Saturday, December 20, 2014

Helpful Girls

I need to watch my whining around my daughters.  I express any dissatisfaction over what needs to be accomplished and how unable I am ... and somebody shows up to tackle projects. 

On the one hand, I feel guilty.
On the other hand, I feel oh-so-relieved and grateful!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

That Scary Part of Amos 5

Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord!
For what good is the day of the Lord to you?
It will be darkness, and not light.
Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light?
Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?   (Amos 5:18-20)

When Pastor read those verses, I hated it.  
Where's the hope?
So, you're waiting for the day of the Lord?  
Sounds like Amos is saying, "Tough noogies.  Ain't you gonna be surprised?  It's going to be terrible!"

But what about the pillar of cloud (Ex 14:20)?  It was darkness to the one side, but light to the other.  That pillar was protection for the people of God; it separated them from those who would harm them. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

They Slumbered and Slept

Interesting what we find back-to-back in Matthew.
Chapter 25 -- the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.  They slept.  They were supposed to watch for the coming of the Bridegroom.  But they couldn't.
Chapter 26 -- the Garden of Gethsemane.  Peter, James, and John were told to watch and pray.  But they couldn't.  Instead, they slumbered.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Opposite of "Rejoice"

Pastor is always talking about rejoicing, even in the midst of trouble. 

So. Hard. To. Understand.

In my mind, the opposite of "rejoice" is "grieve."
You know -- if you're not happy, then you're sad.

So when you run across a passage like 1 Thessalonians 1:6 ("You received the word in much affliction, with joy in the Holy Spirit"), it messes with my mind.  So I asked a simple question:  "What is the opposite of rejoice?" 

The answer?  "Despair."

Grieving and suffering and hurting and sorrow are NOT the opposite of joy.  Despair is.  Hopelessness is.  Giving-up-on-God's-mercy is the opposite of "rejoice."

Now things are beginning to make sense.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Malefactors Crucified with Jesus

It's Luke that tells about the two criminals crucified with Jesus (23:39-43).  Luke -- who was connected to the apostle Paul. 

Paul -- who blasphemed at the cross.  Paul -- who scoffed at Jesus' prayer for those who were putting Him to death.

Paul --  who came to believe that he deserved torture and death for his sin.  Paul -- who learned to beg for Jesus' mercy.

No wonder the story is in Luke.  That story of the two criminals probably really resonated with Paul.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Those who like apologetics tend to think of faith as having an intellectual foundation.  They use reason to "prove" why the Bible is true.  But because of this intellectual foundation, they have little regard for the sacraments, which are supernatural, and which cannot be explained by way of reason and evidence.

Today's Laugh

We all could use a little more calmness in our lives, right?
On that note, here's a message from a friend:

"Here's some simple advice from the Dr Phil show.  He said that the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started and never finished.

"So I looked around the house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished.  Soon, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Zinfandel, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, a bag of Doritos, and a box of chocolates.

"You have no idea how freaking good I feel."

Just to clarify, for people who have no
sense of humor (and I know you're
 out there!) this is a JOKE.  Okay?
Everybody knows that you can't be
drinking liquor and popping Prozacs.