform as it might allow some to have abortions funded”! I, certainly am also against abortion. It is killing an innocent life and definitely against Jesus’ teachings. But how do Christian who make abortion a litmus test for everything else answer these typical questions by some: You Christians only believe … Continue reading Sanctity of Life??
I just finished the book Letters from a Skeptic by Greg Boyd and I must say I was profoundly moved by the contents. The book is essentially a series of letters between Dr. Boyd, who was once an atheist, but now a noted theologian and his unbelieving father Ed. The letters took place over a two year period and covered many items that are basic concerns that skeptics have about Christianity. It is not my intent to discuss any details of the book. I will leave that for you to discover yourself. Coming to Christ … Continue reading Book Review – Letters from a Skeptic
Jesus intends for us to serve others rather than for us to expect others to serve us. I think that many people in the United States have that message reversed. They dream of having enough money to have people constantly waiting on them and to fill their every need. After all, that is the American dream isn’t it? Well, it may be the American dream but it should not be an “Kingdom of God” citizens’ dream. Let’s look at some of the red letters in this area. Matt 20:25-28 “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over … Continue reading To Serve or to Be Served?? … That is the Question
In the last post I brought forth the proposition that God loves all of humanity and does not particularly bless one world government more than another. I also pointed out that many today think that if we could just turn the US into a Christian theocracy everything would be wonderful. I pointed out that we have had Christian theocracies in the past and they were no more like Jesus (i.e.. The kingdom of God) than those pagan governments around them. And many times even worse! This post I will spend some time talking about how I believe that a follower … Continue reading Taking America back for God — Part 3
Last time I pointed out a couple of reasons why I believe that the phrase Taking America back for God to be erroneous statement. This time I will expand my thoughts on this topic and talk about allegiances. Does God recognize governments and give some more blessings than others? — Except for Israel of course there is little evidence of that in Jesus’ words. And even for Israel, in my mind, refers to the people who have a relationship with God and not the political nation either then or now. God infinitely loves all his children no matter what their … Continue reading Taking America back for God — Part 2
The title of this series of posts is a popular mantra for a fringe wing of one of our political parties in the United States but is it really true in reality?? I am going to break down my opinions of this topic in next three postings on this blog. Using the word “back” implies that the United States was once a country that followed kingdom of God principles. I am a life long avid reader of US history. I love my country and we have done some great things but I don’t recall a single period of time that the country … Continue reading Taking America back for God
I am going to keep this post very short but I would like to hear anyone’s views on whether being a Christian and a social conservative are compatible. I am only talking about social conservatives not fiscal or conservatism in general. If Jesus were here today would He be labeled a social conservative? I personally can’t begin to imagine that but would like to hear from anyone who thinks it is a possibility. Continue reading Being a political “Social Conservative” and a Christian??
We just finished an adult Bible study series at my church on election/predestination today. Boy, was that an interesting one! We certainly don’t shy away from the difficult topics. That is one of the things I like best about my pastor. It turns out that my pastor and I are pretty much aligned on this topic. I assure you that isn’t always the case. I will have to think and study this some more and then maybe do a series on predesitnation here some day. I just wanted to make a quick post here to maybe get you (and myself) … Continue reading Election/Predestination
I wanted to spend today’s post giving you some quotes from Greg Boyd. I use Dr. Boyd’s words quite often in this blog but will give some first timers a little info about him. He is a theologian and the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul MN. He is also the founder and president of Christus Victor Ministries and an author of 15 books on theology and what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He also has doctorates from both Princeton and Yale Divinity Schools. Here are his words (the bold letters are … Continue reading In Principle…..But
On Sunday I listened to a sermon from my pastor that truly moved me. It is about a subject that is very near to my heart. For that reason I am posting a copy here without comments. Please take the time to read it. You will be enriched by its message. It is kind of long (most clergymen are long winded aren’t they?) but it is worth the read. 🙂 Thank you Pastor for allowing me to post it on this blog. Here it is: You can’t help but be awed at this gracious outpouring of compassion from the Lord. … Continue reading The Jesus Factor
To my wife’s dismay I still have RVs on my mind. In fact I have purchased a few books about the topic. After spending a month on the road in our latest vacation I realized there is still so much of this country that we haven’t yet seen and enjoyed. Jumping from hotel to hotel was probably one of the least enjoyable parts of the trip. Not to mention the costs of staying in them. Taking a nomad home with us on future trips still sounds very enticing. For those who know me know that I am a planner; … Continue reading Still on my mind….
Ok, let’s go over some of the other places where Jesus mentions love. Most of them are, like much else in the Bible, shows us how to live in this world and get ready for the next. Matt 19:18-19 “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 6:27-28 But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord … Continue reading Jesus and Love….
If you love me you will obey what I command. John 14:15-16 This is one of the hard sayings of Jesus that is difficult to ignore. It couldn’t be more blunt. Even looking at the surrounding context you can’t mask this message. If you love me… The following verses adds that if you do this then I will give you the Holy Spirit to be with you forever. Is that to imply that if you don’t show your love for Jesus by obeying Him, or at least really trying to, that He will not give you the Holy Spirit? I … Continue reading Love, Obey, Command….
I know this is about as far away from our Thanksgiving holiday as you can get but I think it is an appropriate time to again pray the Thanksgiving Prayer by Samuel Pugh. After the prayer we will listen to some of the words of the prophet Micah. Oh God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry; When I have work, help me to remember the jobless; When I have a home, help me to remember those who have not home at all; When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer, And remembering … Continue reading A time to remember…
Matt 22:37-40 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Of course, the above words are at the foundation of what it means to be a Christian. As He mentioned all of the law is based on these two commandments. When he mentions the phrophets I guess he is referring to the messages that they brought to the people. It … Continue reading Loving God…
We had an annual event occur today. At least it occurs about this same time every year for the last six or so. A farmer’s cows from down the road broke out of the pasture and ended up grazing in our front yard. This year there were about six heifers and six calves. I wasn’t thinking fast enough or I would have gotten some pictures of them for the blog. Yvonne called our neighbor from across the road and she contacted the right person. In a matter of 15 minutes or so three young people showed up to herd them … Continue reading Speaking of cows….
We have been back home a little over a week now and I am finally getting settled into the daily routine. I have spent the week outside trying to get the yard and gardens back in shape. We had friends set up to take care of things while we were gone but unfortunately the person who was to do the weeding fell and broke a leg while we were gone! We were very sorry to hear that but the garden weeds were delighted. They thrived in his absence :). After much work, the gardens are doing fine. The popcorn made it up … Continue reading Dreaming of Fried Green Tomatoes…
Before I proceed to cover more places where the Lord shows us how to live I want to bring up some of my past experiences which may tint my beliefs in the Bible. I spent 30 years as an engineer designing consumer products. During that time I wrote many product requirments documents,user manuals, repair manuals, and that sort of thing. In that effort there were certain words that were strictly defined. Among those were shall, must, command. Those words were strictly enforced to mean something that was absolutely required to be done. When requirements say the red indicator shall … Continue reading Must, shall, command…
Let’s spend some time studying the meaning of Love in the Gospel text. Here is the first one: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Matt 5:43-45 You might call this tough love in that it is very very hard to even think about it. Can you even imagine being able to love your enemy while you are about to take his life! Pray for those who torment you! … Continue reading Love in the Red Letters
We left Kansas yesterday and made a dash for home. I guess we were just getting too antsy to get back to our home digs and out of the daily hotel-to-hotel mode. We made it back last night and now have Beulah, our Bassett hound home. It was a great trip, maybe the best we have taken. We certainly saw a lot of the country this time (about 7,000 miles of it). Because of the trip I now have RVs on my mind. I am dreaming of retrofitting an old one or maybe some other vehicle for the road. This … Continue reading Trip Log – Last Entry
We started off today with our usual trip the the State capital. Of course, for Kansas that was Topeka. It turned out that the capital looked more like the Addamm’s Family home than the capital. The outside of the building was encased in scaffolding and the inside was dark and dreary in almost every hall. I admit that the picture above was not typical but it was there. About the only people we say were some fat guys laughing and joking in the Governor’s outer office. I would guess they were “fat cats” 🙂 After the capital we went to … Continue reading Trip Log – KS Capital, Brown vs… ,KC
Ok, after today here is my short description of Kansas: hot cows, wind farms, oil, amber waves of grain and………Ike. Until now I have always thought of Kansas as the State where you get across it as fast as possible. Yvonne told me to treat it like a Sunday drive in the country. That took some creative thought but I think I got it done. Ok, here it is. It reached 102 degrees today on our trek across Kansas. Yvonne kept looking to take picture of the cows standing in water and managed to get a few; including the one … Continue reading Trip Log – What about Kansas??
I had an interesting Sunday Bible study recently where we covered Romans 13. Of course since this is probably the most debated text in the New Testament it was a lively discussion. I have to hand it to my pastor, he allow a free flow of diverse discussions. I will only cover one topic from our discussions and that is about the “sword”. Here is ther particular verse: Rom 13:4-5 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an … Continue reading Jesus and the sword
I have been thinking about how to summarize our visit to Colorado and here it is. Colorado is probably the most diverse State we have been to in several different aspects. Of course the terrain is diverse. There are the Rockies in the middle part of the State and then there are the plains in the eastern part. Even the towns in the Rockies are somewhat diverse. Ouray is much different than Durango even though they share pretty much the same geography. I think Ouray is going to top out my list for favorite towns during this trip. It has … Continue reading Trip Log – Thoughts of Colorado
As I mentioned last night we found a reconstructed fort in eastern Colorado to visit today. I have been looking for a plains fort like this for the whole trip and am I glad we found this one. After an archaeological exploration the fort was rebuilt on the same footprint as the original. Fort Bent was a commercial fort not a military one. It was used for trading with the Indians in the area as well as supplying trappers etc. We were told that all the shooting at the “Fort Zent” from the mini-series “Centennial” was filmed here and … Continue reading Fort Bent and Kansas….
After looking over all the literature we had collected at the Colorado visitor’s center I did find a reconstructed plains fort. It is located near La Junta Colorado which is in the far southeastern part of the State. We started for there this morning but got sidetracked by the Chimney Rock Archaeological site. Our tour guide was a retired archaeologist from the University of Denver so he was quite knowledgeable on the site. There are several of the Chivos found at the site and it is an active dig. There is a whole village there but only about six of … Continue reading Trip Log – Found a fort and a chimney
Keeping with the theme of the last post about going to church, it has been found that 45% of Christians who go to church do not go to the same denomination that they went to as children. Is this a good thing or a troubling aspect of Christianity? Some say troubling and some say not. For me personally it is a good thing in that it shows that, at least for some of us, that we are taking our faith seriously and considering other options when our spirituality is at stake. I am one of those 45%. I had no … Continue reading Church Hoppers?
We spent today in Mesa Verde National Park. That is the park in SW Colorado where the indian cliff dwellers once lived. They lived there about 1000 AD so it was many years before the white man came and took everything away. The park was really neat. It tooks us about 50 miles to see all the cliff dwelling and most of this was on very curvey roads. The dwellings had a surreal feeling about them. During this trip I have been trying to connect with my native American roots. My great grandmother was as Shawnee squaw. This was … Continue reading Trip Log – Mesa Verde National Park
Boy did I misjudge the trip today when I was planning it yesterday. It turned out the Durango was still 110 miles away, not the 50 I estimated! And much of those 110 miles were very steep and somewhat narrow two lane roads up and down mountain sides with too many cutbacks to even remember. Instead of taking an hour as I first thought it took us almost 4 hours. But, being in the slow lane I tried not to be too impatient. We peeked out at about 11,000 feet where the temperature dropped to 36 degrees and was … Continue reading Trip Log – Ouray Colorado!!
We left Salina Utah this morning but not before we went back and got a picture of Mom’s Cafe and downtown Salina (all 12 buildings). 🙂 We then hopped onto I70 for our trip across southern Utah. This part of the trip had absolutely amazing scenery! It was hard to pick just one picture for this post but I managed to pick one from Castle Valley. I think we stopped at every “Vista site” on the highway and there were several of them. We hit the Colorado line around noon and of course got our sign picture. I had … Continue reading Trip Log – Colorful Colorado
When we stopped last night at the Nevada/Utah border it turns out that the west part of town was in Nevada and the east part in Utah. Of course, as you can imagine the western part had about 8 large casinos while the eastern half was small motels and food places. We landed there somewhat late and tried to eat at one of the buffets at a casino but found out that it closed in fifteen minutes. It was only 8:45PM. So I guess although the casinos were big they must cater to the Utahians ( or whatever they are … Continue reading Trip Log – Utah (ugh salty!!)
Here is my synopsis of California as I promised yesterday. California is indeed a very beautiful State and the weather is great. The great redwoods in the northern part of the State are awesome along with mile after mile of pristine shoreline. But I think just way too many people have “discovered” California. 30 million people; wow! After seeing the local news for almost 4 days I have come to a couple of conclusions: They can’t see the forest for the trees; even those in the northern part of the State 🙂 . They seem to want to vote on … Continue reading Trip Log – California dreaming….
We did a dance with Nevada today and made it across the State in one day (about 420 miles) as well as the last 80 miles of California. That makes today #2 in our day trip distance. And at that we also lost an hour as we ended up in Mountain time. What can I say about Nevada. I think two words can pretty much wrap up my synopsis of the State: Casinos & Desert. If either of those are not your thing then Nevada doesn’t have much for you. We stayed on Interstate 80 the whole way and … Continue reading Trip Log – The Nevada Two Step….
We started our day with a quick stroll back to Fisherman’s Wharf to see the Aquarium there. Quick that is considering all the walking we did yesterday (ha). The aquarium was outstanding. The first picture above was of some Luner Jellyfish. They looked unreal but they were indeed real. We then walked through over 100 feet of clear tubes where the SF Bay water was all around us. It was amazing all the different types of fish and such that they collected there. After the aquarium we checked out of our hotel and headed south to Salinas. That is where … Continue reading Trip Log – Veggies, veggies, veggies (in search of Garlic)
Just what does it mean to be a Christian. There are many opinions on this topic: Some think being a Christian means to go to church regularly and to honor all the traditions and history of the church. Some think being a Christian is about constant repentance and always striving to keep the ten commandments. Some think being a Christian is about fearing God and his wrath. Some think being a Christian is about concentrating totally on God’s love and forgiveness. While all of the above are in some aspect part of being a Christian, I don’t believe any of … Continue reading What does being a Christian mean?
If it’s Monday this must be San Francisco 🙂 . We got here about 10AM and to our surprise we got into our room right away. We are about 3 blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf so we headed right to there and our first view of Alkatraz. It is much closer to San Francisco than I had imagined. I could see why many of the prisoners thought they could swim the distance to freedom. But, of course none of the were known to have made it. After having lunch at the Wharf we headed on a walking tour of China Town, … Continue reading Trip Log – San Francisco